Armchair Psychoanalysis


I classified this as a rant, but as rants go, it’s not really that vehement. It’s more like old Andy Rooney’s, “You know what I don’t like?” Armchair psychoanalysis. I have been given a couple of doses of it recently by people who don’t know me all that well, nor do they know much about the situation they seek to advise me about. Even more interesting, however, has been the wealth of opinion on the subject of mandatory reporting of abuse over at Steve’s site. Heck, I understand what they’re trying to say, but most of them were looking at what they thought was best instead of what was actually legal. Sometimes, indeed, those two things aren’t the same. In this case, I’m not convinced that’s true, however. I just find it a bit alarming that so many people seem to think they have the ability to psychoanalyze others to the degree that they do. I suppose a site like Steve’s invites it. I guess I don’t wax controversial too much over here, and that’s fine with me.

Truth be told, my husband is one of the worst as far as armchair psychoanalysis goes. I think he’s aware of it, and I think he actually enjoys it. I don’t think it even bothers him so much when someone else does it to him. However, I admit to becoming if not angry, then certainly peeved when some schmoe who doesn’t know his or her ass from her armpit tells me what’s wrong with me and how I can fix it. There was a famous rabbi once who said, “physican, heal thyself.” If it’s annoying coming from Steve, then you can bet it’s incredibly irritating coming from a stranger. Especially a stranger who appears to be mentally unbalanced in his or her own right. I think the best thing a friend can do when someone close to them is going through something painful is to be there and listen. On the other hand, I think if you don’t really know the person all that well, perhaps you ought to bite your tongue — there are just so many layers to people, and you probably don’t have all the facts. No matter how much you think you know or want to help, you just wind up being a nuisance — sort of this “I know what your problem is, here’s what you need to do.” If done in the wrong way, I think it can be harmful, and I shouldn’t wonder if real mental health officials don’t get extremely upset over this issue.

Update: My fault for not being clear, but I had reasons. If you think this applies to you, ask me first before you assume.


3 thoughts on “Armchair Psychoanalysis

  1. People relating their own experiences to you vis a vis your public postings on the internet are meant as discourse…You can't control the flow of information in the universe….If one chooses to post personal information in a blog on the internet, inviting comments, one cannot then say that they do not like receiving comments….If this is truly private information, perhaps it should not be posted…I am sorry if it offended you if I related some personal information to you…I have been married for many years, and am not relating anything I don't have firsthand knowledge of….your personal information, while somewhat different from my own experience does not offend me…In fact, you are an excellent writer, and I enjoy reading what you have to say. My son, who is very math and science oriented, has used the information on your blog for some Language Arts projects he's had and said he wished he's had LA teachers who were more like you…

    As far as Ms. Eden goes, I showed her blog to some mental health professionals and some school-related counselors, ESAP/SAFE specialists, etc. who I have known for many, many years…Thay ALL indicated that her repetitive fixation with the issues one finds on there (I'm not going to list them here…) is, at best,extremely unhealthy, and that her overall tone was "narcissistic, immature and vitriolic"…They hoped that she was NOT, (or would never) working with children or young adults, especially in any kind of "ongoing educational setting"…Thank you….I took your advice and asked some people who are better credentialed in this area than I am (my M.S. degree is in Labor Relations)…and this is what they had to say…

    I find your husban'd blog to be extremely insightful, informative and fabulously written. He has a gift for presenting multiple sides of an issue with grace and skill. That is why it was a surprise to many of us that he presented the information from Ms. Eden in the manner he did, especially, since it is unsubstatnitated information in the first place. A couple of us apologized for our rather mean tone regarding our postings on that subject. Many of us are concerned about the demise of healthcare services for lower income individuals, and have the same right to be concerned about that as Ms. Eden has to rant about sex ed. for kids, abortion, the Terry Schiavo case, and the parties she goes to…

  2. Just to be clear to anyone who happens by, I wasn't talking about you Cappuccina, although I can see why you might have thought I was. I was vague on purpose.

  3. Dana –

    Thanks for the clarification…and for not banning my post because of the typos! I am often typing quickly in between doing things without my glasses!

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