This title could perhaps have been sugar coated and presented in a more docile and somewhat more poetic manner. I could have also perhaps waxed eloquently on the goodness in the human nature triumphing all evil. That would perhaps then render it ineffective in the current context. Sometimes the truth is best laid bare. As a generation we have become so used to sugar coating things that the ugly truths that life sometimes hurls at us take us by shock.
Often many of us, sweet talk or praise our way into gaining an intended favor. We sometimes attribute to these people qualities like having the ‘gift of the gab’ or being a ‘smooth talker’. This is something I have honestly and painfully been quite pathetic at. On more than one occasion my blabber mouth has run away with itself rather than staying shut. I’m sure you get it. I am very poor at dishing out false praise. Much to my chagrin I have also been labelled a failure, in this particular subject.
I was never a teacher’s pet, or a tutor’s favorite or a boss’s chosen employee. The very simple explanation behind this is that try as hard as I might, I could never butter my way through and sweet talk my way into someone’s good books. And, for that I have paid dearly sometimes in the form of missed awards, overlooked promotions and the like. But would I change anything. The short answer is a resounding ‘No’. Life has a way of balancing things out. It may not go to plan most of the times or even head in the desired direction. But in equally the same number of situations, things often do turn out to be in our best interest, maybe just not in the way we originally envisaged it to be.
To revert back to the topic in question, I am here talking about extraordinarily going out of our way to ‘please’ those people in our lives who have some sort of bearing on our own lives and relationships. These people predominantly share one common characteristic and that is being high handed, prone to bull dozing their own way through and they also uncharacteristically start chucking their toys out of their prams and also start throwing tantrums when situations do not go in their favor.
There are many reasons why we choose to appease such people. Sometimes, we are trying to portray an image of ourselves externally that we are convinced will gain more social acceptance and popularity. This is despite the glaring fact that it is not an accurate reflection of our true personality. Sometimes, we are so caught up in emulating these people and hell bent on including them in our lives that we consciously or subconsciously adopt a blind eye towards their flaws. This blind eye approach also unequivocally rejects anyone or anything that seeks to say or insinuate anything contrary to what we ‘want’ to see.
Sometimes, it just to keep and maintain peace. And for this, we are willing to suck up to them. Willingly or unwillingly we choose to become a sort of ‘Yes’ man or woman because we know that a contravention in the opposite direction might result in the unleashing of an outburst which is nothing short of an explosion. In other instances we try to appease them because we attribute to them the status of a Demi- God who is placed on his or her very own pedestal. In some other instances, it is the scare of a ‘confrontation’.
For me it is the fear of this very ‘confrontation’ that has led me to nod my head along to many a conversation with family members despite the fact that I do not agree at all with what is being said. When my brain kicks into the ‘flight or fight mode’, it is always the option of ‘flight’ that I have chosen. My overwhelming fear of confrontation has led me to doing everything within my own resources to stop it from ever raising its ugly head.
So, why do I think that these attitudes only lead to major ‘disasters’. When we try to suppress our true feelings under the garb of a false exterior we in no way become immune to such feelings and neither do we stop being human. The truth of the matter is, that these feelings continue to arise but instead of finding a logical expression or proper channel and outlet we place a stop cork over them, behind which they keep simmering and occasionally come to a bubble .
Such behavioral practices only result in the creation of an immense amount of self-created pressure the load of which becomes too heavy to carry around. By it’s sheer apparent absence it remains unseen to the naked eye. But the enormity of its so-called absence hangs heavy on our entire being. It is omnipresent and ever present.
There will come a time, sooner or later when the two contrasting facets of our personalities will inevitably clash with one another. Just as two swords cannot exist in a sheath together so also two aspects of our personality so starkly different and diametrically opposed to one another cannot happily co-exist. They will eventually try to push each other out of the way.
And this is when the greatest number of ‘major disasters’ occur. Either, we choose to squash and silence the voice that rises within us asking us to muster our courage and stand up. Or, we make the conscious decision to once and for all throw all caution to the wind, finally gather the balls and stand up for ourselves. And this is where the ‘disaster’ happens.
I am in no way advocating that a fear of this ‘disaster’ should act as a deterrent to your actions. All I am trying to purport is that this culmination of a situation necessitating the need of a ‘disaster’ can easily be avoided if we take the right steps at the right time.
Often so much of time has elapsed prior to the dawn of this realization that the people involved in the relationship have gotten used to the more subservient, dismissive, mousy and doormat personality we have publicly exhibited up until now. The new face and corresponding bolder facet that emerges as a natural result comes as a rude shock and one which does not readily find acceptance.
More often than not, the person or people you confront will try to throw every possible toy out of their prams and pull every possible tantrum. But if you do decide to head down this route, realize that you have already given in too much for too long. The situation on the face of it may closely resemble a point of no return. However, turning back now and again adopting that submissive persona would only disable you from salvaging any part of the relationship that can still be turned around.
Trust me, if the relationship is real and the person does value you they will re-negotiate the altered stance and restart the relationship on a new foothold.
But, if they don’t then you also have to be mentally prepared to accept the fact that some relationships are just not meant to last forever. Rather than becoming a mental victim to a negative relationship it is best to try and unfurl one’s wings and fly across the horizon. No matter how much those wings quiver initially the flight once borne will yield positive emotions and freedom from the bonds that had chained you down and held you back erstwhile.
But it doesn’t have to always be so dire in outcome. When we leave things for too long, or constantly indulge in acts of brushing things under the carpet we also set ourselves up to volcanic explosions as a result of the amount of resentment and angst we have let accumulate and build up. The mountain shall crumble, it is only a question of how soon or how late. Please do adopt the attitude to address situations as they arise. If not at the very moment then at least at the next appropriate occasion.
If we can state our own views in a firm manner, then issues are resolved at a much more nascent stage. You nip the situation in the bud itself before it gets a chance to blossom into something more sinister. If a relationship with anyone requires you to portray a false exterior and be and enact someone you are not, then there are not very many stable legs that it stands on in the first place.
It is time, we realized ‘we’ are enough. In fact, we are good and more than enough in our own selves. It is learning to be more self-accepting and comfortable in our own skin. There are no masterclasses in the world that teach us how to conduct our relationships.
But in all the cacophony of voices around us, let your own voice come through to you with the searing clarity it deserves. Please do not let it get lost in the milieu.
Stand up for yourselves, for what you believe in and for who you are. Be a little lenient to your own self, and your heart, soul and mind shall thank you for it.
It takes different colors to build a palette. Fill you life’s palette with the colors of happiness and vibrance.
However, going back to the title of this post, I’d like to reiterate once again that at the cost of sounding repetitive and perhaps a tad bit patronizing please do not ‘people please’ in the first instance. You will automatically eliminate the possibility of the corresponding ‘disaster’. There is no guarantee that life shall not throw any curve balls. This is just one less ball, that you shall have to duck from!