In the middle of a risky conversation with a steady boyfriend, one in which we were confessing our doubts about moving to the next level, he brought up the dreaded N word. The other N word. He was concerned that I might be a narcissist. Gulp. I had just come from a conversation with a colleague who referred to the selfie stick as “the narcisstick,” complaining about our culture’s bloated obsession with self-promotion, and, since I do a fair amount...

There is always comedy in the extremes, and I don’t know about you, but when I recognize the crooked truths, I immediately start thinking about ways to fix them: Single life doesn’t HAVE to be so lonely if you plan right, and married lives don’t HAVE to be so boring if you put some forethought and effort into it, RIGHT???

One seemingly ordinary January day, I was walking along the road from my home in the woods to run some errands in the little town of Woodstock, NY. My brain, churning a million thoughts -- about my relationship, my work, my close friends — suddenly stopped, and what appeared before me was . . .

Now that pharmaceuticals are widely used to alleviate some of the general malaise and anxiety of living in the modern world, what drives functional people to self-exploration and transformation?

You’ve probably found yourself analyzing and diagnosing your significant other, hoping that he or she will listen to your diagnosis and change. This is both natural, and potentially toxic.

Change is destabilizing -- and for most people, destabilization is very triggering. When people are emotionally triggered or feeling insecure, relationships suffer. Sometimes, sadly, they cannot withstand the stress, and people grow apart. But does that make personal growth an adversary to good relationships?

I felt my heart leap into my throat and tears stream down my cheeks, and I noticed others blinking back their tears. We looked at each other with compassion. New Yorkers: The most hardened people in the world. They had become real to me. We were sharing a sacred moment in the subway.

You can’t always choose how life is going to go, but if you pay attention to the roles that simply take over and lead you nowhere, you can begin, as Katherine models, to select what roles you want to play. And that enables you to steer the relationSHIP to safety in rough waters.

Katherine got into the car, and immediately felt Steve’s lousy mood suck all the air out of it. “Oh no,” she thought. She knew Steve wasn’t thrilled about going to visit her brother’s family. It was a chilly winter Sunday. He wanted to lounge about, watch the games, and stay put. But she expressed it was important to her and he had agreed to go. Does he always have to punish me with his mood? she wondered, agitatedly. She was...

Sheila and Tracy found themselves arguing mercilessly about logistics. Who was doing more household tasks? How was the middle child going to get to piano on Wednesday? When would Tracy have time to go back to yoga? Who was going to figure out the logistics of getting them to a family reunion in August? The stress became overwhelming, and threatened to destroy them.