Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Healer, Heal Thyself

I'm lucky enough to have a very educated circle of friends, many of whom are practicing or pursuing specialized careers in providing for the well being of others.

Psychology seems to be an all-around favorite profession. For some reason it makes me proud to watch my friends and contemporaries become mental health counselors, social workers, psychologists and school psychologists. I imagine these curricula to be vast and hopefully taxing on the undertakers' critical reasoning skills.

Sometimes the reaction to all this material is to become alarmist and recognize yourself in the disorders, even though your tendencies are still within normal limits. Still at other times, you manage to completely miss the fact that you have intra/interpersonal issues that are quite obvious to even non-qualified people who know you. Or, you acknowledge your issues but fail to tackle them the same way that you would encourage your underlings to do.

It becomes unsettling to see said psychologist stamping their professional opinion on other people's behaviors when you experience firsthand how dysfunctionally they deal with you in a conflict. I know it's difficult to recognize your own faults, but your position becomes laughable to me if your techniques are not good enough to work on yourself. It makes me wonder why you went into the profession in the first place. Just like I doubt the abilities of the hairstylist whose hair is shapeless and highlights are in dire straits, I am doubting whether I would honestly feel confident in you managing my (theoretical) case or the case of anyone I care about. If you were anything but a hairstylist, your messy hair would go unnoticed, but in the role you chose that attribute is under scrutiny.

If you have a long-standing personality issue that needs to be fixed but cannot be changed easily, I suggest you stop procrastinating. Acknowledge, apologize, take responsibility for it and for heaven's sake get off your high horse. The accomplishments in your career do not cover up your personal shortcomings that your friends and family have to endure. It makes you look foolish.

It's instinctual to look for faults in those who put themselves out there as experts. As your friends, we know you are a normal person despite your intellectual authority, and we try not to hold you to a higher standard of mental integrity than a regular person. However when you fall below that bar even.... you fail. And some observations don't require your degree in order to be correct.

1 comment:

  1. mmmmmmmmmm..... I got a kick out of this post! Well written.

    But, I disagree. Then again, a minute ago I agreed, so I guess my real opinion has yet to express itself to me. In the meantime however, whilst my brain is cogitating, I don't think someone has to be perfect in the area that they're an expert in for them to accurately assess others.

    Bias plays a big role in any of the humanities/social sciences. So ya, they may be clueless regarding themselves, but it's precisely that lack of bias that allows the expert to render an opinion on someone else.


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