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YOU CANNOT HIDE BEHIND YOUR OWN SHADOW!

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With you, I will share a true story from my life that I’ve never told before to anyone: what goes around comes around. It’s an example of a sweet and very sour boomerang effect. First, let’s go to the sweet part. 

I was a student of psychology with a bachelor’s degree, an honors graduate. I accepted to work at the University as a research assistant for a year. So for one year, I worked for a tenured professor and during that year, I sent applications to different French and English universities for Masters and Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology. You see, languages and cultures were to add to my versatile background, Armenian and Turkish from Istanbul, Turkey. Those are very rich, old Mediterranean cultures. Okay, gaining work experience, discipline, earning money as a research assistant in Psychology in the science of psychology. Oh, what a perfect world for a young university graduate.

Now let’s turn to the damaging and the sour part of the story, the boomerang effect. You see, besides outstanding marks, there’s also an acceptance interview for Masters and Doctorate Degree studies. So I was interviewed by a Mr. so and so, not a real name, and it doesn’t matter that this is a man. It could have been a female interviewer; actually, this is a Mr. rather than a doctorate person. He did not have a master’s degree, a doctorate degree; he had only a master’s degree. So, men closed the door and very arrogantly put his feet on the desk, looked at me, and said, “We only accept two or three applicants; we have limited spaces at the universities. Why are you applying!?” Beautiful women find husbands; they get married; they have children; they don’t pursue. Why should you take the place of somebody else who needs bread money!!!” 

Wow, this was not a question; this was an arrogant statement and a statement of intimidation. Momentarily I froze, hurt and intimidated. What did he, well, he was playing a pure power play; he was single, did not have a doctorate degree – Mr. so-and-so – he held a low-level post at the University and perhaps he was pushing for his own politics and cultural background for the acceptances. I don’t know. Ouch! You know it’s powerful intimidation now, which perhaps he was having sadistic fun; I don’t know, and perhaps he was intimidating a young novice; I don’t know. This man didn’t know me; I didn’t know him. 

Well, within the dual culture I was brought up in Turkey, we, the young ones, were very much Pavlovian conditioned. We respected the elderly, authority figures, and our teachers. We didn’t talk back at that time. So, therefore, my initial reaction was one of overwhelm; I froze. 

 

You see, only years later was I able to distance myself from this event, and now publicly I am talking about it because you can pull lessons out of it. I would advise my younger self and my listeners to repeat to oneself the following self-talk statement whenever confronted by a bully: politeness should never be interpreted as a sign of weakness. Repeat again, okay, politeness should never be interpreted as a sign of weakness. And I never forget that well; there is a protective hidden force in each of us; don’t forget that either. It can come out during survival challenging moments. All of a sudden, even if softly at that time, and timidly, I said, “Sir… Sir, I stand out with my cultural background, and I come from a family… well, my parents, especially my mother, a teacher, philosopher pushed my brother and I to bring out our personal best potentials. So intellectual discourse, philosophy, importance of communications… Our home had wall-to-wall books. And at the dinner table, the dinner table conversation were not based on petty gossip about other people but about debates on World Views.” I said all these timidly. “Therefore, since I came all the way, I deserve to be here. I deserve to continue.” But I was shaking inside while saying this. I was hurt, overwhelmed, and truly… 

 

Anyway, let’s fast forward. Universities accepted me, and I got my doctorate degree. Excellent, up to here! Now the final climax of the boomerang effect, what goes around comes around… fast-forwarding. The first Behavior Therapy Unit was brought to North America at Douglas Hospital, Psychiatric Center… a major university teaching center. So the founder, Dr. Ernest Poser, a tenured professor at McGill University, invited me to join him to work with him. This was a big deal. Of course, I accepted. What an honor that was! Soon after, the founder, my boss, invited me to join a leaders meeting at the Jewish General Hospital. 

Again in Montreal. It’s a major hospital. Only about seven leaders were present at the meeting. And I was the youngest rookie, the youngest professional. It’s an honor. And what do I see there… from years ago, that Mr. so-and-so was at that meeting, tiny, sitting at the corner, quiet. As the meeting ended, I went towards him and invited him to the side and quietly I said, “surely you remember, a few years ago, I was an applicant for PhD, for Masters, and you interviewed me. And you said… beautiful women like you will get married and have children; why should they take the place in hospital settings and that they wouldn’t pursue professional life….” “and look where I am now.” 

Be careful of what you say; don’t do this to anyone else given the powers of your situation; you have influence over the younger ones, you know. Trust me, my listeners, the face of that person became visibly red, like a ripe tomato, as red as a tomato, what a boomerang effect this was: what goes around comes around. 

So, truth sets you free; I was able to get my truth out at that moment very politely, and I went on my day. Finished, end of that story. So now Carpe Diem to you, my listener. Within winning attitudes, we leave these types of people behind as much as we can. Never blocking the motivation and abilities of others around. We facilitate the ‘solution-oriented’… ‘Yes… Can Do’ attitudes… hmmm… wonderful, isn’t it? 

Remember that story and also listen to my videos: two videos, ‘Tough Love For The Self-Entitled’ and ‘Building Boundaries.’ Learn to avoid energy vampires; practice the saying: ‘don’t wrestle with pigs; you get mud all over you, and the pig enjoys being in the mud.’ Boundaries do help us; they are energy conservation methods… energy conservation, okay, foreign [Music]… ahh, La Vie Est Belle and WOLO… W.O.L.O. We Only Live Once. 

Try to leave this place, this planet, as a better place when we exit. Shall we? Yes, okay, take good care. You wanted to know about me. My patients want to know about me, and here I am. In the old times, we were very reserved. We never talked about ourselves as professionals. There you are. Since the insistence is there, there you are… with my story. Take good care, bye-bye now. Love you!