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17-7 Sep 14 Ah did you realise this

For many of us the lessons from parents and teachers may be behind us but we can still learn a lot from the people we interact with each day. We may not have foes in the conventional sense but we certainly have people whose presence threaten us; perhaps some are over bearing, others power wielding or some who display obnoxious behaviour. However it is your friends who you interact with the most who are a tremendous source of candid feedback. Most feedback would be pleasant, friendly and positive. However, well meaning friends would also in moments of weakness express themselves candidly and when they realize their gaffe, attempt to cover up so as not to upset or annoy you. That is when they will often say ‘just kidding’ to cover up and you would choose to respond with a white lie to play along. Yet in your response there would be a touch of pain. The pain is the recognition of the truth in the feedback!

While we may be very knowledgeable about many things in life, time and time again when faced with a tricky situation where questions like ‘who is right?’ or ‘what will you do in this situation?’ are posed to us, we shrug our shoulders and simply retort ‘I don’t know. The same is true with the response of others to whom we pose similar questions. The fact is that hidden in the response is the unsaid statement ‘I don’t want to reveal my choice because it could displease someone’. Feigning ignorance is tactical use of the knowledge of the situation. If the ignorance expressed is a genuine response then it is also a brilliant use of the knowledge that there is much to be learnt still.

When desperate or pushed to the wall, there are many of us who defend ourselves with the retort ‘I don’t care’. Listen carefully and you will sense quite desperation, frantic fury or a resigned submission. The situations will determine the emotion but you will never miss the hurt, anger or fear that is ensconced within the words. The words may sound defiant, it may smack of arrogance or it could be an ultimatum. What cannot escape notice is the pain and bitterness that echoes loudly in the exclamations.

When someone commits a faux pa and apologies, we often respond saying ’ it is ok’. Other times when we commit a similar faux pa or make a harsh statement and thereafter quickly retract, the others to who our words were directed would also attempt to defuse the situation by saying ’ it is ok’. There may be some consolation that our gross mistake has been pardoned, but there is the uneasy feeling that things will never be the same again. There is a tinge of hurt, of being let down, of being rudely surprised and yet we try to consign our hurt and pretend to let bygones be bygones. It is ok is merely a euphemism for I am hurt but I am not making it an issue.

Try this:

  • Name 3 positive emotions and 3 negative emotions that is characteristic of you responses.
  • Can you recollect situations where you were forced to respond with the statements emphasized above. Which of the situations left a bitter taste in your mouth long after the event had passed?
  • Do you recall a statement made by another person that hurt you very much? How did you overcome that hurt?
  • Which was the most stupid blunder you made that embarrassed both you and an another person?

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Bobby Jacob

Bobby Jacob

‘ He hopes to have a positive influence on his readers through his blog posts’

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