Sometimes when I introduce myself, I don’t state I’m a psychologist by training. I have strayed far from the academia realm. Happily. Intentionally. I’ve spoken out before about the field of psychology. I’m a psychologist skeptical of the field. Very skeptical. Yet, I am very much a psychologist. I truly think like one. I approach situations like one. Yet, I also minimize that part of myself.
Once people know I’m a psychologist they treat me like one. They believe I’m analyzing them. They think I’m messing with them. What a horrible stereotype of psychologists. We truly do not wish to manipulate every situation.
Of course, every once in a while I do remind people I’m a psychologist who specialized in coding social interactions. I tell people I recorded interactions and viewed them frame by frame. I looked at smiles, laughs, and distance. As well, as a few other things. When I tell people that I smile and tell them, as I pat their arm, that I’m obviously not doing that.
I do have to remind people on occasion, as we sit in zoom meetings, that I’m not coding them. Although, Covid has been a great opportunity to see how diffused teams interact and how new interactions form.
Categories: Culture, identity, Leadership, mental health, Psychology, society
Just tell them you only analyze people when you are being PAID to do so – it’s a lot of work, and you don’t do it for free.
That should reassure them.
Funny, I never think anything in particular when someone introduces themselves as a psychologist, therapist, psychotherapist etc. The same way I don’t expect that an architect will be looking at the built of my house, or that a dentist will be looking at my teeth, although they might, who knows.