Mental Health

Lawyers — Solicitors: Why You Really Like Some People and Hate Others? | by Pamela DeNeuve | Sep, 2021

Pamela DeNeuve

Have you ever immediately disliked someone for no reason? Maybe it is a client, a colleague, a partner, your supervisor, your new associate?

You know it is not logical, but despite chastising yourself for the way you treat this person unkindly, you can’t help yourself?

What about someone you instantaneously like. You smile when you see them, you laugh at their corny jokes. These people may be a client, supervisor, new associate, or your manager.

We all do it whether we want to admit to it or not.

Last week we talked about the word “autopilot.” If you missed this post, the link is at the bottom. Please read it.

The easiest way to describe autopilot is when you drive your car and arrive at your destination. Your mind was elsewhere, thinking about a problem at the firm. You can’t remember exactly how you got there but before you know it your car was in the driveway.

You freeze. You go on autopilot. This dog becomes like every dog you have ever seen because you are afraid of ALL dogs!

You must pass this dog to get into the restaurant for your job interview!

From that moment, you had a memory chip that said …

Dogs are vicious

Dogs are terrifying

Dogs can kill you

Over your lifetime you have encountered one dog after another who you perceive is trying to attack you.

“Oh No!” You tell yourself. “Dave is petting the vicious dog who is wandering around without a leash!”

Your heart is pounding; you are beginning to perspire; your legs feel weak just like it has for years whenever you see a dog. Your thoughts, (your internal dialogue) scream, “This is a vicious dog! This dog is going to hurt me!

Your rational mind says, “Grow up … act naturally … it’s all going to be okay. Soon we’ll all be in the restaurant.” No matter how much you talk to yourself, though, you are beginning to tremble.

How many times have you met a client, a boss, a colleague and you dislike them.

Or worse, tried to do something you need to do like business development to make money for your firm. You need to make more money for your family. But, for some irrational reason, you can’t do it.

Just like the “bad dog” memory chip, we all have millions and millions of memory chips that seize our rational mind, and then autopilot causes us to do what we don’t want to do. Even worse, we don’t do the things we really want to do.

You don’t want to lose this job opportunity all because some idiot brought their dog to the restaurant. But you have become a 3-year- old trapped at the bottom of a stairwell by a vicious dog.

Your memory chip affects your internal dialogue (which is your thoughts); your body reactions (heart racing, perspiration); your body language (stiff, a frown, rigid stance); all shout FEAR.

You hope that your outward façade has tricked Dave and that he can’t see that you are afraid of the dog.

Despite the fact that your conscious goal was to walk into the restaurant confidently and make a good impression with Dave, autopilot took over.

Dave peers at you with a raised eyebrow, as if to ask, “Is this really who I want to hire?

Everyone has their version of a “vicious dog” memory chip, which causes autopilot in their law practice, their family life, and even their potential.

Autopilot chooses those you like and dislike; the foods you hate and the foods you love. Your autopilot determines whether you will develop business or sit frozen fearfully on the sidelines.

Your autopilot determines your success.


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