Saturday, July 19, 2014

How To Be Liked

Do you want --to be liked?Silly question actually--who does not?Here I am not talking of the 'likes' which we all dole out in profusion on facebook. No,I am talking of that (almost) universal desire to be liked,cherished and valued for who we are.Is it asking for too much?Sometimes it is.In fact it is difficult to say how many like us,how many don't,how many are indifferent and how many positively abhor us.

There was a time when I used to believe that my behavior did not rankle anyone, but to my dismay I was proved wrong.The fallout has been so gross that I can no longer close my eyes and live in a fool's paradise.One benefit of entering the golden years is that you awaken to many harsh realities.Let me share some with you:--

I remember the day my son landed a plum job.As soon as I met my friends I told them about it and they were very happy for me.After a couple of days I again met them at a kitty party and naturally this topic was uppermost in my mind.I told them how my brilliant had surpassed his whole class to get this job.They responded with watery smiles.Just as I was about to tell them the perks he would be enjoying I saw them getting restless and stifling yawns.Oh well!

Lesson no. one:--It is not good manners to boast about personal glories.

Cut to another day.We were at a party and the talk veered to depression.Here was my chance to showcase my grip on the subject.So I began to rattle off on the causes and cures of depression.When an ill informed person interjected with his own views I smiled benevolently and carried on.Naturally this ate up a good chunk of the evening, but it pained me to see that the audience was hardly paying any attention to my valuable insights.Now,by virtue of hindsight,I realize that my dissertation on depression had in fact been depressing them.

Lesson no.two:--Never monopolize the conversation or try to show off your 'gyan'.

This episode demoralized me to such an extent that I stopped taking part in conversations.But how could  I keep quiet when a friend was facing a solid problem?She obviously needed guidance.I told what she should do in order to get rid of the pest in her life.Since she did not look convinced I had to be more persuasive.Do you think she was grateful?Nah--she positively looked peeved,as did the rest of them.Some even nudged one another as if to say 'see,she has started off again'.

Lesson no. three:--Never give unasked advice.

Now I was losing friends at jet speed.Something had to be done.I had read somewhere that the best way to make friends was to take interest in them.This was one tactic which was guaranteed to succeed.I began to put this dictum into practice.So I asked this lady whom I met at a party what she did for a living.The next logical question was how much she was paid but she hesitated to give me an answer.I changed the track by asking her where she lived and whether it was her own house or rented accommodation.I wanted to ask her how much rent she was paying for her house but to my surprise she buzzed off with an ugly grimace.Now where did I go wrong this time?I was only trying to take interest in her.

Lesson no.four:--Never probe into others' affairs.A thick line demarcates taking interest from prying.

I was really desperate now to hold on to the few friends I had.I had observed that friends rally round a person who is upset.At our next get-together I told my friends how miserable I was because of my tooth ache.I had hit the jackpot this time.There was mild tut-tutting all round.This behavior of my friends needed to be strengthened till they were overflowing with the milk of human kindness.Therefore I began to tell them about my arthritis and thyroid.Surprisingly nobody seemed to be interested in my litany of
woes,my luck had run out.They began to get ready to leave.I was left all alone at a deserted pitch :( 

Lesson no. five:--Sob stories can't win friends.

As a last ditch attempt I put in gigantic efforts to refine my behavior.This time when I walked into my kitty party I floored all of them with a bright smile (practiced beforehand ),and a cheery hello!Got many smiles in return and I too gave them reasons to smile, like---Oh,darling,how nice to see you.You are looking gorgeous.Dear so and so,I was missing you terribly.Hey,what a lovely dress you are wearing.Your story in the magazine was excellent,it brought tears to my eyes,etc etc.But what was this?The atmosphere around me had again returned to freezing point.

Lesson no. 6:--Artificial bonhomie is not appreciated.

Is there no end to human endurance?Shh,mine,not theirs.I think some people are impossible.ME?No no,my bunch of so called friends.But now that this thought has crossed my mind let me think.Could the fault lie in me?Is it I who am impossible?Disturbing question-this.

But it is also true that they are all happy being together while it is I who feel shunned.So what should I do?Another attempt at self improvement?But see what I have just done--I had recently concluded that nobody like sob stories,and here I have saddled you all with mine.Will I never improve?????

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Can Positivity Overcome Adversity ?

 A lot has been said about positive thinking but when everything happens all at once,when you can barely keep your head above water-does it help you to cope even at such moments?Is it in-built or can it be learned?
We all have our answers to these questions but we don't have to be dogmatic about our views-maybe they ask for some changes?

To read more on this please go to the following link

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Quick Retorters :((

I am sure you too must have come across quite a few individuals who excel in quick retorts.One has hardly finished what one wanted to say and wham---they come out with a smart reply,correction or contradiction.No doubt they do it in order to show their brilliance but on the contrary they come out as being shallow and cock-sure.How they do it is beyond my comprehension because I require at least a few seconds to digest,analyse  and reply to what pinged on my ear drums.However they need no such grace period.Perhaps they possess sharp brains and very quick reaction times.

Brainy or cocky, smart retorters can seldom win hearts or impress people.They rub them the wrong way.Since their whole focus is on thinking up a smart comment,they fail to grasp what the other person wanted to communicate.If the other person is in some sort of a fix or wants to convey something subtle then he is knocking at a locked door.Empathy,support,guidance?Forget it!Their agenda is entirely different.

In their zeal to impress the crowd around them,smart alecs in fact tarnish their image.They have to win this game of one up-man-ship every time,even if they have to contradict what they said yesterday or what is a stark staring reality.Naturally this gives them the reputation of being fake,inconsistent and unreliable.

God save you if in a kindly mood you attempt to point out their failing or weakness.You will be sent packing even before you have shut your mouth.They think they are perfect and nobody has brains enough to judge them.This delusion keeps them from evolving.As a result they seldom reform.

Most of those who meet them for the first time are overawed by their sagacity.Pick up any topic and they have an insight into it.But this lusture soon wears off.Long-time acquaintances avoid them like the plague or just hand over the mike to them.What is the point?This tribe will not allow you to express your opinion.If you dare to point out a fallacy in their contention, an ordinary exchange of views can degenerate into an ugly debate.

This has a far reaching effect upon their mental horizons--they fail to imbibe inputs from their fellow beings.For obvious reasons,their friends or peers avoid getting into any serious discussion when they are around.A friendly exchange of news and views-which can be a valuable asset- is denied to them.Rather sad!

Another unfortunate outcome of their brash behavior is an absence of warm relationships.Since their whole action plan is aimed at establishing their supremacy and superiority,those who venture in their orbit are made to feel inferior and belittled.If they do not have any direct connection with them they lose no time in zooming out of their ambit.

But what of those who are related to them or obliged to stay connected?They will tolerate them with a smile on their faces but a deep loving relationship is not possible.When it comes to matrimony, spats and discord are a natural outcome.Anger and rancor  will surface when the spouse's patience wears thin.

All in all it is a sorry saga of misplaced ambitions leading to painful results.What started as a crusade to win over the world ends up as a total loss.