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Weekly Doses of Pop-up Psych

We all make cringey mistakes and deserve to move on, rather than feel confused or regretful after an icky social situation. Each week, I will dissect a murky social, life cycle, or pop culture topic to help you understand, learn, and move on. As a former academic, I am a super-picky consumer of research (and you should be too) as well as the content I create and share, so those new solutions, data and/or additional resources have certainly met my approval.

Embrace Progress: The Importance of Appreciating Your Life Skills Journey


Recently, the front passenger wheel flew off my car on a Friday (crazy, right?) and I stepped in doggie excrement on Saturday. After the car, I felt a mixture of shock, gratitude, fear, and relief, because at the end of the day, we were fine, but it could have been catastrophic. My accidental bullseye-like stomp in the mess (it was dark outside, while hidden by brown leaves) left me feeling super annoyed. I felt drained and couldn’t wait to get to sleep so I could wake up to a brand new day.


I woke up on Sunday morning remembering about the stomp and started laughing before I got out of bed. As I shared this with my sister, she commended me on how well I handled everything. We both know that in the past, I would have gotten stuck in negativity and created more drama from drama.


The end of the year is a typical time to reflect and evaluate our goals, finances, health, relationships, career, and other personal accomplishments, as well as thinking about what we want for the next year. However, how often do we evaluate ourselves through those sticky situations? Skills like listening, communicating, reacting, overall emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, empathy, and making decisions. Little growth is better than none!


Curveballs that make our true colors come out


When we get blindsided, our raw and unfiltered selves come out. Here is a short list of curveballs that truly test our resilience. 


  • Conflicts

  • Traffic

  • Spilling, staining, messes

  • Unwanted news

  • Accidents

  • Crises

  • What else?


Why should you pay attention to how you handle life’s curveballs?


Adversity doesn’t go away. New issues that are beyond our control can pop up in a New York minute, so there might be phases when those curveballs seem constant. Being clueless about our intrapersonal skills sets will guide us towards making giant leaps in the wrong direction. Self-evaluation starts by acknowledging where you grew and where growth needs to happen.


Questions to help evaluate your own life skills


Let's reflect on how you have handled curveballs this year.  


  • How would you evaluate your overall life skills?

  • How are you handling life’s curveballs?

  • Which situations could you have handled better? Why?

  • Which situations do you think you handled particularly well? Why?

  • Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently? The same?

Hi Beautiful Readers and thank you for reading this! I'm Dr. Joanne Broder, Media Psychologist, Author, and Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Please consider me to help you write your memoir, blogs, speeches, e-books, as well as coach you on your dissertation or thesis.  Click here so we can connect!

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