Sunday, June 1, 2008

I am human!

I think that it is a very normal human tendency to hold on to to the bad and forget the good. Things learned at an earlier age are retained much better than those at an older age. I had written a post on how psychologists are human too and now choose to repost it with a few edits because of a few incidences that occurred in the past few days. Just a gentle reminder to everyone of how I am just like non-psychologists, with the same kind of brain, emotion centers, desires, feelings etc and a reminder to me to not be too hard on myself to be someone who I am not born as, even if people think my profession should make me that way. Know what I mean?

Yes, psychologists are human beings too.When it comes to healthcare, I tend to put doctors on a pedestal. There have often been times when my mother has advised me to eat something while I have a fever and I retorted back to her saying, "Doctor has not said anything about eating that!" Now more and more people are doing that with shrinks. It is not surprising though. When people (especially the first-timers) make that decision to go see a professional for help, its usually after they have tried all else and failed, They then begin to think that only a professional can solve their problems without realizing that we can only assist people in doing so and that those changes need to come from within.

Moreover, people have misconceptions about the things we can do to ourselves! When I was a victim of identity theft three years ago, and lost a lot of money, I was experiencing rage and sadness.

A friend tells me,
"Come on, you have studied psychology so much. Can't you handle yourself?
"Uh no....! I lost some money and feel cheated. Its a hard time!

When I made a mistake about choosing a certain relationship, I was told,
"How come YOU made that mistake of all the people? Surely you knew better!"
Umm...actually not! I do NOT read people's minds and do not know what their intentions are.

And then my personal favorite,
"You counsel so many people. Why can't you counsel yourself?"
Sure! Sounds like a great idea! I will cry one minute on one chair, and then jump onto the other chair and start talking sense with a calm demeanor.

The truth is that when we are in sensitive situations ourselves, no matter what our profession, we are not able to be neutral, nonjudgmental, and clear in our minds. In a fight, if you want me to take sides, I may not be able to do it. I am trained to be empathic to all parties involved. Do you know how hard it is to be that way? Very, very hard!! That's exactly how we do couples counseling too! BLAH! But yeah...if you want to fight with ME, I will not be empathic with you at all!! I am Solitaire then, not a psychologist!

Its funny how people think that because I am a psychologist, I know a lot about teaching, babysitting, nutrition, etc..So I get asked questions like,

"How can I teach my child to read?"
Mmmmm..Maybe ask your child's teacher??

"What kind of a babysitter should I pick for my child?"
Common sense tells me someone you and your child are comfortable with?

"What should I feed my child for better memory?"
My grandmother used to say almonds, so almonds.

The funniest part about all this is that I am not even a child psychologist! But apparently, I am a genius who knows everything about every population. Just like you would go to a gynaecologist if you have a fracture??

The woe of being a psychologist is that people think you are not entitled to the normal emotions that a human being experience. I just got told a few days back by a guy that he was interested in me because I am a psychologist. Reason: His ex-girlfriend was depressed and he could not handle it. This time he wants someone who will never be depressed.