Friday, February 21, 2014

Who's the Crazy One?

My friend XX is in therapy and feeling much better overall.  In one discussion with her therapist, she said,
When I tell you how crazy my family is, I feel bad.  I think, 'Who am I to be judging them?'  They are probably saying that I'm the crazy one.
Her question seems to be, "How do I know that my perception and judgements of sanity are reliable and fair?"  
Her therapist said,
The fact that you're wondering is a good sign that you are able to see a perspective other than your own.  You can see more than one possible interpretation.  People with personality disorders often think that there is nothing wrong with them.  Everyone else is crazy or stupid or evil.  Your ability to ask -- is it me or them --  suggests that it is not you.  
Meanwhile, the crazy person knows with absolute certainty that it is everyone else.
DISCLAIMER:  My friend and I used the word "crazy" -- and in the context of our friendship and understanding of one another, we knew what we meant.  I would not casually use that word as it has far too many meanings.


  1. "Who's the crazy one?"

    An hour ago the coworker I suspect to be craaa-zy sat down on my desk. Earlier today she and Erica the business analyst (an exceedingly organized, tireless, and widely respected multiple-hat-wearer) had a shouting match while I was away. Erica is feeling pressure to get this report working after several weeks of unexplained delay.

    So the new coworker whispers to me that, in her experience, when people have personality conflicts at the office, that's the one thing that causes them to be let go. She already complained to higher-ups about Erica (and me, though she seems to have forgotten), and alleged that Leon, the easygoing golfing dude next to me, also complained. I suggested that our project is a model in our environment because of the organizing Erica does. No, crazy said, it's not her, it's the team lead (the #4 of our programming group). Never mind that #4 also holds Erica in high regard.

    There is talk of showing her the door. Yet she, the most junior one on the floor, implies that the most respected member of our team is in jeopardy.

    "you are able to see a perspective other than your own"

    And if this is not the case, I don't know how it can be helped.

  2. But how does she know that entire conversation was real, not her mind making up excuses for bias and poor judgement?