I see the "armchair psychoanalysis" thrown out whenever someone tells a poster to look at their past behavior or to look at the fact that this is a repeated issue for them. I think it is used mostly as a diversionary tactic by posters to keep the heat off of them. I agree with this, which makes it even more difficult to point out when ACTUAL armchair psychoanalysis is going on. There are plenty of times when a poster is asked to look at their own behaviour, in order to get an understanding of the situation.
That is totally different from attempting to make a psychological diagnoses based on ten sentences of information coming from a single source, oftentimes second hand, or with situational bias at play.
Agreed with both of you. If you suggest to someone to examine their past behavior, or that they keep posting about the same types of situations over and over, and that they should examine their own part in these situations, that's not armchair psychoanalysis. That's an attempt at trying to help a poster develop a degree of self-awareness. When you're in the middle of a situation it can be kind of hard to see the forest for all the trees in the way. Am I going to be offended at someone who tells me to take a step back and really look at the way I'm reacting to the same situation over and over? No...I'm going to be grateful that they pulled me far enough back out of the forest to get a fresh look at it, and see that there is, indeed, a bigger picture.
We don't always get the whole story here, either - people may attempt to paint themselves in a better light, but when the same patterns keep re-emerging it's less helpful to say, "Gee, OP! You're right! Everyone is mean to you for no reason!" than it is to say, "Wow, people seem to be mean to you an awful lot. Can you think of any reasons why this might be?" That's not armchair psychoanalysis - I'm not Freud, and I'm not here to tell you you're depressed,or bipolar, or that all your problems stem from your dysfunctional family relationships
, because I don't know these things. I'm just your everyday, ordinary poster trying to tell you that you need to examine the situation for yourself and figure out where to go from there. Getting offended and telling me I'm trying to play Freud could be seen as a dodge.