You will come across thousands of websites giving life advises, telling you how to live, manage your relationships, be emotionally intelligent etc. Every morning our social media pages are plastered with posters telling us to be our best self. The reason that they are flourishing and growing by the day is maybe the fact that we do actually need them. I personally think that they are doing a good job, no matter how superficial they may sound, cause see how much the time has changed. Internet is the go-to person for our every emotional, physical and psychological need. We tell Google more about how we feel rather than our friends and families.
So here I am adding my bit, a list of 7 important lessons/rules/tips whatever you want to call them. This is not a generic curated list, these are my experiences and learnings and you may or may not to agree to few of them.
*This will be an open post and I plan to keep on adding to it (started with 3) whenever I learn something more. *
1. Never disturb anyone while they are eating or sleeping.
The Golden Rule
Flashback to the time when you were a wee little baby, all cute and fluffy, cared, protected and welcomed. What were the three things that was there on your to-do list? Eating, Sleeping and Potty (Crying being the modes of signaling the need of any of these). Well, by the grace of modern culture no one disturbs us (generally) when the nature calls. That shortens the list to two… Food and Sleep.
Food and sleep are amongst the most basic human necessities and we instinctively keep looking for them. They are the most acceptable self-indulgent activities; working simultaneously on emotional (comfort food), physical (health) and psychological (sense of security) levels and if you agree with foodies, it works on a spiritual level also. They are your daily dose of feel good hormones.
Now think, any time you disturb or negatively affect someone’s food or sleep, you are creating a subtle negative imagery on so many levels. For eg. Calling a colleague/subordinate to join for a concall when they are having their lunch or asking someone to run an errand early morning. Look at it from the other side, you are about to eat a hot, cheesy pizza that is smelling heavenly and your friend calls and keeps on talking even when you mentioned you were eating, tell me honestly wouldn’t that hurt or anger you? And in some levels that anger is going to affect your friendship, though minimal but yes it would.
Whereas, every time you respect someone’s space you are showing nonverbal empathy and care and we all know how important are they for your relationships.
I consider this as my golden rule. I try not to disturb anyone during their meals or slumbers and trust me it works.
2. If someone is hiding their tears, never ask questions
Nobody tears up just like that, no one. I learnt this lesson while travelling in Mumbai local trains. I would see few women tearing up, lost in thoughts and wiping them when they realize they are crying. Sometimes we need to get it out of our systems or we want to deal with the problem alone. If someone is trying to hide their tears, look away, stay quiet but don’t pester them with more questions and add to their pain.
3. Your happiness is independent, deserves freedom
Let me tell you a secret, your happiness is a separate entity that lives inside you. It has its own mind, own choices and the capability to desert you. Only you know what makes you happy and it’s a possibility that it may not cater to your societal or cultural norms. But it’s essential for you to accept that your happiness is way more independent than you can ever be. The earlier you realize it; the more time you will get to enjoy life. Do things that makes you happy no matter how eccentric, unconventional or tough it may be.
4. Observe yourself... regularly
You will not understand the value of this till you find yourself down in the emotional dumps. How many times have you asked yourself that how did I end in such a mess? Maximum times we are not stumped by the circumstances but by our reactions to them.
The solution of this ‘how did I end up like this’ lies in observing yourself. Look at yourself objectively and it will help you notice things about you that only you can see, relate and resolve. The best way is to write a diary (physical/app) daily and read it after a set period, like a month. If there is an issue that is constantly popping up, or your reaction which is repetitive you have something to work upon.
I was going through an emotional tough phase and started doing this exercise. After a month or forty-five days, I actually saw that my reactions are very similar and there is this underlining issue of the past which is highlighted everywhere. Really helped me to take few things off my shoulder.
5. Never be nasty in writing
Fight all you want over phone and in person but never put your poison in writing. By writing I mean emails, texts, whatsapp, facebook, tweets etc, cause its once its written it becomes permanent especially in the digital world where nothing dies. Every time that person will see it, will burn a bit inside and over the time even if you make mends , your smallest negative act will bring those written words in front of you.
Though sometimes we all have to be strict and convey our displeasure in writing especially at our workplaces. Stingers are a part of our life but try your best to not to be nasty or personal. Be stern, be positive. I do this, I never write an email when I am angry, usually reply after an hour and that time tones down my anger. On the other hand, if I get a stinger from my bosses/clients, I move them in a separate folder in my outlook. This ensures that every time when I scroll my email I don’t relive the pain those words have caused me.
6. Hate someone too much and you become that person
Been there, done that. Well, hate is too strong a word for me but there were few people I detested for a span of time. Eventually, they moved away and my direct contact with them died. After few months I noticed that I was showing the same traits which at some point of time I disliked so much, that was just not me. I was becoming the person I hated and I don’t know how. This was really shocking.
The theory behind this is when you hate someone you end up thinking about them a lot. That person becomes an important identity for your brain and it starts mapping itself as per them and absorbs their traits. So don’t hate anyone they leave an imprint on your brains… urghh
7. Reactions are beyond your control
Ya, ya Gita says the same thing, I know.
When we communicate, we normally know how the other person is going to react. Our mind prepares all the possibilities and many a times we have answers ready for their answers. We alter our language and energy as per the reaction that we want, if we don’t want a fight, we will tone ourselves down. And getting the same reaction as we expected gives our mind a positive kick, pacifies our scared brains that we can predict this person. Do you realize how futile this exercise is, how wrong this wiring is? Cause everyone is playing the same game. There is a bit of lie (uncontrolled) in our every truth.
We cannot control the answers to our questions, no matter how much we want to, it is in control of the other person.
So, this is all I have right now, will keep on adding to this list. Do share your views and also tell me your life lessons in the comments below. And if you like reading this, share it on your social media pages also... this hermit will get a bit of motivation.