Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Puberty of the Mind

After re-reading my last post, I started worrying that I might have come off as just a tad bit superior. This, of course, is a problem because I never want to mislead my readers into thinking I’m anything I’m not…and if there’s one thing I am not, it’s arrogant; I’ve always believed my humility is one of my best traits (and I have a lot of good traits to choose from so that should tell you something). So, just to clarify, it’s not that I think I’m all that great…it’s that I think other people are just that bad.

This week’s evidence of just how stupid people can be is especially aggravating to me. At the top of my list of things no intelligent person should ever say is the simple phrase, “you always think you’re right”. You’ve certainly heard this little gem before (and I hope it’s been said to you and not by you)… the situation is usually something like a debate or argument when one person has a command of facts and reasoned opinions while the other person is…uh…well…“open-minded”. The beautiful thing about open-minded people is that they’re always willing to share with others how correct they are in being open-minded and how wrong you are in your close-minded beliefs. If only you would open your mind and stop believing that you’re always right, we could all get along!

You may be asking, “But what’s wrong with that? Isn’t being open-minded a good thing?” Of course it is! Just like puberty is a good thing…I’m really glad I went through it at one point in my life, but I’m even gladder that I outgrew the cracking voice, zitty face, and intense desire to be anything that would make others like me. Unfortunately for many of you (or maybe unfortunately for me because I have to deal with you), you got stuck in “puberty of the mind” and never grew up to form an actual, fact-based opinion. Like the clogged pores that used to cause puss to develop just below your skin, your brain is now clogged up with the puss-like belief that a lack of conviction is somehow a sign of maturity. At least zit-faced kids have the good sense to be embarrassed by their blemishes!

“But”, I can hear you protesting, “I don’t want to be accused of thinking I’m always right…nobody likes a know-it-all!” Did you ever stop to consider the alternative? Don’t you already think you’re always right? Be honest…have you ever said anything that you honestly believed was wrong? If not, try it some time. If you think people don’t like people who think they’re always right, you’ve never spent any time around a person who intentionally says things that he believes are wrong. If you’re thinking about politicians, lawyers, and used car salesmen, you’ve just spread a healthy dose of Clearasil on your brain.

Puberty of the mind may not be a “real” clinical diagnosis, but trust me, it’s an affliction that affects countless individuals. How do I know? I’m a psychologist, and I am analyzing you.


Kasie West said...

I agree with your analysis, but would like to point out that in my (extremely humble) opinion I believe that there is a distinct difference between someone who always thinks they are right and someone who will never admit when they are wrong. The second type of person can be maddening to those of us who are always right.

The Head Shrinker said...


First, I have no time for "extremely humble opinions", I'm a very busy person and I can't bother myself with any thought that does not qualify as extremely rich in intellectual value. In my EXTREMELY IMPORTANT opinion, "IMHO" should be stricken from the pages of the internet just as you should rid yourself of the diseased part of your brain that produces humble opinions.

Second, I find it difficult to imagine the type of person you describe in your comment...I've yet to meet an individual capable of continued disagreement with my arguments. Those who have tried have found themselves involuntarily committed in the nearest psychiatric hospital (they were obviously a danger to themselves and society). If you're finding yourself maddened by these other people often, you should consider keeping some of your "extremely humble opinions" to yourself. You'll be happier that way.

Tyler and Natalie Broby said...

This post was hilarious. I loved it! Have you ever heard of Michael Savage? You ought to send him a copy of this, he's a conservative talk show host. He has a book titled "psychological nudity". I haven't read it nor do I know what it's about but the title of this post reminded me of it. Sounds like your two in the same. Not like Natalie and I are though.

I gleefully await your criticism o' humble one.

JennyandTyler said...

I had more than one date where the guy would agree with everything I said... Everything that was my favorite thing was his favorite thing every day! In your not so humble opinion, I would like to know what you think of, and what you would name those who never have an opinion of their own. What is worse, a person with puberty of the mind, or someone who has no mind of their own?

The Head Shrinker said...

Tyler and Natalie,

Do you often make a point of talking about or recommending books that you have never read and of which you don't even know the subject? In this post I refer to people who get stuck in puberty of the mind...I get the feeling that this mental growth spurt is not a stuck point for you...it's something to look forward to.

The Head Shrinker said...

Jenny and Tyler,

I find it interesting that you felt the need to proclaim to the world that "I had more than one date" before you wrote anything else. That might even be more interesting than the fact that your narcissistic tendencies have obviously interfered with your social life. How many people are lucky enough to meet one person with whom they share "every favorite thing", let alone "more than one"?! If I didn't know better I'd give you the "Interesting Comment of the Day Award", but you'd probably be annoyed that it wasn't named the "Jenny and Tyler Award of Awesomeness".