Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I am not a mind-reader

I have a masters degree in psychology. For some reasons, my friends and family believe that me having this degree gives me superhuman powers to read people's minds and "psych" them out.

I hate when I meet someone new and we talk about our professions and the first thing they say when they hear that I have a MA in psychology is "Are you reading my mind right now?". While I was in school, my response to this was usually something like "No, our professors haven't taught us how to do that yet". And it was usually met with a polite laugh.

My friends often ask me the same question. They expect that since I have this degree that I am constantly "psyching them out", to use one of my friend's terms for it. My response to my friends and family who ask me this question is usually "I don't analyze my friends and family". Which is the truth. It would not only be unethical to be a therapist to people close to me, but it would also be quite frankly, exhausting!

The truth is, being educated in psychology only gives additional tools to the people who are in the field, people who usually go into the field because they are especially good at reading people in the first place. But I have friends who have no training whatsoever in psychology who are far more skilled at reading people than I am. Therefore, I think the only thing it comes down to is that therapists have a large amount of compassion, patients, and a fundamental drive to help people. And in my case, too weak of a stomach to be a nurse.

I can't speak for all therapists, but as for myself, I am not going to read your mind, analyze your every move, or try to "psych" you out. But hopefully people will find in me compassion and a friend willing to listen. 


  1. You're lucky. I'm studying to become a biomedical analyst, which have nothing to do with your degree. Yet, I just can't help myself but try to psych out everybody I meet and I find it annoying because I often judge people because of this. Any tip?

  2. Hmm. I'd just say try use your ability to read people to help you understand and empathize with people instead of judging what you see. I dunno, it can be hard to do! Best of luck with your schooling, that sounds way too difficult for my brain!!

  3. I'm very judgmental about actions rather than people.

    P.S. could you switch off the Captcha?