Kyle MacDonald: How to Stop Being a Victim
Kyle MacDonald believes we should be asking victims how we can help them feel more powerful.
If you wander into reading the wrong self-help blogs, chances are you will find all sorts of ideas and advice on how to "stop being a victim" and take control back of your life.
The idea that someone can just stop being a victim is a nonsense: by definition to be a victim, one is subjected to something one has no control over. How is thinking differently supposed to stop an unforeseen event?
This is the problem with much of the self-help movement, and it's based on a myth: that it is possible for individuals to massively change their circumstances through an effort of will and mental effort, and moreover, the problem being solved lies solely within you.
For many, who weren't fortunate enough to grow up white, middle class and privileged this misses a large part of the problem.
Kyle MacDonald: Why Does Everyone Else Seem to Handle Life so Well?
Is the way you think and feel unique, odd or unusual?
There are a few things we all share as human beings. For instance, I've come to believe that we all think everyone else (or at least most people) is somehow coping better with life than we are.
Some of us can even come to believe there is something unique, odd or unusual about what we think and feel. That we are the only person that suffers in this particular way.
It can certainly be easy to look around, at the strangers that inhabit our day, and see people, well dressed, busily hurrying from one place to another all looking very "together." It can equally be easy to allow ourselves to feel that we aren't anywhere near as well dressed, hard working, on to it, or as diligent.
But all of this is based on a very understandable, and increasingly common, misunderstanding.
Kyle MacDonald: Does New Zealand Need a Minister for Loneliness?
We all rely on each other: people need people.
This last week the UK Government took the unusual step of appointing a Minister for Loneliness, off the back of findings that reported over 9 million Britons "often or always" feel lonely.
Given the growing understanding of the negative health effects of loneliness – some research shows it can be as bad for physical health as smoking – it makes sense to take the problem this seriously.
But is this the right approach? Does New Zealand also need a Minister for Loneliness?
Kyle MacDonald: Why Cannabis is a Gateway Drug in the Right Direction
Kyle MacDonald believes New Zealand needs to take a step toward compassionate treatment.
This week New Zealand takes a big step towards allowing the medical use of cannabis.
Considering even the home of the "War on Drugs", the USA, has moved to decriminalise and legalise cannabis in almost all states, it's surprising how much controversy this still stirs up here in Aotearoa.
Ultimately, all illicit drug use is a debate about compassion versus punishment. The compassion seems more obvious with the "medical use" bills currently before Parliament, the punishment more obvious with recreational use.
Kyle MacDonald: Why your kids should experience boredom this summer
Many people now believe that boredom is actually vital for creativity to flourish.
Boredom is the bane of many a parent. And as we once again stare down the barrel of the long summer school holidays, the prospect of bored children will likely be on parents' minds.
But is boredom a good thing? Should we not only tolerate it but maybe even encourage it?
Kyle MacDonald: Spirit of Christmas not About Greed Beautifully Wrapped With a Bow on Top
Generosity is, for me the true heart of Christmas, and it might still be able to save us.
The history of modern advertising has its roots in the propaganda of Nazi Germany, and its ability to influence people en masse by manipulating powerful basic human emotions.
Fast forward to 2017, and much the same techniques now sell us a whole bunch of things we don't need. Because we can be convinced that to own "that thing" we think will make us feel good, we believe it will solve that nagging lack we feel.
Kyle MacDonald: The Real Impact of Stress
increasingly, it looks like stress is one of the leading factors when it comes to understanding the rising rates of depression and anxiety.
Stress. It's one of those modern buzzwords. We all know what it means, and what it feels like: the clawing in your gut, the tension headaches, the inability to sit still and relax because there is always something to be done, always a problem to be tended to.
And while we can all identify with feeling stressed at times, the kind of stress that really causes harm is when our "fight – flight" survival mechanisms fire up.
Kyle MacDonald: The Real Reason People get so Angry About Beggars
Calls to once more "ban begging", this time in Christchurch, have hit headlines. It's sadly one of those stories that flares up from time to time, with the predictable outrage on both sides ensuring the debate gets aired but never resolved.
It's got me wondering: why do some people get so enraged by the presence of people sitting on public streets asking for money? And, bizarrely, why do some people get furious about the fact that someone can actually make enough money to live on from the activity. I mean, isn't that kind of the point?
Kyle MacDonald: The Truth About Depression
There is no one "depression".
Everything has an upside and a downside. We've come so far with our efforts to de-stigmatise mental illness by encouraging people to talk about their struggles with anxiety and depression that it seems almost normal to hear about such things from friends, co-workers and celebrities.
But with this increased awareness, there has been a cost. Sometimes we struggle to know what depression is anymore.
Kyle MacDonald: Why Fear is Good for Kids
Being a therapist and a parent is not an easy ride. I know too much about the kinds of awful things people experience in childhood and the ways events can impact us for life.
While I can get a bit neurotic about it at times, it's normal to want to protect our children from fearful things. Childhood fears, though, are normal - even necessary.