How Individualism Affects Your Personality

An individual facing the universe

Individualism is“a social theory advocating the liberty, rights, or independent action of the individual.”

Individualism gives prominence to self-development; personal achievements and independence of a person. When children grow up with the concept that they are enough, they have the potential to accomplish their goals and they have the freedom to take their own decisions, they value personal rights and their own space more than family values. A collective decision is considered oppressive.

On the surface individualism seems to be perfect as it offers absolute freedom and infinite possibilities of following your own aspirations but dig deeper and ask those who get mired in internal strife. Ask those who blame themselves for their failure. Ask those who are drowning in the sea of anguish and yearn for help. Ask those who have to take anti-depressants to cope with the pressures of life.

While individualism adds confidence, self-discipline and self-control to our personality, many essential characteristics are disregarded.

Individualism makes us self-centered:

When you are encouraged to discover your potential or follow your passion, you develop the habit of thinking only for yourself. It is always your endeavor, your success and your happiness. Self becomes larger than siblings, friends and parents and when it is time to contribute significantly to your society, it seems a burden. Such individuals drift away from most of the family relationships and seem selfish.

Self-doubts grow bigger:

Who doesn’t have to deal with self-doubts? It is difficult to handle frustrations alone. Setbacks seem like monsters, failures have to be owned and faced alone, and loneliness grows into depression. When stressful situations are not shared, their dimensions keep absorbing your confidence. Therapists step in to reinforce the fact “you are enough” but self-doubts refuse to dispel. On the other hand, Asian cultures promote sharing personal problems with family and friends and they serve the purpose of re-igniting wavering self-belief.

Individualism creates disconnect:

Personal attitudes eat into the core values of respect, patience and generosity. Self gets so exalted that love for others seems to be a chore. You may learn tactful behavior but relationships rest on the plank of façade. Senior members of your family cease to exist for you and visiting them or looking after them is not your responsibility. Those who nurtured you with the best of their abilities seem superfluous and are expected to fend for themselves.

Individualism breeds insensitivity:

Individualism gives top priority to your own interests, you become insensitive to the needs and desires of your spouse and children. You expect them to follow you in all your decisions, as your perceptions fail to see beyond your own expectations. Aggressive behavior, violence, emotional instability, incoherence in families, lack of interest in community activities and mental health issues are directly related to individualistic culture.

Individualism, a product of the western world, has silently crept into those societies that believe in collectivism. They have always taken pride in raising balanced individuals because of close knitted ties that are nurtured, and values of respect, altruism and cooperation are imbibed naturally, while growing up.

As individualism flourished in the west, touching its highest forms of selfishness, collectivism evolved and absorbed some elements of individualistic culture, granting freedom of thought and expression, taking one’s own decisions but following family values too. Such individuals have the best of both the cultures. A healthy combination of both could prove beneficial for your personality.

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

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Balroop Singh.

Allow yourself To Be A Better Person

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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You can read more about personality building here.

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

Balroop Singh.

Why Arrogant People Don’t Have Friends…

Arrogance

This is my third post on Arrogance, which is inspired from organic traffic.

This word – ‘Arrogance’ is detested by all due to the negative energy it carries but we all like to know more about its aspects and dimensions. Have you read how it can harm our personality?

Arrogance leads you into a self-created glittering world, making you the protagonist of those realms and the throne that feeds your ego is placed at a higher pedestal. It is very difficult to look at others with compassion and love when you gaze from that exalted throne.

Self-love dominates your thoughts and all those around you appear to be your friends and admirers.

Arrogance dwells in such a shallow zone where relationships do not hold any relevance. So friendship and arrogance can never move hand in hand.

Self-importance guides arrogance:

You have to step down from that platform of superciliousness to befriend people but your haughty nature doesn’t let you step down. You think you have a lot of friends and indeed you can see yourself surrounded by many people.

Admirers can never be your true friends. They would surround you till you entertain them, party with them and let your money flow freely for their benefit.

Arrogance detests emotions:

The only emotions that seem to be of any importance to arrogant persons are those, which concern them. If they have been snubbed at some stage of life, they carry that pain in their heart forever. If they have not been treated justly, they would call the whole humanity unjust. When they hide their true emotions from their friends, the latter can understand their demeanor.

Arrogance doesn’t trust anybody:Arrogance quote

Trust is the main plank of true friendship but arrogant people are always on their guard. Their relationships remain superficial. They fail to open their heart to their friends and therefore their friendship never crosses that line of mutual trust. Those who try to be friendly with such people often discover this trait and walk off, feeling cheated.

Nobody likes to be judged and controlled:

Arrogance is that intoxication, which never lets you come to your senses. Those who acquire this trait think highly of themselves and try to judge even their friends. They manipulate them in various ways, which is always disliked. How long can any friend bear such a behavior?

Arrogance mocks at humility:

Such people consider humility to be a weakness. They look down upon benevolent and humble friends, which exposes their own hollowness. Virtues are very hard to maintain and therefore all those who try to endure the behavior of arrogant persons give up out of disappointment.

Arrogance thrives on dominance:

Would you like your friend to control your thoughts, influence you into doing something you may not be comfortable with? Arrogant people are compulsive rulers. They want to govern your feelings, your time and even your likes. They take pleasure in planning for all the people around them.

Do you have arrogant friends? Do you like their company? I would love to hear your views.

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Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh.

Image adapted from: http://windydy.deviantart.com