Is there some weird belief out there that psychology majors and psychology professionals know “tricks” that others don’t? If so, it’s a myth-like one of those urban legends that a lot of people tell as fact-but aren’t factual. I won’t sit here and say psychological professionals are immune to playing mind games. Anyone who’s ever been in any kind of relationship is a candidate for mind games. So, yeah, it’s possible for a “psychology professional” to be manipulative. But, I wouldn’t say that that’s as much of a function of being in the field of psychology as it is being human.
I happen to have been a psychology major (many, many moons ago). I don’t think I would classify my work as that of a “psychology professional” but, historically, I have worked at a couple of psychiatric facilities. I also happen to think I’m pretty decent at reading others. Hopefully, I don’t do this in a manipulative way. I don’t feel as if I’m playing “mind tricks” on others. That said, what do the two (being a psych major and being good at reading other people) have to do with each other? Answer? Nothing, really.
Having studied psychology means I’ve studied a lot of different theories (and I can’t stress this word enough) of human behavior. It is a very interestng field of study and endeavor. However, that’s all it is. An interesting field with a lot of theory. There are no “tricks.” There is no mystery. Psych majors are no better informed on the human condition than anyone else.
Now, how is it that I can claim to be able to read people (without being manipulative) and claim it has nothing to do with my history of being a psychology major? It’s simple, really. It’s because I’ve lived for 48 years. That’s all. I think I’ve learned more about human behavior since leaving college than I did when in school. In short, the two have nothing to do with each other.
Again, it’s important to stress that the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive, either. Can a psychology professional use “tricks” on family members? Of course (s)he can. But, again, it has nothing to do with his/her profession. It has everything to do with who (s)he is at her/his core. Let’s put it this way. If you have someone in your life who is manipulative-who plays “mind tricks” on you AND this person happens to be a “psychology professional,” one has nothing to do with the other. If this psychology professional is manipulative, (s)he would have been anyway, regardless of profession.