Many lawyers, doctors, and other professionals prefer to think of themselves as in business for themselves, merely using a group to provide Office space, support services, and occasional camaraderie. This assumed sense of personal independence undergoes a rude awakening when a senior partner calls you into his/her office to detail for you, without your asking, how you are perceived. Some of the thoughts that may go through your head at a time like this are: "Just who the hell is he/she to be judging me?" "All that negative stuff has been coming from X, who has been talking behind my back. I knew I couldn't trust him/her." "He/She acted as if he/she thought I was pretty cool. Now the truth comes out!" "I feel dirty. I am neither as good nor as bad as they say." "Why is all this ancient stuff being drudged up and thrown in my face?" Recognize yourself in any of this? Had similar feelings? It is normal. By understanding anyone's normal self-centered and defensive reaction to being judged and realizing that your feelings are automatically programmed to respond self-protectively in such situations, you have won half the battle, because with understanding can come a modicum of control.
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