Category Archives: Helping Others

Reality Check: The Helping Professions

Many people have a genuine wish to be helpful; that is, to take actions that are of service to others. Wanting to help is a fine aspiration. To be of service benefits both the helper and those who are helped. … Continue reading

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Reality Check: Greater Expectations

I’d caught the tail end of a conversation about math scores and a possible connection with the practice of moving students along in grade level regardless of whether they’ve mastered skills. It’s possible that I misunderstood. I’m sure what I … Continue reading

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Reality Check: Influencers, Helpers, and Heroes

We may never know the effect of extending a small kindness. In fact, we could perform a genuinely heroic act and never learn the result. We may not even know whether anyone noticed. Being helpful and kind is more satisfying … Continue reading

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Reality Check: We can do it!

What does encouragement look like? Think way back and picture the poster of Rosie the Riveter. That’s one picture of encouragement—Rosie’s determined face under the slogan, “We can do it!” with her sleeves rolled up and her muscles flexed. The … Continue reading

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Reality Check: Your Power Source

A young woman I’ll call Yvette signed up for math class. The first day, Yvette informed me that she can’t do a specific, very basic type of problem. Over the years, others have tried to teach her but she just … Continue reading

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Reality Check: Happiness and Self-Responsibility

Self-responsibility. In some circles, it’s practically a dirty word. It seems that a cold and frightening picture comes to mind for some folks when they hear that there’s a move afoot to promote self-reliance as a useful skill. It’s as … Continue reading

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Reality Check: Routes to Self-Esteem

Is self-esteem a double-edged sword? Too little self-esteem? You can find yourself living an unsatisfying life with little confidence. You may treat yourself as if you have low value or worth. Others may take your behaviour as a cue, and … Continue reading

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Reality Check: The Value of Support

Last post, I told a little story about Sally and her intent to invite a roommate to share her living space. Based on your knowledge of the situation, you anticipated that this arrangement wouldn’t work well. In other words, you … Continue reading

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Reality Check: If I Know What’s Right for You…

Do you know what’s right for someone else? It’s easy to think that we know exactly what someone should do, think, or feel. And then, it’s easy to tell them! Dr. William Glasser associates the “I-know-what’s-right-for-you” perspective with misery. In … Continue reading

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Reality Check: Smart Praise

I have previously suggested that supportive behaviours, such as encouraging and offering recognition, are helpful for building strong relationships. How about praise? Is it an effective way to recognize and encourage? When little Joey started elementary school, he’d already had … Continue reading

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