We decided to stay in groups/tribes to
ease procreation ,and
(again to ensure survival, procreation and gain power).
Along with our inherent ‘need to belong’ came in the compulsion to ‘become’ what the group thought would be valuable. Enter complexity- the ‘desire to lead’ prompted us to push the throttle too hard.
As we evolved further and became smarter, intellect and energy were directed to create and maintain conformity.
“That’s how societies run as cohesive entities”, the designer might have thought.
(lesser the chaos better it is?).
So Institutions, Schools, Businesses and families brought into the idea of rules, norms, and benchmarks to ensure that ‘everyone was the same – saw the world through the same lens’.
In the middle of all this value creation: SOMEONE LOST VALUE – YOU (An Individual).
Like many of us, I was also groomed to behave a certain way:
Say Hello to People, Be Nice (in a very specific way), Work Hard,
Choose a conventional trade and lead a family life (even if you don’t want to).
In short, Be a nice guy (the one everyone would love to love).
Some parts are OK, but not all.
Seeking more in life, I decided to get into the kindergarten.
One thing led to another and before I knew, I was Playing with friends, family, and work-mates.
Between the play and the break, I came across myself and realized (accepted is the right word) :
I was an introvert many a times, extrovert rarely (you can also say being picky with people),
I wanted to be loved more and express myself without being judged,
I wanted to be real and be with people, who were REAL.
Real: Same inside and out, now and then, here and there.
So what It meant to be real?
The question was complex, and the answer came in when a 5-year-old chap offered help.
As I was catching my breath after playing ball with kindergartners, he came to me and stretched his arms. As if she wanted me to lift him up and wrap my arms around.
He just wanted to be loved and asked for it.
I did lift him and I am glad I did that. Both of us felt good being real.
Mojo of Small Things Presents Life Saving Lesson 02: Be Real
‘Why being Real is good for you?’
(Part-Two of Five Article Series on How I evaded a life crisis by going back to the kindergarten).
OK! So, You are an Introvert?
Many of our jobs, roles, and responsibilities require (‘demand’ is the right word, I assume) us to work with people. If you are not people’s type, you most likely find your workday more exhausting in proportion to how much people interaction you had.
Similarly, if you are good at using ‘written word’ as a preferred medium of expression but your job demands ‘spoken word’ to be used, you will most likely find yourself as being the one who is not able to express their ideas (no matter how good they are).
Being incompatible is more frustrating than being incapable sometimes.
OK! So, You are feeling Unloved?
‘I need a Hug’, ‘ I am feeling broken and incomplete’, ‘Will you stay a little longer’.
Though therapeutic, we rarely say these things. We were told that these signifies weakness.
How can being human be weak?
Maybe, We are still trying to define how we operate using the tribal emotions(?) and ignored that we have evolved cognitively, socially and anthropologically.
Since, we have more situations and data to deal with – We can (and do) feel complex emotions and get overwhelmed (more than we could expect).
When you are pretending to be someone you are not, and doing something you should not – You are ‘NOT Being Real’.
‘Not being Real’ comes at a cost, its journey is arduous
BUT the reward of ‘Being Real’ is worth the effort :
Cost of Not being Real-
1) You will be confused about your self-story and how you see the world.
You have to keep correcting yourself again and again (exhausting. Isn’t it?)
2) You may become good at having conversations but still may miss having meaningful & therapeutic conversations
3) You will have to find reasons to evade situations that make you uncomfortable
(alienating people and missing opportunities).
Journey to ‘Becoming Real’
1) Start with giving words to your emotions.
I am feeling hungry/ uneasy/ claustrophobic/ unloved/ angry/ envious/ jealous etc.
2) Try finding a reason.
Maybe you were tired/ don’t agree on the level of principles/ worldview/ assumptions/ methods.
3) Find a harmless mechanism to cope.
Tell that you felt bad/ evade when situation is about to burst but come back/ Don’t react, respond- PAUSE/ tell that you felt good/ Seek help/ Help yourself become smarter/ Go write what you felt but don’t share abruptly- revisit./ realize that you are not here to set-scores, you are here to design a good life for yourself.
It is OK to leave a book unfinished, a restaurant without eating, but don’t be rude – you don’t need to take bad stuff by being bad.
Bonus:I have a friend who keeps a PAUSE card in her pocket.
Mentioning – ‘Pause before you hit send, pause before you say what has not been well thought of, pause before you say yes’.
In short, tell and share smartly.
If you are an introvert, tell people that you are and what are the ways you would be able to work smartly.
If you are feeling unloved, tell your loved ones that you need love.
The Reward will be less clutter, more mental space for what makes sense to you.
The reward is being comfortable in your skin and NOT dealing with irrational expectations people might have from you otherwise.
Being Real is a good thing to do- No reason is big enough to postpone the plan.