Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Monday, May 30, 2016

POP CULTURE: Did Prince Suffer from "VIP Syndrome?"


An interesting article suggests that Prince, like fellow pop star Michael Jackson, suffered from something called "VIP Syndrome" in which therapists and physicians treat famous patients differently because of their status. According to this theory, professionals will forgo regulations and protocols that are normally followed with everyday patients (of course, to the ultimate detriment of the patient). The term "VIP Syndrome" isn't a clinical term included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -5, but the idea behind it is worth considering.

Article here: http://cnn.it/1XYFNt5.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

DR. SETH INTERVIEWED: VANITY FAIR


I was interviewed for this story in Vanity Fair about how the Trump children appear pretty normal considering the famous and wealthy life they were born into. While so many children of wealthy, famous parents fall victim to well-publicized problems, the children of Donald Trump have avoided that trap. While the media exclusively describes these children as "Donald Trump's children," as a feminist, I want to point out that they are actually the children of Donald and Ivana Trump. If these offspring truly are stable and decent people, perhaps the mother Ivana deserves a little credit? But my point in the interview is that I believe Donald raised his children like tiny employees who would one day go on to represent him and his empire. (And then there's narcissism.)

Check out the full article here: http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/05/donald-trump-kids-normal.

Monday, May 2, 2016

DR. SETH ON TV: Nancy Grace


I will be on Nancy Grace tonight discussing some intriguing cases, including a murder-for-hire story you won't forget. Tune in if you have the time.

RELATIONSHIPS: How to Spot a Fake Person


One of the most confusing and frustrating traits in another person is fakeness. Part of what makes dealing with fake people so difficult is that it sometimes takes a little while to discover who someone really is. Because fake people excel at pretending, it makes sizing him or her up even more confusing. You can look for the signs of fakeness, but it often takes knowing someone for several months at least to see them in action and see just how fake they really are.

If you're like most people, you are fairly straightforward and you don't have a secret agenda. Fake people, however, usually have one clear agenda: to be liked by everyone and to be seen as the favorite, whether among a group of friends or at work. Someone who is very fake will: say negative things about one person but then act like their friend the next minute; agree to hang out socially but later come up with excuses about why they can't; and cast themselves in the best possible light in every situation. Fake men and women are extremely image conscious, and their goal is to look like they are all things to all people at all times! 

Fake people are usually anxious, insecure, competitive and jealous. Fake men and women are extremely aware of social hierarchies, so they are always ranking who is more attractive, smarter, or better liked. Very few people know who these people are deep down, and the few who do are usually a spouse or immediate family members. Fake men and women get threatened very easily, and they are usually total control freaks. After all, think how hard they have to work to keep up that fake front.

Fake people try to appear as if they’re always happy.

The main sign of a fake person is someone who never shows that they feel upset or angry. Fake people hate real emotions because real emotions get in the way of the one dimensional facade they work so hard to project. Deep down, these people are more insecure than you would ever believe, and they learned somewhere along the way that they will be most liked and appreciated if they act compliant and happy. I’ve heard it said that fake people have zero emotions, but this is not actually true. Fake people have emotions like anyone else, but they are control freaks and fear that showing their real feelings would make them vulnerable. They fear that that things could spiral out of control if they were to start acknowledging how they really think and what they really feel.

Fake people constantly contradict themselves without even knowing it.

I find fake people so confusing. In one moment, Mr. Fake will say how much he loves to volunteer, and then a few weeks later you could hear the same person say that he hasn’t volunteered in years. Another fake person may say they love sports to one person, even though you know perfectly well that he or she hasn’t hit the gym or played a sport in ages, let alone watched any on TV. The point is that these individuals say something because they want to project that image even though they make no attempt to hear themselves or to match their words with their behavior. With fake people, it's like you need to carry a clipboard around with you and keep track of what they say so that you can make sense of the constant contradictions. 

Dating or being friends with someone fake is a t-e-r-r-i-b-l-e idea.


In short, fake people are immature to the point that you can't have a deep and consistent friendship or romantic relationship with them. Someone fake is most interested in being liked and adored by everyone, so they will never be too committed to you. Someone fake needs to be loved and paid attention to by everyone, not just one person. Fake men and women frequently lead others on to believe that they are romantically interested, and it usually takes weeks or months of broken plans or false promises before you get the hint. The key to avoiding fake individuals is to look for someone with a proverbial backbone, meaning someone who will take a stand on what he or she truly believes. You don’t want someone who acts adoring to everyone because some people are not so nice and don’t deserve it. The goal is to find someone who has moral principles they live by, and real principles are solid and constant. With fake people, the only real law they live by is to be liked by as many people as possible and to fool others for as long as they can. Taking your time in getting to know someone and not rushing things is the best strategy to avoid falling in love with someone who is fake and disingenuous. Proceed with caution, ladies and gentlemen!

PARENTING: You're Not Supposed to Have a Favorite Child, But Do You?


If you're like most parents, you will state with no equivocation that you don't play favorites. Only terrible parents would ever allow themselves to have a favorite child, right? I've also heard my fair share of parents tell me privately that they do have a kinda-favorite child though they are careful to clarify that they would never admit that to their children. While that's a perfectly good argument, it's comes with a problem which I'll get to in a moment. 

Parents do want compliance.

I don't have a favorite child between my two children, but I will be honest and admit that I do appreciate a child who listens to me and respects what I say. So, I will tell my children openly that I will get along with any child who doesn't fight me or challenge me on the simplest little things. In most families where there are multiple children, there is usually at least one who is easier in a given stage, and there is at least one who is more argumentative or willful.

Favorite child vs. the "easier" child 

Parents should never apologize for appreciating a child when the child accepts the care and direction from the parent without much of a hassle. This isn't the same as saying that the more compliant child is your favorite child; instead, you can say that every kid goes through different stages and that you appreciate any kid when they are respectful and cooperative with you. As your kids become teenagers, you can share your feelings and this can help them learn an important lesson. Say, "Parenting, overall, is amazing but it can be really hard and frustrating when your child goes through a stage where they want to argue about or challenge you on everything." Go further by saying, "It's a parent's job to make sure the child meets all kinds of expectations in school, with hygiene, and so forth. One of the things you, as my child, should ask yourself is whether you show appreciation for the things I do for you." Prompting your child in this way forces them to think about the other person in the situation - you - when kids have the tendency to focus almost entirely on themselves. Train them to be respectful and to show appreciation for you. 


How to make each child feel like a favorite child

One of the best practices parents can engage in with their children is to plan individual time with each child. I remember from my own childhood occasions when my mother would take just me out for lunch on my birthday, and I felt like the most important kid in the world. Parents can practice one-on-time most easily on the weekends. For example, setting up a schedule where, say, every other weekend one parent takes one child and the other parent takes the other child for an activity gives each kid the chance for one-on-one time with the parent. That’s all kids really want: to feel like they are the only one, even though they know they usually have to share the attention with other siblings.

During bedtime chats, tell each child what impresses you about them.

Kids crave praise as much as grownups do, but they crave it even more because they are still developing their sense of self and self-esteem. Bedtime is a great time for an intimate chat with your child. Use that time sometimes to point out something they did that day that was impressive or helpful, and tell them that you see certain strengths in them. For example, say, “When we were working on that project in the yard this morning, I noticed how hard you were working and how careful you were being. I am so lucky to have you as my [insert son or daughter].” Another example: “I have to tell you that you are one of the funniest people I know, and you always make me laugh.” These comments sound simple enough but they make a child feel noticed and unique, and this practice builds strong and lasting self-esteem. Bottom line: It’s a good goal to set, making every child feel like a favorite child.

Monday, April 4, 2016

RELATIONSHIPS: Can You Tame a “Bad Boy” to Settle Down?


Picture it: You’ve met a great guy but you can tell that he’s someone who isn’t yet settled and doesn’t seem to want settle down anytime soon. The problem? You want him to settle down with you! Is there something you can do to make him settle down? Keep reading and you’ll find that the answer is mostly no, with a touch of yes mixed in.

You can’t make a man settle down if he really doesn’t want to settle down yet.

You’ve probably met hundreds of guys like this at work, in your social circle, or when you’re out and about. You’ve seen Mr. Can’t Be Tamed hitting on multiple women, going from one date to another, and going out on the weekend with the energy of a bona fide human battery. Simply put, most guys who play the role of the “player” or the “bad boy” won’t be tamed for long by just one person. These men crave the stimulation and attention they get from playing the field, and giving up that sort of “drug” will take years – not weeks or months.

The few bad boys who can be tamed

In order for a bad boy to settle down, there has to be a part of him that has been thinking about and wanting to settle down. If there is a part of him that feels that he is outgrowing the player lifestyle, you have something to work with. The best way to figure out if a bad boy is ready for a long-term, monogamous relationship, simply ask. When you ask, ask him a few different ways, and don’t stop asking until you get a clear sense of what he wants.

A set of questions to ask to see if he is ready to settle down

“Are you interested in dating casually, or are you looking for someone you could potentially have a long-term relationship with? Do you and your friends still go out a lot on the weekends? If you settled down and got into a serious relationship, would you feel like you’re missing out a lot on things with your friends? Are most of your best friends single or settled down?” Granted, this may sound like a bit of an inquisition, but it’s actually only four questions, and this is an important issue! After all, you are trying to figure out if it is wise for you to invest your energy into this person. Once you have asked these few questions, you will have a much better sense of whether this is a man with whom you can settle down and start a serious relationship.

The reasons why some men don’t want to settle down now

The vast majority of men will settled down one day, meaning that they will choose a partner to set up house with and have a family. If a man does not want to settle down now but will settle down later, he doesn’t want to do it now because he still wants to celebrate his freedom and have fun while he can; his group of friends is still hanging out and he doesn’t want to miss out; or he is focused on developing his career and doesn’t want anything to get in the way of that at this point in time.

The reasons why some men don’t want to settle down ever

While the majority of men will one day settle down, some men never will choose the traditional, settled life. In other words, not every man will end up searching the car lot for that minivan. Most men who won’t settle down and choose a long-term relationship are single at heart, and they don’t want the attachment and intimacy that comes with married life. These men are really only turned on by having a spontaneous, indulgent lifestyle that would die a tragic death with a partner or kids. What’s more, many of these men have unresolved, major emotional issues that cause them to avoid settling down and committing.

The overall message


If you meet someone who hesitates about taking the relationship to the next level, ask yourself the following two questions: Does he want to settle down now? Will he ever settle down? You have to ask him these questions, too, but make sure that you don’t sound anxious, angry or judgmental when you ask. The truth is that most of us have an instinct that tells us whether someone is ready to settle down, so be extremely honest with yourself so that you can hear the answer.