by Dr. Juliet and Dr. Nisrine
Do you have questions for a psychologist? Are you afraid or embarrassed to see one? Well, we may have the answers you need! \
Do you think people who study psychology or work in the field will eventually develop psychological problems?
Your question is a very interesting one as it is a common one in the field of psychology. People that are attracted to the field are often people who are seeking some understanding of themselves, as well as having a genuine desire to help others. However, there are a lot of myths surrounding this topic as some people do believe that if you listen to problems all day, this will lead you to become psychologically ill. Becoming overly involved with clients, exhausting too much energy on giving and not receiving and having poor boundaries are all risk factors, which if not attended to, can undoubtedly lead someone who is immersed in the field to develop certain psychological symptoms. With regards to studying psychology, it has been our experience that some students and trainees are initially over enthusiastic and lack experience, thus come to magnify certain symptoms that they or close people around them experience, which causes them to see all the negative aspects of psychology instead of the positive ones. It’s important for students and trainees to talk with their professors and supervisors to help them gain a more realistic perspective. To maintain a healthy balance in life and not feel a burnout effect, one of the first things that we advise new practitioners and implement ourselves, as psychologists, is self care. Self care is taking care of one’s psychological and physical needs by time-managing, discussing the stress of work, consulting with other professionals, etc.
Why do humans feel the need to be loved by someone and get married, why can’t we live independently?
Struggling for love and happiness
It seems that you are confusing love and independence. The two can complement each other and not necessarily be in competition. Love is an innate need. We all have the need to be loved and show others our love, as it makes us feel needed and special. Love also comes in many shapes and forms; family, friends, significant others, etc. Individuals can be independent yet still need love. Independence is a style of life, a desire or a wish, but love is a must. Being independent does not mean you have to be alone, tough and isolated from people. An individual who is independent knows how and when to love. Not everybody should or needs to get married if they don’t feel that this will make them happy but everyone needs to love and be loved. Also, committing in a marriage can be a wonderful experience and it does not mean you have to give up your personal independence. Marriage is a choice but love is a need.
If someone is socially awkward or socially anxious, what little tricks can be applied to help them overcome this?
Individuals have different personalities. Some love to be around other people and are “social butterflies”, while others prefer to be in the company of only close friends and family members. Also, some individuals don’t like to be around others at all, and some don’t know how to be alone and always need to be around others. The key is to find a balance and understand your personality, keeping in mind that you need to be comfortable enough to be alone, and comfortable enough to be in social gatherings. Being a little socially awkward or anxious is not a problem as long as it doesn’t interfere with your obligations and expectations. If you find yourself avoiding social gatherings, feeling anxious prior to leaving the house, making excuses and avoiding people at work, in malls or big gatherings, then what you are experiencing is social anxiety. Interacting with the outside world is a must and it is unrealistic to think otherwise. In a social gathering, if you find yourself to be a little more anxious than usual, make sure you sit next to somebody you know, and mingle with people that you are comfortable with. Before the social event, take joy in preparing yourself, ask who else will be going and you can even go with a friend instead of driving alone. Some of the other things you can do to help yourself relax when anxious are: relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, and yoga. If the anxiety does not decrease despite all of your attempts then it’s probably time to see a psychologist who can help you with Cognitive Behavioral techniques.
Why do you think people cheat on their wives/husbands?
Living with a cheater
There are many reasons why people decide to cheat on their wives/husbands. Some people cheat because they know they can, and also know that they will not have any consequences as a result. Some other reasons revolve around the fact that they are either unhappy, dissatisfied, or have lost respect for their spouse. Men and women, however, often cheat for different reasons, given their biological makeup. Men usually cheat because they are visually stimulated and, unconsciously, are testing to see how much they can get away with. Women, on the other hand, often cheat because of their need for affection and intimacy. This, however, is not always the case, as each individual, male or female, has his/her personal reasons. Regardless of what the justification or reason is, individuals who cheat think that this is the only way to make up for what they are emotionally lacking. However, what they need to realize is that cheating will only hurt them in the end. Cheating may become a lifestyle as it involves manipulation, lying and a constant fear of being caught. In addition, the consequences of being caught may be huge on various levels. Individuals have their various reasons for cheating but they need to understand that it is never the solution to unhappiness, dissatisfaction, or the inability to control oneself. Individuals who are unhappy should be honest with their partners and give him/her a chance to make things better. Inviting someone else in your relationship/life without the consent of your partner is unfair and only fuels the fire. Remember, you can always seek professional help in the form of couples and/or marital therapy as it will assist you in gaining a healthy perspective and understanding your options.
For psychological advice, send your questions to [email protected]. Please note that not all questions can be published. Dr. Juliet and Dr. Nisrine are bilingual and bicultural expert psychologists on various personal and social issues.