Three Things People Say That Annoy Psychologists – Psychology Today

Liza Summer/Pexels

Source: Liza Summer/Pexels

I often dread telling people I’m a psychologist, particularly outside of the office. Although I’m proud of my profession, I know that people often hold stereotypes and misgivings about what I do. These can be based on negative personal experiences with the field.

It’s certainly the case that not all therapists are good ones, sometimes committing errors, engaging in unethical practices, or lacking important skills. There’s no excuse for poorly done therapy, and my heart goes out to people who have had this experience. Other times, however, people’s stereotypes of psychologists are based on what they see in the media, which frequently depicts mental health professionals as weird or blundering at best, and unethical or even malevolent at worst.

As a result of these influences, people often say things to psychologists that I’ve heard many of my colleagues characterize as “annoying.” Personally, however, I’m glad they say them. It gives us a chance to address their questions and concerns. In that spirit, here are three things that people say that sometimes annoy psychologists and some facts about the field to go along with each one.

1. “Are you analyzing me?”

When I meet someone outside of a professional context, and they find out I’m a psychologist, they almost always react in one of two ways. Many people immediately tell me about their problems. I quickly learn about their estranged daughter or their cousin, who always seemed depressed.