Mark Goulston

How to Know If You Talk Too Much

You may have heard the saying, “When you’re in love, smoke gets in your eyes.” Well when you’re talking, smoke gets in your eyes and ears. Once you’re on a roll, it’s very easy to not notice that you’ve worn out your welcome. You may not even realize that the other person is politely trying to get a word in, or subtly signaling that they need to be elsewhere (possibly, anywhere else if you have been really boring).

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Do Men and Women Kill Themselves for Different Reasons?

I am writing this in hope that it might help some people better understand what they might be feeling, to feel less out of control and to feel less alone.

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For the People Who Hate Waking Up

I can't stand early morning people...

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Preventing Future Isla Vistas - Sucking Out the Poison

This is a work in progress…

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Never Be Manipulated Again


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Are You, or the People You Know and Love, Mensches or Jerks?

Characteristics of a Jerk:

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Religion: A Purpose or an Agenda?

Maybe I’m just trying to cover my bets regarding the hereafter, but I attend church on Sundays and a Torah group on Mondays. I’m open to mosque recommendations in Los Angeles as long as the following applies to them. What the Torah group and church have in common are a rabbi and pastor I admire, respect and adore. Both the Torah group and church are inclusive, non-judgmental, stand for something, will stand up for something but don’t stand up belligerently against anything that doesn’t harm people or the communities in which they live.

After attending both the Torah group and church for some time, I have come to some conclusions about religion.  

The purpose of religion is to offer (vs. force upon) people the opportunity to disabuse themselves of both their destructive animal instincts and their personal self-serving egos and replace them with a perspective that better serves people and the community in which they live by bringing out their best qualities. Furthermore, religion sees you already as “whole.” It seeks to uplift you when you’re dispirited, and inspire you to be grateful and to pay it forward by giving back to the world.

The agenda of organized religion is to impel — and if that doesn’t work, to compel — people to serve and donate money to a particular religion and also to demonstrate their belief/allegiance to it by pushing it upon others.

Like my rabbi and pastor friends, my beliefs about the purpose of religion is something I will stand for and stand up for, but as long as what you believe doesn’t hurt you or others around you, I won’t bother standing up against you. My motto is believe and let believe; live and help live.

What do you think? What do you believe? What is your place of worship’s purpose? What is their agenda?

8 Habits of Intolerant People

I find it difficult to believe that there still remain so many people who are intolerant of others; like those who are so vehemently against gay marriage even though other people’s intimate relationships do not directly hurt them. It turns out these people share some similar traits. Over my years as a psychotherapist, I have worked with many people who have personality issues. I have observed the following about those who are quick to anger, resentful and begrudging of others.

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12 Reasons A-Holes Win and You Don't

A "know-it-all" who doesn't know what he is talking about is a jerk; whereas a "know-it-all" who does know what he is talking about is merely an a-hole.
- from Get Out of Your Own Way by Mark Goulston 

As much as I wholeheartedly agree with the philosophy behind Bob Sutton’s New York Times best-selling book The No Asshole Rule, I have to conclude that a-holes have always been around and probably always will. An even more disheartening truth is that more often a-holes seem to win whereas nice guys do seem to finish last or at least far behind their obnoxious  counterparts. And here’s why:

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