Wednesday, July 28, 2010

TV Shrink Provides Insights On Our Insecurities

When you write a blog about legal issues, your "beat" essentially is human dysfunction.

No doubt, a fair number of legal cases are generated by mistakes--someone accidentally does something that harms another person. But I would wager that a very large number are driven by sheer human meanness--cases where someone intentionally harms another.

What causes that kind of dysfunction? The longer I'm on this earth, the more I think life revolves around insecurities. Perhaps as a coping mechanism, I've tried to appreciate both the serious and the comic sides of insecurities.

We all have insecurities, of course. Those who generally treat others in an honorable fashion, I suspect, tend to deal with their insecurities in a healthy fashion. Those who mistreat other people--and other living beings, for that matter--probably do it out of an inability to deal with their insecurities.

I'm not sure if professionals would back me up on this. But I've had quite a bit of experience in being cheated over the past few years, and I've come to believe that some of the most destructive people you are likely to encounter are those who cannot keep their insecurities in check.

For purposes of this blog, we're generally not talking about people who are likely to do you immediate physical harm. We're talking about people who intentionally hurt others in the professional setting, who cause emotional, financial, and psychological destruction--and that, of course, eventually can lead to physical damage.

A book has been written about such people. It's called Snakes in Suits and focuses on people who exhibit psychopathic traits in the professional arena. If you are interested in what makes dangerous people tick, I highly recommend it.

Robert D. Hare co-wrote Snakes in Suits, and I highly recommend any of his books. He is an international authority on psychopathy, and trust me, you never know when you will need his insights.

Obviously, we are dealing with a serious subject here. But what about the comic side of insecurities? For that, we turn to our TV favorite, Scrubs. In addition to being one of the funniest shows ever, Scrubs provides sharp observations on the human condition.

Some of our favorite episodes involve Molly Clock, a spacey psychiatrist played by the exceedingly fetching Heather Graham. Dr. Clock's own life shows signs of being a train wreck. But when it comes to observing others, she can be stunningly insightful.

For example, our gal Molly has an uncanny ability to discern the insecurities of others--especially when it comes to physical imperfections. What impact does this have on others? Well, let's check out this clip, which goes down as a Scrubs classic.

As someone who has a rather noticeable Adam's apple himself, this scene has always hit home for me. Just thinking about it makes me want to get out my turtleneck--even though it's July in Alabama.


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