Archive for January, 2007

Please diagnose my issues

Please diagnose my issues


I’d like to rant a little bit about a
very specific behavior I’ve observed in people.  It often happens
amidst inter-personal conflict.  One side filters the conflict through
their diagnostic lens and his or her adversary always comes out having
some sort of psychological impairment.  Usually some kind of impairment
that goes undetected by the impaired person.   His or her ___________
(insert pain, upbringing, worldview, burned out state, ignorance) must
be what is clouding them from the truth and seeing how terribly wrong
he or she is.  After all it isn’t possible that the other side might
actually have some legitimacy to their perspective.

Those that
think they know people attempt to diagnose other peoples issues from
passive observation.  Those that actually know people understand that
it takes a lot more than passive observation to discover emotional
problems.  Even simple people can have complicated problems.

Another thing these folks miss is that interpersonal conflict impairs
judgment.  If I am really upset with someone my perspective is going to
be so skewed I have very little chance of accurately diagnosing my
adversaries “issues.”  It is the height of arrogance to think you are
so intuitive and so emotionally detached that you can detect the
psychological issues that lie beneath the conflict.  I think it is fair
enough to have some theories about what is going on.  Acting on them
judiciously could help deescalate the situation.  It is another thing
to spread your theories among mutual friends and colleagues in a
campaign to win them to your side. 

It is also interesting to
observe that these amateur psychologists (and some of them aren’t
amateurs), proclaim to be very skilled at reading in between the
lines.  They are so skilled that they can translate the real hidden
meaning in people’s words.  This is a dangerous pseudo-skill to have
when you are paranoid about people thinking bad thoughts about you. 
Such people are constantly being offended by words that were never
uttered.  Some, but not all of these people have grown accustomed to
wearing masks and pretending to be different people in different
contexts.  They assume most people are just like them and rarely say
what they really mean, thus the real meaning of words needs be
interpreted. 

As someone who generally means what he says and says what he means I
find myself perpetually frustrated by those who constantly sift through
my words to find the real meaning.  I’m sick and tired of people who
won’t take constructive steps to resolve conflict but would rather
trade diagnoses with their friends. 

Thank you…I’ve been wanting to rant about this for awhile now. 

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