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Broken Buzz

Broken Buzz

Space Ranger
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Messages
51
I had an idea recently, to find someone who is interested in learning my craft and take them under my wing; I feel as though it would help to keep me on track for recovery and give me a good reason to fight any blips along the way. I think I've got a lot to offer, I mean, I give the occasional lecture already and those seem to go down well, and I'm just a natural teacher. So bringing someone under my wing, involving them in my research and giving them the skills to pursue their own, building various laboratory equipment together and doing experiments.

The idea is that eventually, they'll be more of a collaborator and less reliant on me to pursue the field, although we'll continue to share knowledge and resources and hopefully they'll be able to take someone under their wing too in the future. On paper, it sounds good but I have this horrible sense of imposter syndrome and flashbacks to clueless narcissists I've met who arrogantly proclaim to know everything, I don't want to be that guy...

I close my eyes and imagine myself putting out an ad, looking for someone curious and passionate who wants to learn, but my well-intentioned visions are plagued with the anticipated negative reactions such as: "what an asshole", "who would want to work with him?". I'm about ninety per cent certain that my thought process is because of how my abusive ex conditioned me to hate myself, to believe that everyone else will hate me and see me as a loser.

But there's that small part of me that still thinks I'm being blinded by the prospect of recovery and that it's a narcissistic, dickish idea that I should burn and bury. I hate PTSD.
 
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timf

Arcanist
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
426
Your idea sounds a little like apprenticeship. That was pretty much how the world worked until a hundred years ago. There is an echo of this in the academic world of graduate studies however, it is so systematized and people even exploited for their work that it can often seem like a racket.

You may wish to try your idea in the marketplace. If what you can teach has a market value, you may find someone interested in taking you up on your offer. You may wish to make it short or for a specific project at first.

However, you should be warned that most people find it difficult to undertake something unconventional. If what you have to teach requires any discipline or effort, you may also find people today disinclined.

If you have something to offer in the marketplace, failure may be a result of your personality, but will more likely by a lack of promotion, people's disinterest in doing something unusual, or a disinterest in making an effort.

If you were offering to teach people how to party, you might find yourself overwhelmed. If you offered to teach people how to work hard and be responsible, you might find you don't get a single inquiry.
 
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Broken Buzz

Broken Buzz

Space Ranger
Joined
Apr 30, 2021
Messages
51
Thanks, @timf, for your thoughtful analysis and reply. You summarised my vision well when you mentioned graduate study, that's essentially what I'm envisioning, but with the freedoms and benefits that come with independent research (although much of my research is still funded).

There's definitely a market for the field I'm teaching, I ran a successful clinic for years, my lectures are well-attended by paying guests, I sell merchandise which is a good gauge of the general market, and I'm launching a series of workshops later in the year, which are generating a good buzz, and preliminary bookings are healthy. However, those are all short-term commitments and more generally accessible than academic research. There's a large market for self-help books and even more in-depth psychology lectures, but that doesn't mean everyone is committed to becoming a clinical psychologist.

I like your idea of starting small and looking for someone to assist with a single project first. It's less daunting for both parties, and if the collaboration is successful, and the apprentice or mentoree sufficiently motivated, then that one short-term project may evolve organically into an ongoing arrangement.

Thanks again for the honest advice :hug:
 
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Celerity

Celerity

Enlightened
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
1,454
If you think there’s decent career potential in this field, by all means mentor someone. Your research sounds really interesting. I don’t know all the applications. All my professors chased government funding. NIMH. Defense Department. Stuff like that.
 
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Weary Soul

Weary Soul

Soon I will be free
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
1,166
My father was a narcissist, and this is not a description by me as I find the labels "narcissist or narcissistic ," way overused, and incorrectly overused. My father was diagnosed by two independent psychiatrists.

With that being said, your thoughts here do not seem narcisstic to me, at all. In fact, them seem to me to be the opposite of this disorder.

What you have suggested seems to me to be a win-win situation. You would benefit by teaching your trade to someone else (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that IMO), and they too would benefit by learning from an expert and be saved from years and years of trial and error in learning what you have already learned. Not only that, they may be able to take what you have learned and advance your field of study even further.

(And btw, in my particular field, I have found that many do not want to share what it has taken them years to learn because they feel threatened by others who may surpass them - and that, to me, is more narcissitic-like behavior).

I think it is a great idea!

: )
 
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