Brutal Honesty Is Just As Good As Therapy

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No difference between psychiatrist and myself

I make jokes that probably do not feel like jokes to some people. That is my personality and I can’t help it if someone doesn’t understand the difference between witty repartee and just being mean.

“You’re being an ass.” This, my friends, is the ultimate girl insult. In my 25 years of life I’ve never heard that phrase come from anyone other than a girl who was peeved at me. It’s been muttered to me more times than I care to count and very rarely do I agree with the sentiment. Am I being a dickhead if I don’t realize it? Most men I meet right off of the bat don’t like me right away.

I’d say it takes anywhere from two to three meetings with any male acquaintance before they realize that my particular brand of humor can be misconstrued as insulting. It’s playful and calculated but it’s not meant to be polarizing or hurtful. Busting someones balls, is, in this humble narrator’s opinion, the only way to separate fringe friends from actual, real-life friends that you want to hang out with. People who you would actively seek out to hit a bar or a ballgame.

Maybe I am an ass and I just don’t realize it. But from my end, insulting someone is a sincere form of flattery. If I don’t give you shit I probably don’t like you very much. I’ve gone so far as to tell people, straight up, that I do not like them. Isn’t telling someone straight to their face that you don’t like them and don’t want to speak to them better than being fake and pretending to enjoy their company? We’d all be better off if we could just leave it at that. Do you know how much time we’d save not standing around with our thumbs in our asses having painfully banal conversations?

People get depressed and the reason for said depression varies on a case to case basis. Oftentimes a person suffering from depression doesn’t realize that they have a problem. It’s difficult to self-diagnose yourself with a disease unless you get guidance from a licensed professional. But other than an exchange of money, what is the difference between seeing a psychiatrist and just talking to a friend about the problems you’re having?

At one point or another, every single person has woken up and wished that they were dead. Okay, maybe that was a little drastic. I’ve never woken up and wished I was buried six feet under the ground. But I have woken up and said out loud, to no one except myself, “Wow. Fuck everything.”

I realize that years of intensive training goes into becoming a psychiatrist. But I’m constantly overanalyzing things and I’m fairly certain I could be a shrink. That Seinfeld episode where Jerry makes fun of the dermatologist for not being a real doctor? I feel like that episode could have also been done with a shrink. Does anyone else ever drive their car around town and rehash conversations you’ve had with people? I’m still not entirely convinced Dr. Phil is a licensed practitioner. He seems like a dude who pulled a Catch Me If You Can on everyone and printed some degrees out in his home office.

I can read people fairly easily. It is a gift and a curse. “Huh. That comment about everything being fine was not the truth. She was just trying to end the conversation.” Someone evading a particular topic? I know it almost immediately. A liar in my midst? Yeah, I can usually tell.

I would just like to know what the difference is between a shrink who gets paid two hundred dollars an hour to listen to people’s problems and myself. Because when I evaluate a situation and then give my opinion on it I get skewered for it. But that same conversation happens in a psychiatrist’s office and the person getting treated walks out feeling refreshed and at ease. When I get asked my opinion the person usually leaves exasperated and disgusted. I get called names like “judgmental prick” because I think I know what people are thinking. It’s really not that hard to do. A psychiatrist in my same situation gets called a hero, a lifesaver, or a shoulder to lean on.

You want to a see a psychiatrist for your problems? Fine. That is totally, one thousand percent acceptable. I just think you can get the same answers from me. I honestly think I could do just as good a job as a licensed psychiatrist. Why you ask? Because I’m real. I’ll give it to you straight. I may not have tact. I may not have the melodic, soothing voice or ambient mood music that most psychiatrists have.

But I can tell you this. I’ll give you the straight dope and I’ll probably be able to give you a solution to whatever problem you might be having. Is it the answer you want to hear? No, but the truth isn’t always glamorous. The point of the matter is this – I’m honest. And I think I’m just as good at doing it as someone with a degree in psychology who only got to where they are now because they read a few more books than me.

Cite the plethora of reasons why I’m off base on this. I don’t give a shit. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that my advice – which is real, unfiltered, and honest – is any worse than something you’d get from a shrink who talks to you while you lay on a leather sofa and sip hot tea.

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