Why toxic relationships are so draining. And when to break them off.

Who you let into your mental space matters.

  • Wanting to be a "nice person" often stops people from establishing the boundaries they need to protect their mental space from toxic people.
  • For Shaka Senghor, self-pity and pessimism are two traits that turn relationships toxic. Consider that people may not know what they are doing: "[T]hey're just repeating the cycle of hurt people hurting people," says Senghor.
  • It takes courage to confront a problem head on, but an honest conversation is often the best way for things to change – and if nothing improves, value yourself enough to walk away.
Keep reading Show less

How to spot high-conflict people before it's too late

The countdown continues! This is the 6th most popular video of 2018 — and it could save you years of trouble.

  • Here's a fast fact about high-conflict people: life is better when you avoid them. Bill Eddy, mediation expert and president of the High Conflict Institute, describes them not only as difficult but also potentially dangerous.
  • So how can we avoid becoming a target in their path of destruction? First, you have to be able to recognize them, says Eddy. They tend to share these four key characteristics: a preoccupation with blaming others, all-or-nothing thinking, unmanaged emotions, and extreme behaviors.
  • Once you know what you're dealing with—a textbook high-conflict personality—you can take measures to manage this relationship, whether it's at home, at work, or beyond. Eddy shares his matter-of-fact methods for withdrawing from these people or, if that's not an option, for how to resist their conflict lures and disengage from the drama.
Keep reading Show less

Can relationship anarchy create a world without heartbreak?

Nurturing several relationships at once can empower us to build a life so rich that when we lose one love among many, we don't feel as if we've lost 'everything.'

Can you imagine a world without heartbreak? Not without sadness, disappointment or regret – but a world without the sinking, searing, all-consuming ache of lost love. A world without heartbreak is also a world where simple acts cannot be transformed, as if by sorcery, into moments of sublime significance. Because a world without heartbreak is a world without love – isn't it?

Keep reading Show less

If you lost friends in the 2016 election, watch this

American society is in trouble if we let fundamental disagreements cancel entire relationships.

  • As the saying goes: Diversity isn't rocket science—it's harder. Living in a diverse civil society isn't just about embracing the things we like, says Eboo Patel. That's the 'egg rolls and samosas' view. Diversity means cooperating through disagreements.
  • Have you ever judged someone harshly, ended a relationship or avoided one because of a fundamental disagreement? "Does the fact of that disagreement—voting differently in a particular election, disagreeing on fundamental issues, immigration policy for example, or abortion—does that disagreement cancel any chance of a relationship? If it does, we don't have a civil society anymore," says Patel.
  • Even so, there are limits—what Patel calls the 'true barbarians'. In political philosophy, that person is defined as someone who destroys the conversation. With some groups, like the KKK, there can be no productive disagreements. Anyone else, you should try to engage with.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Keep reading Show less
(VGstockstudio/Shutterstock)
  • A new study finds that making children apologize can make things worse.
  • When kids say fake "sorry" their victims dislike them even more.
  • Children respond most positively when regret is sincere.
Keep reading Show less