What Do The Polls Say?

Have you had the experience of being so uncertain about what to do or think or feel about a particular subject that you go around to key people in your inner circle to ask for advice? My sense is that most people do this at times in relation to something really important or charged. It can be a validating or reassuring experience getting this kind of feedback: (What do others think? What would reasonable people do in this situation)?

There’s something quite different I see some people do with frequency. I call it “polling the peanut gallery,” or gathering opinions whenever there’s a feeling of self doubt or anxiety about a situation. Their fantasy is that there’s a “right” way to operate, and that other people know better what that is. In my experience professionally and personally, I see women more often doing this, maybe because the culture trains women to value connection, and isn’t so great at training women to value their own voices, or internal truths.

If you’re someone who routinely polls your own peanut gallery, chances are it doesn’t help you to develop more trust in your own feelings or perceptions. If the net effect of your polling is to create more confusion as you gather more opinions, than take some time to check in with yourself about what seems right for you, and leave the polling for the upcoming election instead!


Susan Lager

PS. Learn to say what you need. Find out more in my new communication workbook, “I’m Talking! Are You Listening?” Get it on Amazon at:



About Susan Lager

ABOUT ME Susan Lager, LICSW, BCD I grew up in New Rochelle, a suburb of NYC, lived in Manhattan for ten years during college and graduate school, and escaped the madness for the wilds of Maine to be with Thom, the sweet man I'm still married to after 34 years. (We have an awesome 29 year old son named Alec who will run the free world someday). I knew I'd survive the relocation from New York when I discovered the scenic, historic little city of Portsmouth, on the coast of New Hampshire, with its winding streets, great restaurants, and music everywhere. I was especially thrilled to attend the Portsmouth Psychotherapy Institute, an offshoot of the B.I.P., where I did post-graduate training, and then went into private practice creating The Couples Center PLLC, doing psychotherapy, with individuals, couples and groups. In 2010 I opened a division of the practice called COUPLESPEAK™, providing live and online coaching, training programs, workshops, and written materials for people in different kinds of partnerships. I'm still passionate about the work, which is NEVER boring! My clients are courageous pioneers, and they've taught me lots I'll pass on......
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