Woe To The Amateur Psychologist

People are fascinating.

Why do some love the outdoors, while others loath a night under the stars?

Questions abound and a sound rational seems doubtful.

Making the hat of an amateur psychologists an all the more attractive one to wear. Venturing on a safari where the attractions are outrageous hypotheses around the motives and intents of others seems very grand.

And while this is a fine pursuit for past historical figures, it is an act of self sabotage in one’s personal relationships.

Dave Kashen illustrates the potential harm in the below example.

You notice that a team member who used to come in at 9:00am and leave at 8:00pm has started coming in at 10:00am and leaving by 7:00pm.

Wearing the hat of amateur psychologist, and crossing the net:

  • Stating your interpretations as facts: “You just don’t care anymore.”
  • Stating their intentions: “You’re trying to get on my nerves.”
  • Stating their feelings: “You’re frustrated about this project.”
  • Stating their observations: “You obviously realize you’re the only one leaving before 8pm.”

Instead of wearing the hat of an amateur psychologist, staying on your side of the net:

  • Stating your thoughts as thoughts (not facts): “I’ve noticed you’ve been coming in later and leaving earlier, and it makes me wonder if you’re less engaged.”
  • Expressing your own feelings: “I’m frustrated that you’ve been coming in later and leaving earlier, and worried about your level of engagement.”
  • Stating your intentions: “I’d like to make sure you’re fully engaged.”

Leave the interpretation of intent to the original source, and let your safaris be filled with something that proves to be a less dangerous pursuit.

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