Talk to many bosses of younger employees, from 18 to just under 40 (which takes in Generation Y and Z workers as well) and you will hear many of the same complaints about them being chronically late; uninspired to do work that isn't always exciting; more effective when working in teams than when working alone; attention, reward, and praise-seeking; and always looking for technology solutions (the next killer app) when the answer is to apply more elbow grease to the project. Why, if we narrow the lens of criticism of the below 30-crowd in particular, do we hear so many complaints beyond just managers and supervisors but from other certified, credentialed, experienced professionals, who feel they are second-guessed, argued with, ignored, discounted for "being old," or challenged for their expertise by people who have none of their own. Physicians now post signs in their exam rooms that declare, "Please don't confuse your Google search with my medical degree." Few … [Read more...] about Why Do So Many Young People Doubt Real Authority Figures?
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Psychoanalyst Karl Menninger (1893 – 1990) is often regarded as an important figure in the history of research on self-harm. But what were Menninger’s key ideas, and how do they influence our views of self-harm today? This text is a slightly amended extract from Psyche on the Skin: A History of Self-harm (Reaktion, 2017). Karl A. Menninger in 1918 Source: H. W. Taylor of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Until the publication of Armando Favazza’s Bodies Under Siege in 1987, Karl A. Menninger’s Man Against Himself (1938) was the most well-known psychiatric text on self-inflicted injury. As a committed Freudian, with a zeal for introducing psychology to a general audience, Menninger interpreted suicidal and self-injurious behaviour as evidence of Freud’s “death instinct”. The death instinct theory had emerged from the devastating impact of the First World War. Freud concluded from this that human actions were governed by a constant conflict … [Read more...] about How 1930s Psychoanalysts Thought Self-Harm Explained War
In the first part of this article, we concluded we human beings do not really know a great deal about our universe and do not know what is and should be real in many respects in our lives. So much of indeterminacy, relativism, and mysteries such as quantum theory surround our existence. We concluded further that the process of trying to know what is most real is a huge psychological challenge for all of us, and that it is wise to know that much of our lives are based on our choices and not known truths. It seems absurd and comical that there is still an endless number of people and institutions who tell you for sure what reality is about in every aspect of life– what you have to accept as sacrosanct, how you must perform, and even what thoughts and feelings you may/may not entertain even in the democratic privacy of your own mind. Each of these commanding sources insists that they hold the Truth. Fortunately, at the same time there are always people who are wise … [Read more...] about Knowing, or at Least Really Trying to Know, What’s Real
The Pilgrim by René Magritte (1966) Source: René Magritte Museum/Used with permission Like many writers, I let my curiosity lead me to my next subject of exploration, and lately, I’ve been mighty curious about what’s commonly called "impostor syndrome." Leaving aside those afflicted with malignant narcissism, who doesn’t have moments when they feel like a fake? First described by psychologists Suzanne Imes and Pauline Rose Clance in the 1970s, impostor syndrome refers to those who are unable to internalize and accept their success. Rather than owning their ability to achieve, they believe their success is due to luck or some other external factor, and fear they will be unmasked as a fraud. Men and women suffer equally from this debilitating condition. Minority groups, those raised in families that expect high achievement, and perfectionists are more at risk. But let’s look beyond psychological origins and feel inside the experience itself. 1. … [Read more...] about The Imposter Syndrome and Your Hidden Self
Source: Canterbury/CreativeCommons The expression “low man on the totem pole”—a colloquial expression signifying someone of little importance—is actually irrelevant in First Nations culture. I argue it should become irrelevant to our thinking as well. Figures on any totem are not arranged in a specific hierarchy and the most important figure can sometimes be the lowest one. One thing I have learned is that we ought to be unwilling to easily accept things for what they appear to be. Let’s investigate another metaphor. One might hear the adage, “canary in a coal mine” to signify the unlucky plight of what is arguably one of nature’s most charming birds. Canaries are acutely sensitive to gases such as carbon monoxide and methane that harbor in coalmines. “Canary in a coal mine” is not simply a figure of speech. In days gone by, canaries were actually used to detect gas breeches in various coal mines. If the canary … [Read more...] about That Time I Almost Wrecked My Personal Purpose