From the desk of a psychologist!

Archive for the ‘Relationship’ Category

People Pleaser aka Master Manipulator

“If you live for people’s acceptance,you will die from their rejection.” Lecrae

You are born a  person who is humble & polite with everyone; a good human being, not hurting anyone. In the process you somehow starts getting uncomfortable with conflicts, you like people being happy with you. Gradually you can’t afford displeasing them, you’ve to make them happy at any cost. It becomes a self inflicting game of keeping everyone content at each given moment of time. The web grows from being at toes for one person to many. You start weaving stories, drowning in lies to cater to the needs of people around you.

My observation & research have shown a strong connection between people pleasing and self esteem. A person going through a low self esteem phase would love when people are nice to them. You make sure that you agree with whatever they say,do or think. You generally are the favourite sidekick, giving yourself an identity too. It sure does bring a short-lived sense of belongingness turning soon into strong feeling of worthlessness.

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The problem sprouts when you are close to two people having contradictory mindsets. You do the same routine, manipulating your words & actions as the need be. The saddest part is, apart from being a manipulator, you lose yourself!

Self bashing becomes our life style. We get stuck in this vicious loop. Our fear of disappointing people stops us to even do rational thinking. We suffer but we oblige.Sometimes, we helplessly see that we are being taken advantage of and do nothing about it.

People pleasing is a dangerous addiction, here are few ways to try sobriety :

  • Identify & stop the cycle of manipulation: You certainly can’t be a ‘Yes Man’ to all. Understand how sometimes you twist facts or information to make everyone happy and avoid conflicts.
  • Work on your self esteem: You don’t need others approval to feel good about yourself. Find a way to uplift your self esteem, sometimes a professional support helps.
  • It is okay to displease/disappoint people: As they say, you can please some people all the time, all the people for sometime, not all the people all the time. You’ll have few who won’t be contented by your actions, but that means you do have a voice of your own. Be proud of your identity and savor it.
  • Get comfortable with conflict situation: With the flourishing of your identity, you’ll face contradictions and conflicts. These are essentials for growth as a person. With conflicts come clarity.
  • Stop mincing words: You have a mind & voice, which means you’ll think and that will be expressed through your words. Please don’t try to hide your opinions in a gift wrap. Say exactly what you mean and sometimes not in so many words. People need to listen to YOU.
  • Self Care:They say;  the way we mistreat ourselves, if somebody did half of it we would kill the person. It is high time to make yourself priority. You need to please someone, let it be you.

It will take time, you don’t change overnight. Be positive, patient & persistent…be you!

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Colored Shaded Perception

“We perceive the world the way we see it, not the way it is” The Talmud

We wear shades every day. Shades, which color the way we look at the world. The world remains the same, yet we find it different each and everyday. Our emotions & experiences color our shades of perception.

If we are wearing a bright shade, the world looks brighter however it is dark and gloomy when our shades are changed to the dark colors. It’s interesting to observe how we perceive everything on the basis of the shade we are wearing on a particular day. The exactly same experience,situation & people could yield the opposite effect because of the difference in the shades worn. 2012-12-04 12.54.38

We are oblivious of these invisible shades and as a consequence try to find external reasons for our different feelings & emotions. We waste our time in changing the external setup without changing what’s inside ( & the source of our perception). It frustrates us that we changed so many things still the positive change is not happening,unaware of the true source.

Our social interactions are also very complicated as that brings together a lot of colors and shades which results in a totally new color each time mixed & matched. When we are not a part of the mixture we are able to see the shades and be objective and appreciative of its beauty. But when we are drenched in that color we need another eye to define the exact shade of the color for us!

Then how do we wear our best shades on each day that we are blessed with?

I know it is not possible to wear bright, colorful & cheerful shades everyday but being aware of this concept enables us to deal with situations.

When we are physically not well we take care not to get into something we are not able to do or which could weaken us more. The same should be true for our mental health. If we are aware that this day I am not wearing the best of my shades, we should avoid getting into situations which expose us to harmful rays and could push us into negative outputs.This knowledge would also help us in identifying the kind of shades the person/s we are dealing with is wearing.                      tumblr_muo3vdeOhp1qevqz6o1_500

“Who to be and Who not to be”

Recently lost a colleague, who was struggling with cancer. A person who was disciplined, focused and always working for the future. He seldom enjoyed the present as that diverted him from his focus. After the feeling of sadness and loss, came the reiteration to my learning of cherishing the present.

Most of us know this very well, we have read & heard about it all the time. Then what makes it so difficult to follow.

I would say one major reason is the people we are with. I am a true believer of “the power lies within us” but at the same time totally appreciate the significance of Influencers.  These are the people who give direction to our thought processes, change our moods & can play with our feelings. These influencers can be easily categorized into the positive, neutral & negative.

Think of the people you stay with and you can see them fitting into one of these categories.  There are the ones who make you feel better, good about yourself as well as the situation you are in, consequently encouraging you to live in the moment. The second category is of those who are there but very rarely cross your path of thoughts and feelings, usually is in sync with almost everything you say or do. Then there are those who make you feel unsure, doubts yourself and everyone and fills you with negativity forcing you to leave the present. 126030489542970752_Ch8EfMZu_c

But the most integral part about these influencers are their dynamic state. It is interesting to observe that a single person is in different categories viz a viz various people. A single person could be the positive influencer for someone while can play the negative one for someone else.

Take our relationships as chemical reactions. Certain types of personality types with distinct personality traits when mixed with other kinds can yield different results. Which can or can’t be pleasant.

As two substances when mixed gives a totally rare output the same is true with us. When we interact with a certain person the whole experience is  typical to that  person only. From here it becomes simple to understand the chemical reaction which we have with some people yielding positive or negative results.

Be aware, start reflecting on your relationships & interactions. Start spending more time with people who help you live in the moment. Bring out the positives in you, love to laugh and can make you see the good part in all the situations.  Stay away from those who drain the energy out of you, make you run away from the present and make you doubt yourself.This means you need to start assessing the people around you.

I am not encouraging you to be selfish but just to start loving yourself!

 

“What hurts them”

First they came for the Jews

and I did not speak out-

because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists

and I did not speak out-

because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists

and I did not speak out-

because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me-

and there was no one left

to speak out for me.

Pastor Niemoeller, victim of the Nazis.

Ask me if I am a racist or a bully or a prejudiced person and promptly I would reply “NO, I am neither of the three.”

I am an educated person who believes in equality and respects individuals. People are going to accept it as that is the shallow truth. But, if I take the below questionnaire honestly, my answer will be clouded by doubts.

  • Have I ever played with a person’s name or made it subjective to my humor?
  • Have I ever generalized in negative terms about any race or ethical group, disabled, elderly or other people different from ourselves?
  • Have I ever embarrassed someone by calling attention to some of their personal characteristics, mistakes or condition of their lives, families or friends?
  • Have I ever blamed a mishap, misconduct, dispute, loss in competitions on one or few people other than me?
  • Have I ever purposefully ignored or not included a certain person or group of them in my daily activities?
  • Have I ever made or been a part of something which have made a person or few of them so uncomfortable that they have to leave a group?
  • Have I ever made fun or ridiculed the beliefs, clothing, customs or personal habits of a person?
  • Have I ever used my or a friend’s social status to coerce others to do what I wanted them to do?
  • Have I ever forcefully or by other forms of intimidation discouraged or prevented a person or a group of them from participating in a discussion or speaking their minds in social interactions? tumblr_lrbqahrztb1qc2ckz

Be honest to yourself and if your answer is something which is making you not able to meet your eyes…Start the Process of CHANGE!

Every family,group, community,organisation has a culture. People are expected to fit into this culture forgetting their true self. If a person is not able to trust me, we would make him feel miserable because we have been given ourselves a right to make sure the trend is followed. The first step is to become AWARE of the pressure we put on people to behave in the way we want them to. And next time before you do it, just stop for a minute and think if the same happens to us, would we be able to be handle it.

Remember all of us have this innate need to progress and be a better person. This process relies on change, which is an  everyday process. We will have days of our highs and lows but as long as we are working on becoming a better person, we are moving forward.

Rogue Relationship

Sometimes you know that some relationships are more toxic than being a support. You understand that it’s a mistake making your life heavy and exhausting . You spend all your energy & happiness meeting the expectations but nothing suffices. In this vicious cycle you lose your personality, identity & the want of living.

Deep down you also know the only solution but refuse to accept it to yourself let alone the world. There could be several reasons for you being in the dysfunctional situation:

  • You are scared of hurting yourself as well as your loved ones.
  • Have become addicted to this relationship and like a substance abuser know the repercussion but doesn’t have the power to come out of it.
  • You even refuse to accept the truth to yourself & live with the hope of a miracle going to happen someday.
  •  Don’t want people to feel sorry for you.
  • The fear of unknown.

If any of these rings a bell, break the chains and start living your life from today. Let go of it because this relationship is like a virus, which will eat you and make you forget to live the only life you’ve got.

I know saying it is really easy while even thinking of implementing makes you shiver. Take the step to liberate the real you. In the beginning, go through the process of  healing which may involve grieving for your dead relationship but all of this will actually empower you. You would love to find your confidence again and letting go of the shame & guilt developed during the relationship.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Dr. Seuss

Warning: Before taking the step be sure that you are in a dysfunctional relationship. Don’t take a low phase as the whole relationship. Be objective and if you can’t seek external help to decide. This post is strictly for those you are a part of an emotionally abusive relationship.

 

 

What to knit your life with?

Have you ever felt drained sitting next to a person while some just refreshes you?

Life is simple ; each individual is unique, no two can be the same . A logical question should be “Why are we called social animals then?”

It’s the connections we have with individuals at various levels. We humans have social needs which are fulfilled by these connections. But the million dollar question is could you fill all these places with any random person? To answer this  I have to ask you one thing, could you put any piece to a puzzle and make a sane picture?

There is a  click with some people and it has nothing to do with how similar you are . You connect  with someone and find that person fulfilling a certain social need of yours making you more contended and happy but that doesn’t mean he/she is the only one for all your needs. This person is just a part of a whole huge picture which is made of many such connections. You connect with someone as a friend, someone else on an intellectual level while someone looks after the call of your heart and so on. 

But there is also a major unsaid pressure from the society on us to form these connections. It is not necessary that at the beginning of our journey we would find the exact piece to fit in the puzzle of our life but when we see or assume these pieces fitting in other people’s life we force to fake these bonds. Our hunger for social satisfaction also forces us to make hurried decisions. We make friends with whom we aren’t comfortable, we become close to people with whom we have few/no things to celebrate about.

This pressure is on both introverts & extroverts. As an introvert, you are pushed to be with people, even if it drains you and you aren’t comfortable with them. You are refused to wait for beautiful connections to happen which makes you enjoy your solitude more and more. While an extrovert, due to his compulsion to be around people, finds lots of them but end up feeling still lonely most of the time.

This in place of making us more contended, takes away the zeal out of our life. The human threads which are supposed to support us actually burdens us. We forget our individuality and instead of growing start carrying baggages. Sometimes we find the bonds which make us stronger but lose them with time and in search of the same kind of support find people who are not our match.

If we are in such a kind of relationship, are we doing justice to it and the other person/s involved in it. I am sure he/she is tolerating us the same way, we are tolerating them in our lives. This whole arrangement is unhealthy. The beauty of relationships and human connection is lost. Wake up before it’s too late and you become responsible for either hurting someone or ruining your experience as a result. Wait for the right piece for your puzzle and trust me it is worth waiting!

Enjoy your solitude and grab opportunities to connect with people with similar thought processes or for that matter someone with whom you can just have FUN! Never rush yourself, everything has a time. When we are waiting we feel that it is never going to end, this makes us impatient resulting in bad choices. But, that doesn’t mean that when something/ somebody does make sense, you still wait for the perfect one ( we all know no one/ nothing is  perfect). 

Life is all about trials & errors. Start living and exploring new human connections, even if it is not going to be your life altering relationship, it sure will teach you some new things.

“We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness.”
― Albert Schweitzer

When Sincerity Stings

 

A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal. – Oscar Wilde

I was forced to actually be empathetic towards a sincere close one today. This empathy was forced because it actually overlapped with sympathy. If you are confused by the way I am using this great attribute of sincerity, let me tell you how difficult it is for a sincere person to lead a happy and contended life.

You must have heard about what is inside affects the outside. In other words, your inner self reflects on the outer world. You take the whole world the same way you are. So, it is not a shocker when a sincere person expects the same kind of treatment from the whole world.  Though their experiences have tried to wake them up a lot of times and they have even tried and made ample resolutions, still once comfortable they go back in their usual comfort belief system ( of the world being almost as sincere as they are).

They wait for people to do their part they carry out theirs, which most of the time doesn’t happen. It only frustrates them, disturbs their strong principles and sometimes even make them sorry for being sincere.

They need to understand the world is not going to go by their script. The only thing flexible or one can change is your attitude towards life. I am not asking you to be insincere but urging you to start the process of understanding the coexistence of good and bad. If you are sincere, great for you but that doesn’t mean the world is going to be the same. You are going to get a mix. Be prepared for different degrees of sincerity and accept it.

One more thing which we need to understand is sincerity is also subjective. Your meaning of it could be totally different from how someone else defines it. There is also your sincerity priority; something for you could be of high priority in your sincerity barometer while the same thing could be of medium or low priority for a friend. For eg., for some ppl being sincere in a relationship is top most priority while some feel professional sincerity is a must. If both will be together they are going to doubt each other’s personality finding each other being insincere in life. Try to start looking at the whole picture and not blinded by few situations!

A  sincere friend  of mine ( who goes through this situation on a regular basis) suggests that take your experience as a learning process and build your predictor chart of a situation or a person. He does that combined with his intuition and it really helps him deal with various new challenges of life.  If you assess a person as a threat to your sincere world, maintain a logical distance. It makes sense because as we know, we can never change a person and if his behavior is a threat to our peace, change yourself ( by changing the situation as much as possible).

After saying all of this, I would like to end this post by addressing all my sincere close ones; build strategies, make resolutions do whatever you want but the next time you are put on test, you’ll be  hardcore sincere again as it runs in your blood and that is why you remain so dear to us 🙂

 

 

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