SeaSquirt

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How do you even respond to that? I've literally gotten some variation of those responses dozens of times from people who learn I'm studying psychology.

I laughed once, "No, that's a psychic!"
"I mean are you trying to figure my mind out?"

Are there any good or witty answers? If you're not exhibiting obvious abnormal behavior, I'm probably not thinking twice about you. :laugh:

I don't even know if they're trying to be humorous or if they're serious.
 

scienceisbeauty

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a) No, actually...but I can see how someone like you might think that.

b) Your question is the typical sort from individuals who have only a superficial understanding of the field.

c) No. I have much more important issues with which to concern myself.

d) I don't need to "read your thoughts/mind/body/whatever" to tell you're dim-witted, your question, for example, speaks for itself.


I don't know - it depends on how/why their asking.
 

Ollie123

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"I'm off duty. Give me $150 and then I'll give it a try".

Similarly (only works in certain contexts).

I told a hairdresser who asked this I won't analyze her in supercuts if she wouldn't try and cut my hair if she came into the clinic for therapy. I imagine this could work for an accountant, bartender, salesman, whatever other professional interaction you might be having.
 

pinknyyy

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Oh goodness I hate that... "So now you'll be able to look at me and understand me right?". Nope. You're too screwed up even for me. And please stop thinking those dirty thoughts... I can hear you.

Sigh. I hate when people think they're funny.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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I got this last night actually....and then the woman repositioned herself where we were sitting and said, "Okay....so now I'm going to tell you all of my problems, and you can solve them, right?" ....and she wasn't kidding.
 

islandgirl1

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"Yes and I really don't like what I see"

said that to the bf's brother when we first met. He looked worried. And I laughed.
 

psybee

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i just tell 'em "actually, i'm interested on research" (which is true, along with the clinical). science ed is so poor, saying you do something researchy either shuts that part of the conversation down, or it excites it in a good way. it's also a good way to get an annoying guy to stop hitting on you.

if they are annoying i'll add a line about my interest in cancer or end of life. now THAT shuts 'em up!
 

Cosmo75

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"sorry you're not that interesting...which is a good thing" (2nd part of that statement is optional :D

"I bombed 'mind reading 505' in grad school"

I like the give me $150 and I'll give it a try, I'll have to use it :smuggrin:
 

PsychappA

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How about this one... how do people deal with:

"Oh... well I can give you plenty of material to work with!"

"I could be your first patient"

"You can finally figure out why I'm so messed up"

And other variants of this theme?

(BTW-Do people actully think they are being original with these comments?)
 

MaddieMay

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Honestly, the vibe I get off people who do this to me is fear. People who are afraid say stupid things. I use the "Not unless you've got 150 bucks to spare," myself.
 

BamaPsych

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If I had a dollar for everytime I heard...:

"Can you do your internship living with me? I will be plenty of work."
"When you become a Psychologist do I get discounted therapy?"
"Hurry up and finish so you can fix our family!"

I also was getting my hair cut the other day. The woman was very friendly and we had the usual small talk...she asked what my major was and I told her. After a 5 minute silence she then asked bluntly if I could help her figure out some of her marital problems and began telling me her and her husband's problems.
 

Cosmo75

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I also was getting my hair cut the other day. The woman was very friendly and we had the usual small talk...she asked what my major was and I told her. After a 5 minute silence she then asked bluntly if I could help her figure out some of her marital problems and began telling me her and her husband's problems.
Oh, I hear you on this one. I've had the most random people start spilling their guts to me. My favorite was the girl at Starbucks. I was like, seriously just make my coffee :D
 

Markp

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"Do accountants take work home for fun? I don't either."

"Yes. You lose....so just give up now."
Actually... sad but true... some accountants think of the jobs as "fun", and do just that!


Who am I to judge? I'll analyze instead.

Mark
 

Markp

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If I had a dollar for everytime I heard...:

"Can you do your internship living with me? I will be plenty of work."
I can't tell you how many women ask me this!!! It's bizarre... it's no wonder the APA had to include no less than 3 sections (10.05-10.08) of the ethics code devoted to this!

Mark
 

parto123

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"Do accountants take work home for fun? I don't either."

"Yes. You lose....so just give up now."


Well, this isn’t entirely honest. While most professions don’t bring their work into their personal lives, this is not the case for many psychologists. Raising their children, dealing with spouses and friends, etc. This is the reason for the old stereotype of psychologists having messed up kids. I actually recently had a friend of mine who is a psychologist respond to something I said with: “well, you obviously have a need to feel this way.” Everyone listening rolled their eyes.
 

Marissa4usa

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This is the reason for the old stereotype of psychologists having messed up kids. I actually recently had a friend of mine who is a psychologist respond to something I said with: "well, you obviously have a need to feel this way." Everyone listening rolled their eyes.
Well, I am wondering, isn't it a psychologist's natural inclination to not make the mistakes they see their clients do everyday...because they tend to have better insight-even though they are aware that they might not succeed all the time?
And if I was an accountant and listened to someone making very unwise financial decisions, I would probably be inclined to give some advice...whether asked for it or not.
 

apumic

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"Yes, but I'm not telling you what I found out. I think it's better that way."
 

AlairaK

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I used to be the psychology tutor at the tutoring center in my undergrad university.

A student ACTUALLY came in for tutoring one day, and when I asked her what she needed help with, she ACTUALLY said,

"Well, I have this friend..." and proceeded to embark upon a 20 minute summarization of her perception of her friend, and wanted me to tell her "what was wrong with someone like that"
omg. ew.
 

CitizenPanda

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When I was still a freshman in college and had taken only a couple of courses in psych, a friend actually emailed me a long letter about the problems his sister was having with her crazy husband... he asked if I could forward it to one of my professors to ask what's wrong with him!
 
OP
S

SeaSquirt

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I think if I'm not going to see the person again or often (ex: Starbucks barista, trainer giving me a few free sessions at the gym), I'll just tell people I'm an accounting student or something. :laugh:
 

CitizenPanda

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I also get asked to interpret people's dreams all the time. I'm sure there's a lot of (perhaps questionable) writings out there on this topic, but it's really not what I'm into - or what we I've been taught! A professor of mine once said he gets asked this all the time and he just makes stuff up..
 

Ilovecows

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"Yes, but I'm not telling you what I found out. I think it's better that way."
LOL !! LOL!!! This is absolutely great. I'm going to use it.
 

baylordude

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are you reading me?

already did. it was a dumb story.


are you trying to get inside my head?

as a matter of fact i am. open your mouth, and i'll start with my dominant foot.
 

EquestriAnn

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I got that tonight, I said I was a psych major in college and the guy asks if I can help him out. Do people honestly think that a B.A. in psych makes me a qualified clinician? If you're willing to take a 22-year-old's un-expert advice, you must be desperate.... :eek:
 

islandgirl1

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are you reading me?

already did. it was a dumb story.


are you trying to get inside my head?

as a matter of fact i am. open your mouth, and i'll start with my dominant foot.
omg :laugh:
 

michalita

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I usually take it as a compliment that someone respects the field I'm in, and use kind humor to deflect it. If they're totally serious, I do tell them that 1) I'm not licensed and, 2), if I was, ethics would prohibit me from treating friends/family/outside of formal therapy. Sometimes I'll suggest that they seek professional treatment if they think they'd benefit from it.

Yes, some people are ignorant, some people are afraid -- I just don't think it's worth getting upset or judgmental about it. How many people do you know who have doctor (MD/DO) friends who are constantly being asked for free medical advice? Some of it is to be expected...
 

moonflwr

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I get the "Oh good, once you're a psychologist you can fix our family" all the time from my family. I'm thinking that if my neither of my cousins (one with an MSW and one with a masters in counseling) can fix our family, there's really no hope left.
 

dontknowitall

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Honestly, I tell people that I am a scientist and when pressed further I reveal that my research area is in psychology. This confuses people long enough for me to find someone actually interseting to talk to!
 

pinknyyy

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I get the "Oh good, once you're a psychologist you can fix our family" all the time from my family. I'm thinking that if my neither of my cousins (one with an MSW and one with a masters in counseling) can fix our family, there's really no hope left.
Haha yeah I get that fix our family stuff all the time...I just tell them it would cost them too much. That usually ends that convo!
 

mftPsychSoc

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I also get asked to interpret people's dreams all the time. I'm sure there's a lot of (perhaps questionable) writings out there on this topic, but it's really not what I'm into - or what we I've been taught! A professor of mine once said he gets asked this all the time and he just makes stuff up..
Yeah, a few of my friends have asked me to interpret their dreams before. I broke down how almost everything relates to unconscious sexual desires for their mom. Freaked them out, and I've never been asked again:p
 

baylordude

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I usually take it as a compliment that someone respects the field I'm in, and use kind humor to deflect it.


the responses i made up aren't something i'd actually say. this thread just seemed to be a good opportunity to be a smart alec. :)
 

WannaBeDrMe

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the worst is dating new guys who find out what I do/have done... it weeds out the unstable ones pretty quickly...

"I know you probably think I'm just crazy but..."

"well, this is something you can't learn in a book..."

etc, etc, etc

awesome
 

Therapist4Chnge

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:laugh:

I've half joked that I want to give a small battery of assessments to potential dates. I've mentioned it in person and some laugh, some get quiet, and some ask me if they get to 'do the ink blot one'. Of course!
 

WannaBeDrMe

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:laugh:

I've half joked that I want to give a small battery of assessments to potential dates. I've mentioned it in person and some laugh, some get quiet, and some ask me if they get to 'do the ink blot one'. Of course!
Don't joke... make it happen and then publish. :)

In all seriousness, I find it difficult to talk about my career-status with new guys... or even old guys. I really don't talk about it with anyone other than colleagues. I guess that's ethically how it should be... but I sort of wish that people could "get it" more easily.

My long day is typically different (not better or worse) than their long day... especially when I dated the tax lawyer. ha.

I've found my parents and sister toss this out to me more than anyone. Any daughter-nagging I offer... they attribute to my work in the field. It's been one of the most difficult things I've had to deal with since I announced my plans for grad school so many years ago... even though most of my family work in healthcare... sometimes they definitely make comments jabbing at me over concerns that I'm seeing them as something other than family...
 

michalita

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I suppose it's easier for me when I say I'm a student of social work b/c people's concept of social work is so off-base or they have no idea what social workers do that it ends the conversation there. :) I do get lots of jokes about how poor I'll be -- mmm, really appreciate those ;) It's a way to get a free lunch, though -- ha!
 

pingouin

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I suppose it's easier for me when I say I'm a student of social work b/c people's concept of social work is so off-base or they have no idea what social workers do that it ends the conversation there. :) I do get lots of jokes about how poor I'll be -- mmm, really appreciate those ;) It's a way to get a free lunch, though -- ha!
In the early stages, the social work comments were about how I wouldn't make any money, how could I want to rip children from their homes ("that's just not right"), and subjecting myself to "picking people up and putting them on the paddy wagon" and various other derogatory comments about different populations.

At this point in my career, as I've moved on to therapy, I definitely get the "are you analyzing me" thing. Actually, I got it during lunch at a med school interview from one of the other applicants. I typically answer with some version of "I'd be happy to if you want to come to my office and pay me my full fee".
 

PinkSoil

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Yeah, a few of my friends have asked me to interpret their dreams before. I broke down how almost everything relates to unconscious sexual desires for their mom. Freaked them out, and I've never been asked again:p
At my previous job, my friend/coworker would actually type out his dreams and hand them to me in the morning!

I like your method.
 

MaddieMay

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My tendency toward mercy for these poor ignorant souls stems from my previous ignorance about the difference between psychiatry/psychology/social work. We all have an opportunity to educate people, and as long as you're not talking to people at a bar, the information your provide just might penetrate. Take advantage of it, for all of our sakes! :)

My beloved but silly EM doc sister told me I ought to get a degree in social work, not knowing the specific differences between psychology and social work. And she's a freaking doctor!

She also informed me that a "Life Coach" is more helpful than a psychologist because "they are focused on action instead of why a person is so messed up." If she weren't six states away I would have been temped to strangle her.

Who puts the "Behavior" in CBT and DBT? As my older sister she thinks I couldn't possibly know more than her. Arrgghh!! :)
 

Ollie123

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how could I want to rip children from their homes ("that's just not right"),
Clearly that person led a pretty darn sheltered life.

Do they think social workers just drive around, pick a house at random, kick down the door and steal their kids? All the folks I know who did it say there are occasionally mistakes, but even half the people who DO get their kids back probably shouldn't.

I'm sure it isn't easy at the time, but I think getting kids out of some of those homes would be one of the more rewarding parts of social work. My mother did home health care for awhile and I used to hear all kinds of stories about her ripping kids away from mothers and father who had brought their kids to the brink of death either through neglect or outright abuse. Just wish the system was better set up to care for them.
 

RileyG

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She also informed me that a "Life Coach" is more helpful than a psychologist because "they are focused on action instead of why a person is so messed up." If she weren't six states away I would have been temped to strangle her.
This was in an article (Newsweek?) that someone posted the link to about a month ago. Naturally, the article was written by a life coach. I wonder if maybe she read that and that's where she got her information from?
 

Psyched77

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Clearly that person led a pretty darn sheltered life.

Do they think social workers just drive around, pick a house at random, kick down the door and steal their kids? All the folks I know who did it say there are occasionally mistakes, but even half the people who DO get their kids back probably shouldn't.

I'm sure it isn't easy at the time, but I think getting kids out of some of those homes would be one of the more rewarding parts of social work. My mother did home health care for awhile and I used to hear all kinds of stories about her ripping kids away from mothers and father who had brought their kids to the brink of death either through neglect or outright abuse. Just wish the system was better set up to care for them.
Not to mention that there are SO many different kinds of social workers...not just child welfare workers.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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We all have an opportunity to educate people, and as long as you're not talking to people at a bar, the information your provide just might penetrate. Take advantage of it, for all of our sakes! :)
I could publish a "Mental Health For Dummies" pamphlet! Tell me you all wouldn't buy them in bulk to give to people who have no idea about each profession's scope of practice.
 

Quynh2007

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my sisters actually commented to others when they ask "so before you can ask her what you're thinking?...she's got you all figured out"
 

JockNerd

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If it's a pretty woman, "Not quite what I had in mind, but close."
:barf:!

I'm visiting home right now, and running into people who I haven't seen in a few years. I'm getting every comment listed in this tread about four times a day.
 

psychsebs

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I could publish a "Mental Health For Dummies" pamphlet! Tell me you all wouldn't buy them in bulk to give to people who have no idea about each profession's scope of practice.
when is it being published? I'll take 10,000:D