Daily Dish

Woman in a park

A Double Life

How do people manage a double life? Why are some more comfortable with deception than others? How can they carry on two separate lives, as if two separate selves, and not find some core sense of identity compromised? I was watching a British film in the middle of the night a few weeks back, from the late 90s. The male lead is cheating on the female lead. She's cheating on him. They both lie - with a modicum of discomfort - but all too easily. He decides to give up his other woman, while it's clear … [Read More...]

Work-Life Juggle

Mother and Daughter

Girl Gaps

What are we modeling for our daughters about work and family?

Middle-Aged Woman in Work Situation

Leading the Way

How many women imagine themselves as leaders?

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Cultural Musings

Model With Long Hair and Amber Eyes

Pleasure or Power?

Women, pleasure, and power.

Young Man Smiling on Phone sm

Talking is the New Tech

There are reasons some forms of communication are never out of style.

Woman Giving Presentation

The Language Link

The power of language to reveal more than we think.

f Exotic Beauty

Thoughts on the Sharing Economy

What you will and won’t share, and the future of societal sharing.

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Most Recent…

Young Woman in her Twenties Thinking

Identity Crisis

Identity. It's a tricky topic. Tricky to grasp, to understand, to bring out of the closet. Identity is about more than a name, a gender designation, an ethnic group. Identity is about how we see ourselves, tempered with the impressions and treatment of others. We might typically think of an identity crisis as occurring during adolescence as we define who we are and what that means. But an identity crisis can … [Read More...]

Business People Clapping

Closing the Gender Gap Takes Action

Our progress closing the gender gap? You should care if you're a woman - working for pay currently or not. You should care if you know a woman, working for pay currently or not. You should care if you have a child or grandchild who will emerge from girlhood into womanhood, with her dreams not yet marred. What sort of dreams? The answer … [Read More...]

Cinnamon Cloves and Star Anise

What’s Good For Us (This Week)?

I'm sprinkling cinnamon on my bran muffin, on my whole grain toast, and occasionally, in my organic yogurt. The resident comedian eating his soft boiled eggs is sitting across from me. With a smirk on his face. "What's with the cinnamon lately?" he asks, as I'm rubbing the stain off my fingertips. "It's good for me," I say. "Healthy." When he asks how, I explain that I read it somewhere … [Read More...]

Attractive Confident African American Woman Relaxing

Think Positive… In Moderation

It's common sense: Positive thinking without constructive action won't get us where we want to go. It's also common sense: Attitude matters. And if you're convinced that positive thinking alone is your path to success? You might want to see a doctor about that... which we'll get to in a minute. Personally, I'm of the mindset that "moderation in all things" - as my grandmother, and many of our grandmothers … [Read More...]

Renee Zellweger 2008

Women Facing a Lose-Lose Proposition?

I'm tired of reading about Renée Zellweger's face. Even when I'm not reading about her "transformation," images of then-and-now seem to pop up on my screen, unsolicited. Case in point: Even The Washington Post delivered me an in-my-face set of Zellweger faces, tracing this well-known actress from 1996 up to the present, and leaving me to face it yet again: our lose-lose expectations … [Read More...]

Smart Woman Knowing Look

Ask. More. Questions.

Relationship epiphany: Ask more questions. If anything is wrong in your relationship with hubby or the kids or the best friend, or you even sense there may be something awry - ask questions. Do. It. Now. None of us can read minds - not our children's, not our spouses, not our boyfriends' or girlfriends' much less the boss or the cranky neighbor. However, I exempt you from the aforementioned list if … [Read More...]

f Woman Thinking on Couch

Love Quiz

It was irresistible. One of those love quizzes - "score the strength of your marriage or relationship" - you know the sort. Testing romance, compatibility, communication. So I took a few minutes and went through the questions. Twice. First I answered from the perspective of my current relationship, now three years old. As for the result: "Great relationship!" The score landed me in the top tier, explaining … [Read More...]

f Who Am I

I Am Not a Brand. Are You?

No longer top of mind. No longer on the mind. Disappearing from the consciousness of your circles - altogether. Does the very thought conjure images of a somewhat dated expression - dying in obscurity? Are millions of us afraid of dying, or just dying in obscurity? Might the latter fear be tied to our pop culture tendency to view ourselves as "brands" rather than people with something to say? I enjoy … [Read More...]

Man Looking Suspiciously at Co-Worker

Knowledge Hiding

I was unfamiliar with the term "knowledge hiding," but very well acquainted with the phenomenon itself: intentionally withholding information from co-workers. Naturally, I recognize the same phenomenon in personal relationships, and the degrees to which it can damage both trust and rapport. Considering this practice in an organizational context, and how it erodes … [Read More...]

Sad Blonde Woman Thinking

Psychological Manipulation: Withholding

Withholding is a very specific sort of psychological manipulation, and a fact of life for some of us. We may indulge in it ourselves, or we may be on the receiving end. This occurs most frequently, or so we think, in long-term relationships and marriage. According to psychologists, withholding is typically motivated by two goals: to punish the other person, or to maintain the upper hand. Like other … [Read More...]

Business Person Gender Uncertain

Gender: The First Thing We Notice

I was watching a movie recently in which two men are interacting online, one certain he is flirting with a woman, while being maliciously pranked by the other. Gender was assumed via language and context. In fact, without those assumptions, the exchange would never have taken place. The same "fill in the blanks" presumptive process plays out when we overhear a conversation and interpret its … [Read More...]

f Beautiful Woman Side View Portrait

“Totally Naked Photo Shoot”

The announcer said: "Next up... a totally naked photo shoot." Naturally, I turned my head to look. Wouldn't you? Yes, I am a product of my culture. I was listening to entertainment news on television. It was evening, and I was editing. By the time the commercial break was over, I was immersed in writing again and missed the segment. Most likely, the line about nakedness was a hook - an effective one … [Read More...]

Personal Chef

Three Cheers for the Personal Chef!

Mmmm. What is that intoxicating aroma? Perhaps I should ask my personal chef, whipping up something in the kitchen... For lunch? For dinner? A decadent little bacon-wrapped filet, is it? Ah, the sauce. Fantastic. Not as heavy as Hollandaise on the asparagus, but butter-based and sinfully seasoned. Oh, right. I don't actually have a personal chef. An occasional cohort-in-cuisine, yes. Does that count? … [Read More...]

Elegant Table Setting Soft Red and Pink

Hostess With the Mostest

Dreaming of hosting elegant dinner parties? You know the sort... the table is set with your prettiest plates, linen napkins, crystal carefully placed just above the good silver. And as the host or hostess, you're graciously presiding over your domain. The menu? The flowers? The most important part - the guests? You have meticulously planned every detail, and you're hoping … [Read More...]

f Kitten in Boots

Le Chat Botté

Slouchy mid-heel boots. Tall, calf-hugging burgundy boots. Supple, silvery, suede stiletto boots... Such a delicious dream. Then one cavalier creature of feline fame found its way into the conversation. "Le chat botté," he says. "What?" "Le chat botté. Puss-in-boots. That's how you say it in French." Funny how my thought process differs from his, as my cohort-in-crime rattles off literary, historical … [Read More...]

Relationship Hangover Saying the Wrong Thing

Relationship Hangover: Making the Wrong People Pay

Sometimes I think I make the wrong people pay for what hasn't worked in past relationships, as if I'm living some sort of relationship hangover. In other words, the current love interest pays for the misdeeds of the former, just as the former paid for the failings of the one before. You know what I mean, don't you? The guy who has never lied to you says something that ignites memories of … [Read More...]

f Emotionally Needy Mother With Teen Daughter

Emotionally Needy Parents

I did not want to become my mother: emotionally needy, intrusive, manipulative and confusing in her back-handed expression of approval. To say that she was an emotionally needy parent is an understatement. It took me many years to understand this lesson: Deeply caring parents help us feel safe, but emotionally needy parents are capable of crippling us. Naturally, there's a difference between … [Read More...]

f Couple in Serious Discussion

How Much Sacrifice Is Normal in a Relationship?

My impression of most relationships: One partner is more likely to sacrifice in order to hold things together. The risk is that he or she will resent what is given up, and resentment will grow toxic. So how do we determine what a normal amount of sacrifice might be - so the relationship stays healthy? In my marriage, it was expected that I bring home a hefty income, that I take … [Read More...]