Magazine article Psychology Today

Conquering the Divided Self

Magazine article Psychology Today

Conquering the Divided Self

Article excerpt

ONE QUESTION FOR WEIKE WANG

What happens when you get a degree in chemistry from Harvard, but feel a competing pull to the world of narrative? You write a novel about this combustible state, of course. Weike Wang, Ph.D., is the author of Chemistry, a funny, wise debut about the heartache of uncertainty and the struggle to please others while forging one's own path, -nando p?lusi, ph.d.

HOW DOES A PERSON SAY NO AND MAKE PEACE WITH POTENTIALLY GIVING UP OPPORTUNITIES AND DISAPPOINTING OTHERS?

I have trouble saying no. In school, especially grad school, you are often discouraged from saying no, especially to anyone who has some say in where your career will be heading. You have to say yes at the beginning before you have the power to say no. Saying no comes with being more confident, getting older, and having a steadier grasp of your own trajectory. I think you must weigh the benefits and costs. Which is worse: disappointing someone or sacrificing your own personal happiness? In a lot of cases, your happiness and sanity are much more important. But what if the person you're disappointing is, say, a family member who has invested a lot of hope in you? …

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