Is Diplomacy in Relationships Good?

Diplomacy in relationships

Relationships thrive on sensitivity, trust and honesty. They have to be nurtured and understood. Diplomacy rests on the plank of ‘think, evaluate and speak.’ It encourages you to hold your true opinion, which could be helpful at work places, not within the families.

If you have to choose your words before communicating, if you can’t speak out your mind clearly, if you think your words may hurt, if you have to pretend that you agree with the other person, such a relationship can never develop beyond the surface. It can never become endearing. It may establish some business links and even facilitate an agreement between co-workers but it doesn’t build a rapport with friends, siblings or cousins.

A true friend can look in your eyes and read your thoughts. A sibling would be able to cross the bridge of camouflage that you may have learnt to erect with time and age. Your spouse too would get the whiff of walled emotions.

Sooner or later, your diplomatic answers start showing and give a mute message, which can be decoded by your spouse or an intuitive friend. They would either confront you or would start withholding their view and that is how unknown wedges are created in relationships.

There is a very thin line between diplomacy and hypocrisy.

If you want your relationships to be warm and reliable in this world, which is drifting away despite instant connections, you must keep diplomacy out of your homes.

Are you a diplomat? A checklist:

  • You don’t comment on sensitive topics
  • You avoid confrontationfantasy-3364026_960_720
  • You lie to defuse conflict
  • You just nod even when you want to disagree
  • You agree to follow up but never do
  • You promise just to please others
  • You never show your true self

There is no doubt that diplomacy within extended families promotes healthy relationships and a channel of reverence flows, comforting each one with the thought that they are loved. This delusion falls apart in the face of crisis. A teenager who rebels, a parent who refuses to accept change and an elderly member who stands in judgment are some of the situations that could push diplomatic behavior to its extreme ends. The façade could stand exposed!

Happy families are candid. They don’t wear masks and don’t detest unsavory remarks of each other. They learn to accept their imperfections and welcome criticism. They are eager to learn from their errors. They discuss all kinds of topics with an open mind. They give space to each member and respect freedom of thought and expression.

If you are outspoken and impulsive, you could land yourself in difficult situations but that is what we call a learning curve. Only an open family environment could prepare you for the challenges of life. Diplomacy has no place in nuclear families.

Tact and truth can blend well if we learn to handle sensitive situations with patience.

What is essential is:Reaching out

  • Time for each other
  • Undivided attention
  • Freedom of expression
  • Constructive criticism
  • Patience and perseverance

Do you like diplomacy? How did you learn it?

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Thank you for your support. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

© Balroop Singh.

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How Self-love Degenerates into Arrogance

Self-love

There was a time when self-love was considered to be a “moral flaw.” A traditional view of self-love was equated with “doom,” a path to “failure,” “selfishness and ego.” In the words of Voltaire, “It is not love that should be depicted as blind but self- love.”

Promotion of self-love is a recent development, mooted by social philosophers, psychologists and counsellors who advocate a positive aspect of self–love, associating it with self-care, self-esteem and mental health.

However, self-love seems to be an innate trait. We know it in the cradle and the mirror accentuates it. Have you noticed how happy babies are when they look at their own image? They smile at themselves, wave at their image and feel so elated! This love keeps growing  and is nurtured by parents.

Self-love emanates from modern homes, from overstatements of individualistic and proud parents and attitudes of society.  Most of the parents tell their children: “You are the best! You can do anything.” As children have highly impressionable minds, they start believing what they are told. They grow up with this illusion; they start thinking highly of themselves and refuse to admit they can ever fail or they don’t have the ability to accomplish what is expected from them.

In our enthusiasm to raise perfect individuals, we overlook the fact that each child is different. Self-love needs to be balanced with human values of compassion, respect, responsibility and harmony. Many parents keep denying that their child is a bully or behaves arrogantly till his self-love morphs into ego.

Some children who are raised by narcissistic or indifferent parents, may grow up with low self-esteem but they pretend to be ‘super’, to suppress their real sentiments. I have seen a lot of children who wear a badge of exalted self, just to show off! If you try to point that out, they feel hurt. It is most difficult to handle their self-esteem when they are passing through adolescence.

I am sure you have met such people who say: I dislike him…I want to be happy. I am so successful! I want you to work as I say. Follow my instructions. My peace, my pleasure, my contentment… The key words here are ‘I’ and ‘My’.

They underline so much of self- love that YOU and WE are completely lost. When we get immersed in self- love, we fail to see the world as it is. Our focus remains on our own feelings, our own achievements and gloating about them. It is natural that such people get disliked as they are considered to be arrogant, with an exaggerated sense of self-importance.

Relationships suffer the most due to self-love, if it exceeds its genuine limits, as your needs and desires become more important than the aspirations and expectations of your family members. When care and respect for one’s own self becomes excessive, when people attempt to exalt themselves or consider themselves superior than their siblings, friends, or colleagues, such a love becomes a curse for their personality.Self-love quote

There is no harm in looking inwards, to discover your true self, to recognize what you want to be, to look after your needs and even luxuries but looking down upon others, using them for your own benefits, disregarding their sentiments, hurting or bullying them to prove that you are better than them, smacks of arrogance.

Self-love is not just respecting yourself, it is also understanding the thin line that separates self-belief and self-esteem. Self-love is often equated with self-esteem but when it makes you blind to your own faults and gives you an inflated ego, it is time to introspect.

Is your self-love positive?

  • Do you think you are the best?
  • Do you consider yourself ‘always right’?
  • Do you try to belittle others?
  • Do you always shift the blame?
  • Do you get provoked by difficult questions?

If all your answers to above questions are positive, then your self-love could be detrimental for you.

How much you love yourself? What are the parameters that you follow to exhibit your love and authority? You can share your valuable views here.

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Thank you for your support. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh.

Do You Admire People Pleasers?

fantasy-3364026_960_720
Image credit

Could you walk an extra mile with me? They agree.
Could you carry this bag for me? They do.
Could you supervise my lunch today? They get the real message of putting an extra effort.
Could you help me and give a daily report of your colleagues? They feel honored.

Bosses exult at their loyalty and sincerity.
Friends mock at their “loving nature.”
Siblings bully them into believing that they are loved.
Spouses manipulate them to get things done.
The acquiescence and complacence of people pleasers baffles me.

Who are they?

People pleasers are gentle, kind and loving persons. They can never confront an unpleasant situation and try to diffuse it with their goodness. Their intentions may be noble but they boomerang. People start taking them for granted. They lose their identity and get tossed by the tides of time and life.

They don’t want to rock their boat but choose to sail in it; oblivious of the fact that it can capsize any moment with the emotional baggage they carry within themselves. True love eludes them.

Some of them are highly ambitious and focused. They know how to gatecrash to the right position just through pleasing tactics. I marvel at their pleasing skills!

Why do they please?

Do they please to get loved? Yes, they believe love can conquer all till they face the ugly truth of fake love.
Do they please to get a position? Yes, and many succeed even at the cost of getting enslaved.
Do they respect themselves? I have my doubts but their perspective could be different. I have seen them justify their actions.
Do they ever introspect? If they do, I wonder how do they justify crushing their spirit for the sake of others?

In professional relationships, people pleasing may be rewarding even at the cost of self-ignominy, stress and overwork but at a personal level, people pleasers do reach at the brink of breakdown.

Do you think they live for others? I don’t think so.
Some live in the make-believe world of self-admiration, thinking they are exceptional human beings, born to be altruistic. Others have some goals in mind, which they want to accomplish even if they have to kiss the shoestrings of their boss.
Often they fail to detect abusers and manipulators around them and slowly start accepting emotional abuse as a part of life.

Can they be trusted?

People pleasers are extremely selfish and can never be good friends. They are opportunists and would grab every chance that can be twisted for their own benefit. Relationships are secondary for them and their true self is unknown even to them. I have seen them changing their colors according to the situation. They know how to save their skin and win some brownie points too!

Have you met any people pleasers? I am waiting to hear your perspective.

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, as they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

 

A New Horizon

Sunrise
Sue Vincent’s #Writephoto Valley

                         I didn’t know this valley
                   The valley you pushed me into
               The valley that glimmers with hope
                  That erases shadowy existence

                   I owe you a special gratitude
                  I am glad I don’t have to walk
                     Into your hollow world
                     Of pretense and glamor

                    I have discovered a domain
                        Of buoyant blessings
                           I walk free now
                    To touch a new horizon 

                   The solace of open skies
             Has melted all anger and anguish
               The caverns that throttled me
                         I can no longer see!  

                 Opportunities are smiling
                    Love is all around me
            Open arms of Mother Nature
        Can descry and dispel despondency.
© Balroop Singh.

Thanks to Sue Vincent for an inspiring Thursday photo prompt Valley #writephoto. 

You can click here for more poetry.

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Past Or Present – What Is Your Choice?

Past or present?
While it is natural to think about the past, which holds our memories and mistakes and inspires us to learn from them to move ahead, living in the present is the most worthwhile experience.

Living in the present moment, far away from the broodings of past and the apprehensions of uncertain, unpredictable future is so prudent, practical and sensible. Yet we keep drifting back and forth, seeking solace in the past memories and living in the illusionary world of future.

Why do people dwell in the past?

  • Stressful events of the past cling to us, making us think what went wrong, who was at fault.
  • Guilt doesn’t dissolve till we have ruminated enough, fixed responsibility or found a solution.
  • Negative thoughts are more powerful and require extra energy to dispel them.
  • Some hurtful memories keep haunting us.
  • Some shocking discoveries about the family could be difficult to forget.
  • Emotional distress takes a longer time to heal.

If you too get mired in the regrets and hurts of the past, I must tell you that I have not come across a better description of living in the present:

“I lit the candles and said out loud, “what am I waiting on? Someone to sell them in a garage sale for a quarter after I die?” And it was beautiful. And the smell was even more incredible than I remembered.”–Paula Heller Garland

Whenever abrasive past stands before me, I talk it out of my mind. I write a poem on the shadows of past and bury this demon with more words.

I savor the present moment. This is the only asset in our hands. Live it happily. Give your best to this moment for you will cherish it tomorrow.

I have always lived in the present, accepted the misfortunes, made peace with the disappointments, delighted in its little blessings, found happiness in whatever the present moment has offered and sat in the shadows of sadness to let the dark moments of my past pass by.Make peace with your past

Living in the present

  • Keeps us focused
  • Frees us from anxiety
  • Encourages us to put in our best
  • Makes us emotionally strong
  • Improves our mental health
  • Gives happiness that lasts

What prevents us from living in the present?

We are constantly judging ourselves, we keep talking to ourselves, finding fault with our decisions and disturb our own serenity of mind.

Past connects us with our present, which could be distressing due to our own faults.

It also depends on the kind of personality we have. Some people are brooders. They are prone to negative thinking. Doubts dominate their thoughts and anxiety flows in their veins. This anxiety ruins the little moments we could savor!

Research has shown that focusing on the past reduces the power of positive emotions.

It is very natural to think about the future and onerous to forget the past completely. Present stems from the past and steers us into the future. These links cannot be snapped. Perfectly fine! Don’t snap those links.

Living in the present doesn’t mean de-linking from the past or stop planning for the future. It just means protecting our mind from negative thoughts, leading a more meaningful life, staying focused on our goals, hoping for the best and be happy.

 “If you are depressed, you are living in the past
  If you are anxious, you are living in the future
 If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”
 –Lao Tzu  

Do you live in the present?  Do the ghosts of your past haunt you? Is the planning for future overwhelming?

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, as they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.