There are ways to temper your toughest critic and take constructive control of your feelings.
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Laughter, pleasure, malice, and the pursuit of adult fun
Gina Barreca Ph.D.
I once flew to Perth, Australia, to give a talk on humor and confidence because it’s not fair for me to tell others, “Face your fears! But I’m taking the bus.”
Immaturity whines; immaturity rolls its eyes; immaturity takes everything personally; immaturity accepts no responsibility; immaturity shows up late and leaves early. It's selfish.
What do you wish you’d had the opportunity, talent, and discipline to place into your intellectual carry-on? What holds you back from learning more now?
As soon as Clairol colored your hair, life was guaranteed to be nice and easy. This is what I learned when I was 10 years old and reading ladies’ magazines looking for advice.
The most terrible pronouncements in ancient times, verdicts considered worse than death, were exile and banishment: denying the right to have intimate contact with loved ones.
You never know what will be the beginning of things until you’re in the middle; it’s only in retrospect that you learn the importance of what started it all.
Divorce, disconnection and distance feel as irrevocable as death. A decisive split with family can leave you lonely. Yet we must leave the past to the past. Celebrate the present.
Nothing significant has ever started with a general idea. It starts with a memory. A piece of dialogue. A perspective. And it takes courage.
There are right ways to begin disagreement, but the wrong way is to start with "Look, this is how I DO IT. Let me show you."
I’m trying to figure out if I got my 34-cent discount by looking old.
The word "diet" comes from the classical Greek "diaita" for "mode of life," so it's not surprising that we've spoken for years of "regular diets."
To those who accuse me of elitism, I'll borrow the words of Inigo Montoya from “The Princess Bride”: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
How can we see colors with our eyes closed? "On Color" will help you see the world around you with more acuity—and more joy—because you'll be asking more and better questions.
My friend Heidi gave birth to her daughter on Labor Day. She tends to take things literally.
The phrases “alternative facts” and “fake news’” are the political equivalent of “I love her but I’m not in love with her,” and “I'd never cheat on you: I'm too busy!"
To defend, without examination or information, platitudes designed to prey on tribal and vicious emotions is to betray those very principles upon which the U.S.A. was founded.
There are lousy male bosses, but we usually drop the lowest common denominator and simply refer to that person as the “lousy boss” without emphasizing his gender. Why?
When I moved as a kid and left all my friends behind, I was desperately lonely and convinced myself I needed one thing to make me happy.
It's tough to relinquish grudges. Are there words and actions you find unforgivable, even if they happened in the past? Here's how others have handled being unable to forgive.
Along with days of glory, garden-variety moments of satisfaction are also fleeting. Our ordinary days need cultivation and attention: They are what we harvest in our lifetimes.
A dazzlingly honest memoir about teaching Shakespeare in Italy as his wife confronts cancer—and his students confront their own identity issues—"The Good New" is a must-read.
Should I carry mace? Should I get a switchblade? Should I, I whispered, just go get myself a gun?
You don't have to fall in love with the teacher. You could fall in love with the subject and become the teacher.
Would anyone watch if the ad said, “Upper-Middle-Class White Guys Damage Cars to Prove a Point”?
My mother left school after the eighth grade, as her six sisters and one brother had done, in order to go to work. Yet our house was filled with books.
The best poetry has always made us gasp and laugh and has always relied on psychological and spiritual revelation.
Her grandiosity is not enough to cover her shame and the fantasy that she will be regarded as a princess does not truly mitigate the fact that she works like a chambermaid.
My fears and anxieties have taught me that even if they can't be entirely overcome, they can be faced and sometimes outwitted. For that knowledge, I am grateful.
Forget those articles in Cosmopolitan asking, "What Do Men Want in Bed?" The answer is simple: They want sex and a sandwich. Maybe pizza.
It doesn't go away, but if you work at it, usually with a good therapist, feelings of being a fake come less often, pass more swiftly, and do less damage.
Gina Barreca, Ph.D., is a professor of English at UConn, and the author of It's Not That I'm Bitter: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World.