Tag: balance

The Social Work Dilemma

I haven’t practized social work in almost a year now. I realized only in the practical sense have I not practized but in principle I never stopped being a social worker.

Reminiscing on my days in the social work office
Reminiscing on my days in the social work office

It is when you are having normal day-to-day conversations with friends and significant others that you realize there are certain things that have become instilled in you due to the work you do. You do these things even when you are not in a work setting. It’s like when people say lawyers like to argue…they do this even when they are not in court. It becomes their lifestyle to argue every point even when discussing general issues. In the same way, I realized the social worker in me did not switch off when I left the profession about a year ago. I still think and talk like a social worker. And I have found, to my dismay that this is not always a good thing.

Scenario 1: I am having a normal conversation with my mother and I find myself not agreeing with what she is saying. Instead of supporting my point of view properly like her daughter, I start psycho-analyzing her. I start wondering why she might be taking that stance instead of the other. Quickly in my head I am calculating how I can question her to get the right answers as if I am in a counselling session. Ask questions that will make her show me the deeper thoughts behind whatever statement she makes. This is no longer a normal mother-daughter conversation. It is now a client-social worker dialogue. The formal tone and line of questioning is enough to make anyone defensive.

Scenario 2:  I am discussing a problem a friend might be having, I switch into social work mode. I start thinking every quandary has a solution and it is the role of the client (my friend) to think of all available options before selecting the desired solution…with my help of course. In a way, I think my friends appreciate the advice at the end of the day but am I really being a friend or I am treating them as clients? I doubt they care or see the difference as long as they leave with a solution. This is when I realized not so long ago that I actually give good relationship advice (just wish I could take the same advice myself).  But where do you draw the line because at times our friends just want to vent and do not necessarily want to be grilled until they solve the issue.

So yes I cannot erase or silence the social worker in me. I want to be a good friend and daughter but I need to learn to balance the professional voice with my own. The two have become so mixed that I can’t tell which one is me and which one is the professional.  I don’t think I want to change totally, because in principle social workers are really cool people (I have to say that!!!). I like being helpful to my friends and family but do they enjoy being treated as clients? On the other hand, I also feel that the people I care about deserve to talk to me as I am, not wearing the professional mask on.

I really should learn to just be myself…but social work is my life so I don’t know how I can separate the two.

What are your thoughts?

Help…I’m so distracted!!!

Learning how to deal with distractions is a skill, one that I realized I probably need to tap into. The thing with distractions is that they take your eyes away from the goal. By the time you realize it, you are steps behind. My mother used to call these “time wasters” and I did not understand at the time. I used to wonder, how can something that is fun and enjoyable be a “time waster”? But this is exactly how distractions work, they are fleeting joys that keep your mind or your whole body in other instances so occupied but at the end of the day you realize you did not get much done.

I-do-not-want-to-waste-any-time.-And-if-you-are-not-working-on-important-things-you-are-wasting-time-quotes.

Learning to identify which things in your life are causing a distraction is the first step to actually dealing with them. Those things that take up an awful lot of time but don’t really amount to anything at the end of the day, SOCIAL MEDIA comes to mind. I often find myself scrolling for hours on Instagram looking at pictures of people I don’t even know and will probably never know. Or I am on the twitter streets for hours, but to be fair there is some valuable tidbits I get from there. But hours of that is probably a “time waster” for me. I am thinking reading a chapter from a book or taking a beauty nap could reap meaningful benefits.

Life needs a balance always and one cannot always be studying or working or being serious. But some distractions are so time consuming that it might be difficult to break away from them easily. This morning I identified my distractions, some are bigger than others but they all need to be dealt with. I do have better things to do with my time…sigh.

Wish me luck in getting back into FOCUS.

Photo cred https://blackcitygirl.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/distracted.jpg
Photo cred https://blackcitygirl.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/distracted.jpg