World Class Hugs

Better Understanding Relationships, Empathic Perspectives, Traveling and Nature Photos

Help and Hope for People Pleasers

By Rachel Puryear In a recent post entitled Are You a People Pleaser; we discussed the difference between healthy giving and excessive people pleasing – the latter involving letting others take advantage, and not voicing needs; because of a low sense of self-worth and a strong need to win approval of other people. In this […]

Coyote Point Park in San Mateo, CA

By Rachel Puryear One great thing about the San Mateo, California area – located about 15-20 miles south of San Francisco – is its abundance of parks and green spaces. Though it is part of a large metro area, there are still plenty of places to get away from it all, and just enjoy the […]


Are You a People Pleaser?

By Rachel Puryear Sure, you like to make others happy. What decent person doesn’t, at least every now and then? The human species has survived many enormous challenges over the millennia; in large part because of the willingness of many among us to give, to help, and to sometimes put others before themselves. I think […]

Signs You’re Being “Groomed” by an Abuser or Emotional Manipulator

By Rachel Puryear We’ve all done that thing where we’re watching a horror movie, and we see our protagonist on the screen headed straight for the killer – but they don’t know it. We scream in vain at them…”no, don’t go in there!” There’s that awful feeling of dread when you know they’re walking into […]

Armstrong Woods State Park in Sonoma County, CA

By Rachel Puryear If you’re not familiar with the San Francisco Bay Area, it basically refers to nine counties (including the City and County of San Francisco), that make up the metro area. There are a few main regions of the metro area: There’s “the City” (San Francisco), the South Bay (south of San Francisco, […]

False Sense of Victimization is an Essential Component of Bigotry

By Rachel Puryear In previous posts, I have discussed certain types of toxic personalities including crybullies – people who victimize by playing the victim, as well as sneaky emotional manipulation tactics, and toxic jealousy and lack of gratitude. These subjects will now be built upon in discussing one of the most toxic and destructive kinds […]

Visiting Oregon: Parks of Portland, Romantic Coastal Towns

By Rachel Puryear Oregon is a beautiful state, and there’s plenty to see there – especially if you love nature and the outdoors. We recently visited the Portland area, and explored much of this city, especially its parks. In driving to and from Portland, we traveled most of the way along Oregon’s southern coastline. If […]

Yosemite National Park

By Rachel Puryear Yosemite is a gorgeous national park in the Sierra mountain range, and is such an iconic place in California. El Capitan is immediately recognized in photos, and is a favorite of rock climbers worldwide. The many waterfalls give off refreshing mist on a warm day’s hike, as well as stunning sights. Plenty […]

The Just World Fallacy

By Rachel Puryear Most of us enjoy watching movies and reading stories where good, lovable characters ultimately triumph over evil ones. We want to see them hold the wicked accountable for their actions, and then go on to live well-deserved, happy lives. Part of the appeal of such stories is that in the real world, […]

For Human Beings, Sex is So Much More Than Just Procreation

By Rachel Puryear With reproductive rights under major attack in the United States, the age-old debate about sex rages on. Most Americans support free reproductive choice, access to contraception, and minding one’s own business about what goes on in other people’s bedrooms – but you wouldn’t know it from many of our policies. One of […]

Q&A: No, Being a Highly Empathic (HSP) Person is Not a “Religion”

By Rachel Puryear For the most part, I simply don’t engage with people who deny that highly empathic (also called HSP) people exist, and that our real-life experiences are genuine. It’s usually not worth engaging with these people. However, recently I encountered someone who claimed that “being an empath is just another religion” – and […]

Emotional Manipulation – Sneaky Tactics of Toxic People

By Rachel Puryear We’ve all heard of toxic people. The widespread interest in this subject is a testament to the collective frustration over how difficult it is to deal with chronically difficult people. We all recognize the more obvious forms of toxic behavior – when people are pushy, mean, degrading, and otherwise openly aggressive in […]

Good Indicators of Intelligence

By Rachel Puryear If there’s one thing highly intelligent, gifted and talented people need, it’s each other. We understand – and accept – one another in ways that others cannot. In large part, we are able to readily identify one another – especially given a chance to meet in a relaxed environment, and build a […]

Q&A: Is Love and Romance Really Easier for “Beautiful” Women?

By Rachel Puryear It’s no secret that women considered conventionally beautiful often draw the envy of people of all genders – particularly when it comes to matters of love and romance. But do they really have any better love lives than everyone else, ultimately? I got a question from someone who is 24 years old, […]

No, Empathic People Aren’t Inherently Broken and Unhappy

By Rachel Puryear There’s a popular conception of empathic/HSP people being sad, melancholy, depressive people; ultimately broken by the cruelty of the world. Even some empathic people – especially those who have had a lot of trauma, and/or have not learned to separate other people’s energy from their own – may believe that there is […]

Helping Abortion Seekers Post-Roe

By Rachel Puryear Well, “post-Roe” is a phrase it deeply pains me to write. This is a gruesome and outrageous step back in civil rights, bodily autonomy, and personal freedom. A key part of a disturbing trend of outsized influence of an extreme, billionaire-funded, rightwing minority clawing back decades of progress. For a small number […]

Constructive Self-Criticism

By Rachel Puryear We’ve all heard of constructive criticism, and how efforts to critique more thoughtfully and compassionately tends to yield better results than more toxic criticism. If you’re an empathic person (likely you are, if you follow this blog), you likely make great efforts to limit your criticism of others to the more constructive […]

Is It Okay to Interrupt Someone Who Regularly Dominates the Conversation?

By Rachel Puryear Since childhood, most of us are taught that it’s very rude to interrupt someone else while they’re talking (though the specifics can vary by culture or social status). This principle becomes ingrained in us as a matter of good manners. It makes sense, since most people don’t like being interrupted while they’re […]

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