New data on how bullying, ghosting, and cancel culture affect younger people in the workplace offers useful suggestions for constructive avenues for change.

This post was written by Grant H. Brenner, James R. DellaNeve, and Santor Nishizaki.

KEY POINTS

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated changes in the workplace, significantly impacting Generation Z or “Zoomers.”
  • Lower tolerance for bullying and a greater tendency to ghost makes it more likely for Gen Z’ers to change jobs easily.
  • Dealing with interpersonal problems by “canceling” others makes it harder to build resilient, productive work groups.

No, not everyone under 40 is a Millennial. Generation Z (born after approximately 1995) will make up 27 percent of the workforce by 2025 and is now entering (or exiting) your office at increasing…


New research provides critical data for transgenerational collaboration.

by Grant H. Brenner, James R. DellaNeve and Santor Nishizaki

KEY POINTS

  • COVID has accelerated emerging trends in Gen Z employment considerations.
  • Gen Zers may appear paradoxical, wanting both higher support and more flexibility.
  • In-person work environments are desirable at times, especially during onboarding and important conversation, but at other times are unwanted.
  • Investing more resources up front is likely to set the right tone with Gen Z staff.

Gen Z–born after 1995–has grown up more egalitarian. They may call their parent’s friends by first name. They don’t automatically respect authority just because; you earn it. They don’t take things for granted…


Research identifies critical domains to emphasize in pursuing effective psychotherapy.

by Emma Newman, with Grant Brenner

KEY POINTS

  • Therapy can be effective for many, not just in relieving symptoms of mental illness but also in catalyzing deeper transformation.
  • People seeking help can be confused by how therapy can help and on what to focus.
  • Recent research on therapy outcomes can help provide clear goals to focus on in therapy.

What do we want — and need — from therapy? How do we know if it’s working? Therapy is meant to help us analyze ourselves and alleviate symptoms of mental illness, aiding us in our various struggles. But it’s not always clear exactly…


Six ways we unwittingly let others know we can be taken advantage of in the ways we try to fix interpersonal problems.

Dispicable Me Minion
Dispicable Me Minion

KEY POINTS

  • Many people are confused and dismayed by how personal and professional interpersonal situations play out.
  • People approach interpersonal problems with three general strategies. One, the “exploitable-subservient” pattern, leaves us vulnerable to others.
  • Learning the roots of being exploited arms us with self-knowledge useful for selecting more adaptive, secure ways of addressing problems.

Recently, I reviewed useful research on how people approach interpersonal problems. This is not about how we act when relationships are going as expected or planned, but how we respond when there is a concerning situation. …


New studies on how strivings for power and love shape how we conceptualize and respond, what works, and what doesn’t work

KEY POINTS

  • Interpersonal problems are often a source of confusion and distress but may be simpler than we imagine.
  • Research shows there are three basic patterns underlying how people approach interpersonal problems.
  • Attachment style and negative personality characteristics shape how we behave in relationships and overall well-being.
  • Understanding the basic patterns can make it easier to regain a balanced perspective and make better decisions when distress is high.

Relationships may defy comprehension, confusing us perhaps beyond their actual difficulty. …


A new meta-analysis synthesizes the evidence for cacao in alleviating low mood, soothing anxiety and boosting our sense of well-being.

KEY POINTS

  • Cacao has been prized since at least 450 BC by ancient civilizations.
  • Chocolate contains a potent blend of psycho- and biologically active chemicals.
  • While chocolate is reputed to have a range of health benefits, evidence while enticing is limited.
  • Some forms of chocolate appear to have short-term benefits on mood and anxiety, but longer-term effects remain unclear.

Chocolate is one of the world’s most iconic foods. With origins in Central and South America, cacao was first enjoyed as a fermented drink as early as 450 BC. …


An interview with the founders of LAAUNCH (Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change), an organization on the front lines in the fight for diversity, equity and inclusion.

KEY POINTS

  • Discrimination and violence against Asian Americans is on the rise, with a 164 percent jump in hate crimes.
  • Recent politics and pandemic-related attributions have polarized anti-Asian sentiment.
  • Most people cannot think of Asian role models, and if they do, the majority think only of famous film stars.
  • Many people do not realize that Asian-American racism is a problem.

An interview with Ming Chen and Norman Chen, co founders of LAAUNCH — Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change.

I recently had the pleasure of learning about the important work of former schoolmates from growing up in the 70s and 80s…


New research on bullying outcomes underlines the alarming unmet need. Effective interventions reviewed include anti-bullying, trauma-informed, family-based, and systemic approaches.

KEY POINTS

  • Bullying is an epidemic that is not showing signs of improvement.
  • At least one in five kids are bullied, and a significant percentage bullies. Both are negatively affected, as are bystanders.
  • Parenting style can reduce the risk of PTSD from bullying.
  • Evidence-based bully prevention programs are generally effective, but school adoption is inconsistent and anti-bullying legislation weak.

According to the US federal government website StopBullying.gov:

“There is no federal law that specifically applies to bullying. …


“Doorknob comments” define the boundary, when they come up.

Co-authored with Fara White

KEY POINTS

  • “Doorknob comments” are things ripe with unexplored significance people say at the end of a therapy session.
  • There is usually no time left to address their significance unless there is an emergency or other reason to extend the time.
  • Doorknob comments become less common over the course of one’s therapy, as the capacity to communicate and collaborate deepens.
  • Working through doorknob comments, their impact, and the meaning they convey contribute to personal growth.

There’s a phenomenon called “doorknob comments” by therapists. Recently podcast cohost Fara White and I, on the Doorknob Comments podcast, explored this phenomenon…


Beware romantic partners who try so hard to help you grow as a person. The relationship may start out seeming to be what we always needed, but end in suffering and want.

KEY POINTS

  • Well-functioning relationships serve appropriate developmental needs for all involved.
  • In “personal development relationships”, one partner is an unofficial therapist to the other, making healthy intimacy less and less possible.
  • In relationships where pathological narcissism meets excessive dependency, PDRs become abusive.
  • Addressing unmet developmental needs in an appropriate setting frees one up to build mutually beneficial, balanced relationships.

People seek close relationships for many reasons: the need to be loved, for a family, longings for a life partner with whom to grow old, for mutual edification, for fun and enjoyment, for pragmatic purposes, for financial advantages, and so on. …

Grant H Brenner

Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst, Entrepreneur, Writer, Speaker, Advocate

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store