Click on this link to see a short video about some surprising scientific findings:
Click on this link to see a short video about some surprising scientific findings:
Recently I had a fun conversation with Brian Howie on The Great Love Debate. We debated everything from what to watch out for when dating to how to make love last. Listen to it here: Making Love Last
I’m so happy that the video introducing my book has finally been released. Take a look at it showing a couple flirting and another couple resolving a conflict.
Author and her new book (with an old backstory)
California State University, Dominguez Hills Professor Beverly Palmer and her book, “Love Demystified: Strategies for a Successful Love Life.”
Thursday, February 22, 2018 8:14 am http://bit.ly/2oiEHg5
By Mary Jo Hazard Special to The News (Palos Verdes Peninsula News)
In the late 60’s, Beverly Palmer was a doctoral student in the counseling psychology department at Ohio State; she was fascinated by the mystery of love, and she wasn’t alone. Centuries before, Aristotle, Plato, and Shakespeare wrote about the subject, and Oscar Wilde even said, “The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.”
Searching for answers to the age-old puzzle, Palmer researched the fields of social psychology, clinical psychology — even philosophy.
Several years later, Palmer and her husband moved to Rancho Palos Verdes, at the time an unincorporated rural area of Los Angeles. She was a full-time professor, teaching graduate and undergraduate classes at California State University, Dominguez Hills and, based on her scientific research, Palmer created and taught a class on love. Eager to share her findings with the general public, she wrote the first draft, “Love Demystified: Strategies for a Successful Love Life.”
In spite of her enthusiasm for her new project, Palmer was forced to stop working on the manuscript. “Private practice, childcare and teaching, took precedence,” she said.
Palmer was also fighting to save the rural nature of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
“The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors had jurisdiction over our unincorporated area,” she said. “They wanted to give approval for many high rise apartments and condos to be built along the coast at the bottom of Hawthorne Boulevard and Palos Verdes Drive South. I became part of Save Our Coastline, which circulated petitions and created the city of Rancho Palos Verdes so we could stop the coastal development.”
As a result of her activism for the coastline and her research articles in the field of public health, James Hayes, Los Angeles Board Supervisor for the Fourth District, appointed her to the Los Angeles County Public Health Commission where she served for three years.
During the 40 plus years that Palmer taught college courses at Dominquez Hills, love was always on her mind. “Each class I taught,” she said, “made me realize that all of the diverse subfields in psychology said something about loving relationships.”
Three years ago, Palmer’s husband insisted they clear out their cluttered garage, and up popped the old draft of Love Demystified. If it hadn’t been for the messy garage, her book might not have resurfaced.
Palmer dusted off her first draft and spent more time researching current scientific material and revising. “The book,” she said, “is based on the latest scientific research. It’s a guide highlighting how people meet, fall in love, create love, fall out of love, and love again. It offers strategies for dealing with roadblocks in love relationships and details how to create love and make it last.”
Who would benefit from her book? According to Palmer, “anyone longing for love, starting to date, getting married, or wanting to fix a current relationship.”
The “love doctor” knows her stuff. The Palmers celebrated their 50th anniversary last June, and the psychologist credits their happy marriage to living the strategies from her book. And that’s not all; they work together, too. Richard Palmer, a psychiatrist, and Beverly, a psychologist, have shared a private practice in Torrance for the last thirty years.
The book is available in neighborhood stores, at Booklocker.com, and on other online sites.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, here is the perfect gift for yourself or your loved one:
Love Demystified: Strategies for a Successful Love Life.
This guide uses cutting-edge psychological research to tell you how to find a new love, fix a current relationship, love again after a loss. It gives you the tips and techniques you need to get through many difficult times in loving.
Available through the publisher (BookLocker.com/9605) or at all online and neighborhood booksellers.
Love Demystified: Strategies for a Successful Love Life will be released this week and the links for where it can be purchased will be posted on this blog. Meanwhile, you might want to check out Love Demystified Workbook: Questionnaires to Assess Your Love Life. This workbook contains 11 of the questionnaires that are in the regular Love Demystified book. You can find out which areas in your love life that you might want to strengthen. Then you can purchase the regular Love Demystified book to learn how to strengthen these areas. The Love Demystified Workbook can be purchased from Amazon as a print book: http://amzn.to/2lPqJRK.
Or you can get the workbook free as an eBook if you are an Amazon Prime member or $2.99 for non prime members http://amzn.to/2COL82Q.
Each new year gives us a chance to be renewed. How about renewing your relationship?
One of the best ways to renew your relationship is to discover something new about your partner. Even if you have been with each other for decades you may not know your partner as well as you think you do.
Here’s how you start the discovery:
Basically, a soulmate is supportive and makes you feel comfortable.
Feeling understood and completed with your soulmate does have its downside. You may feel you are incomplete without your soulmate and not able to function as well without that person. You may start yearning for the next time the two of you will be together. Or you may anxiously await the next text message.
You may begin to depend on your soulmate to meet your needs—your need for appreciation, for self-esteem, for comradeship. If either you or your soulmate changes in terms of these needs, you can feel lost, not needed, or not needing.
In relationships, some lovers are quicker to feel anger than others. Yes, not having your expectations fulfilled or not getting your needs met can cause frustration. But some lovers seem to have shorter fuses when these situations occur. And some lovers allow anger to propel them into using strategies that hurt the loved one and the relationship.
Common Anger Triggers
Judgments and sensitivity to rejection are two of the main triggers of anger. Instead of simply seeing the situation as it is, you put your own spin on it. For example, your partner is scrolling through the messages on their phone while you are talking to them. You judge their actions as showing they do not really care about what you have to say. You might even go a step further in your mind to think, “My partner never really listens to me because they don’t think anything I have to say is worthwhile.” Now you have fueled your anger with that interpretation.
Or you may interpret your partner’s request to take out the trash as a demand that you do immediately, which causes you to feel controlled and angry. Your judgments can then lead to an angry outburst or even a turning inward with troublesome ruminations.
Sometimes it is the judgments you make about yourself that are behind your anger. For example, you might judge yourself as inadequate or defective. Then you base your self-esteem on your perception of the way others feel about you. Notice it is your perception of the other person’s words or actions, not what they actually said or did. If your feelings of being inadequate are aroused because you see the other person as being critical, your anger can get triggered. Of course, you might actually be in a relationship where your partner often complains about you. If you are also self-critical, this combination can lead not only to anger but also to depression.1
Some people are extremely sensitive to rejection. They have an anxious expectation of rejection. Even when there is little possibility of it, they still readily perceive social threats. This sensitivity motivates them to react with anger, hostility, or withdrawal.2 It is the mere anticipation of potential hurt that triggers their reactions. They are so vulnerable and insecure, they don’t even have to be actually hurt to feel wounded; the threat is enough.
Research has demonstrated that the brains of these people are different from the brains of people who are not so sensitive to rejection and do not act so defensively.5.33 People low in rejection sensitivity have a more active prefrontal cortex, which allows them to be less emotionally reactive and more self-regulating.3 Yet the good news for people high in rejection sensitivity is that emotional self-regulation can be taught, and a supportive romantic relationship itself can mitigate this sensitivity.
One concern about the defensive reactions used in the face of rejection sensitivity is that these reactions can create a self-fulfilling prophecy, where the reaction itself causes the feared rejection. One member of a couple in a conflict situation can seek support but not receive it, or be on guard for any cues that might indicate rejection. If that person begins to defensively start losing their temper, insulting their partner, or swearing, it can incite the partner to do the same. Then the negative interaction causes the conflict to become unresolved.
Strategies to Defuse Anger
Why do we say such hurtful things to our loved ones? Often it is because we are too fused with them. When we are fused, what our partner says or does often feels like it has something to do with us. And then we react accordingly. We lash out or raise defensive walls. Or even worse, we blame ourselves.
Your partner leaves the dirty dishes in the sink all day and night—again. You think, “If they really cared about my feelings, they would put the dishes in the dishwasher.” Or “I am probably expecting too much.”
With these thoughts, you end up saying, “Must take too much of your energy to put the dishes in the dishwasher. How lazy can you get?”
You know you’re not going to change your partner’s behavior with this criticism, but it slips out anyway.
Your partner’s behavior annoyed you, but it is the judgment you put on that behavior that caused you to lash out. More than likely your partner did not leave the dishes in the sink to purposely annoy you or as a lapse in caring for your feelings.
If you see your partner’s behavior as independent of your connection with them, you won’t be pressured to say something hurtful. Instead, you will find a way to let them know that you noticed without the negative reaction. You might even joke. “Maybe we could make the kitchen sink into a dishwasher.” Indeed, those partners who each have a sense of their own autonomy will be less defensive during a conflict and will be more satisfied with their relationship.4
The time between a trigger and your angry reaction is generally only two to three seconds. So try to cut the link between the trigger and your anger by taking a slow, deep breath the moment you notice a trigger. This will help you to cool off the hothead feeling, not bite the bait, and take a moment to think about a way to express your needs in a helpful way.
After the deep breath, you can respond rather than react, and then you will remain in control. You can respond with an “I” statement that lets your partner know what you need at that moment. For example, if your partner forgets to pick up the dry cleaning that has your work uniform in it, you could take a deep breath and then say, “I really needed my uniform for work tomorrow.” You are putting the issue on the table instead of blaming your partner. Then the two of you can work on finding a resolution to the issue.
Even if you are the recipient of your partner’s anger, you can still have some control over the angry reaction. When you see your partner starting to tense up, you can remind them to breathe. Or you can model the necessary action by taking a slow, deep breath yourself. Initiating the first step in calming the hot responses down will give both of you a chance to approach the situation in a more helpful manner. Instead of a fight, flight, or freeze reaction, you have used a calming strategy.