Thursday, January 20, 2011

Myths about therapy!

This post talks about the myths and misconceptions about therapy. In places like India where therapy is still not very popular, anyone who goes for a therapy is looked upon slightly with eyes of suspicion that the person could be crazy atleast to some extent. Nevertheless, things are improving. I want to put a link here to a part of a research conducted by Cornell University, USA. Although the myths and misconceptions are mentioned here as being suitable for self injurious behavior, but in my opinion several of the myths and misconceptions mentioned here are applicable for anyone going for therapy and others in general.

Let me know if the link doesn't work.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Ugly Truth 3 - Tears for people who don't care about you are worthless!

" No one is worth your tears and the one who is won't make you cry "

          A very true line for the most part. Someone who loves you will almost never be able to make you cry and even if they do by any chance, their heart would ache to see you shedding even a single tear. Several of us would feel bad when we see someone crying in front of us, except if we are sadists or a nut cases. However what I am referring to over here, is seeing a loved one cry. There have been people in my life whose tears that I have witnessed still hurt me when I think of them. If by any chance it is my mom, I go completely paranoid, though she almost never cries. 
          Of course there is this other side to tears - False tears. Some people will shed false tears and get whatever they need. In my opinion the biggest betrayal is by someone who comes and sheds false tears in front of you, makes you emotionally vulnerable and gets whatever they want. Ideally when you see a loved one crying, you will feel really really sad and will want to do everything you can to console the other person. But it is ridiculous when someone exploits you with tears. 
          Now coming to cry for others. While it is common for people to cry over breakups or friends not talking to them or any such thing and people eventually do move on, but someone who is directly responsible for making you cry isn't a great person to have in your life. Some strong people try to control showing out their tears, but deep inside there is someone who is crying in their head. I have seen people who have made me cry and never bothered to do anything about it. It just made me shed more tears in the beginning and  then realize eventually that such people are just not worth my tears. However I also have some people who totally shower me with their love and affection and can never ever see me shed a single tear. It is these people, I have realized are the ones who really care. Bottom line is when you give someone more importance than what they deserve, you are bound to cry externally or internally, which is just not worth it. Shedding tears for someone who really cares for you and who is in extreme pain means something. I used to be of the opinion that when you truly love someone, irrespective of how they treat you, seeing them in pain should bring tears on to your eyes. May be it is still true, may be somewhere in my heart I still feel so. But sometimes it is just totally pointless and worthless. Essentially I try not make anyone cry even by mistake, and try to make sure people don't really make me cry and eventually if I do shed tears for people I love and care about, I have learnt to try my best to forget those tears. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

How good is good?

          What is the definition of good? There are as many as 44 definitions of the word 'good' in dictionary. But one of the most common definition of the word good is to do with something desirable, suitable etc. Talking of 'good' in this context leads me to think that the idea of good is highly relative in most cases and is often based on perceptions than on real facts. Even if we find something to be supposedly good, something better always shows up. In my opinion even something best doesn't remain best forever. For example, iPhone 2G was 'good' and soon was replaced by iPhone 3G then by 3GS and then iPhone 4. This is typically based on mass opinion, the sales of the product etc that it was easy to conclude the goodness of the product. 

          But talking about people - If there are some presidential candidates, each one of them are going to be good in their own way. But it is based on their actions that people are going to perceive them as good or bad. Something looks good till something better comes along. As a matter of fact when something better comes along even the 'good' looks close to ordinary. All this is fine as long as you are talking about a celebrity being good or better or even best. But when you are talking about interpersonal relationships. Good is often not good enough. Most people don't have a definition of good, which in my opinion would be highly idealistic; though I feel a fair idea of what one considers good makes sense. But there are additional factors which affect definition of good - previous experiences, situations, moods etc. So it is very human to overlook good and keep looking for better and best. When you fail to see 'good' how do you think you will find better and leave alone best. It is like - kissing several frogs to find a prince who probably doesn't even exist or who you just missed out constantly looking for better. Good is good enough as long as you are able to see through the goodness. 

          But coming back to how good is good. Well it completely depends on the person, their perception and opinion. Someone or something may look good to me, but may look really bad to you. So good has to do completely with how you look at something. Forget axiomatic and absolute stuff, they don't exist all the time. But 'good' is a very relative term and there is no correct definition of the word in my opinion. I want to finish by saying that since 'good' is more of an opinion/perception, don't get carried away when someone calls you bad. You are good as long as you consider yourself good. Since for some people nothing is good enough, its ok for products to be constantly redesigned and remodeled for people to like them, but for humans, it is completely worthless to constantly change yourself to please someone who themselves are not good enough but consider you as being 'not good enough.' So it is completely sensible to be yourself and not giving importance to someone who doesn't deserve it. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Audacity of being Yourself!

          Do you have the audacity to be yourself? Even if we really want to be ourselves, how many times are we actually able to do it? There is no denying the fact that often we have to wear a social mask in order to mingle with the society. But I have come to realize that a lot of times it is really the social mask that the society appreciates and cares about. The 'real' you, a 'frank' you is most likely to be rejected or mocked at. Most people fall in love with a perception of you and find it hard to replace the perception with reality when they do not match. Though this is not the case with everyone, I have come across a lot of people of this kind.
            Many of us do things we don’t want to do, act the way we don’t want to due to societal pressures and the fear of what others might think of us.  I think as long as it doesn’t intentionally hurt anyone, there is just nothing wrong in being yourself and doing what you like. What is the point in studying something or working a dissatisfactory job (exceptions are there of course) because it will make you look successful in the society? What is the point in marrying someone who is supposedly successful in the society or in their career but treat you like an object? What is the point in doing things which you hate but do only because it will make you look good in the society or amidst your family and friends? What is the point in following rituals and traditions which you hardly believe in, but do so to look like the perfect person who doesn’t give up their traditional values? You can always come up with excuses for these and some of these excuses could be genuinely issues. But for the most part these are mere excuses and you are not being true to yourself. I have always avoided being ashamed of any bad relationship that I have had or any mistake of mine, because I have learnt through experience that it is not really worth feeling bad about yourself based on other’s perspectives about you. A good friend used to say, don’t let someone run you through a guilt trip. Nobody is perfect and very few people have the audacity to accept that. Obviously you are bound to make mistakes, but isn’t that how life is, you make mistakes and learn from them. But of course being yourself does not mean that you never attempt to change anything about yourself. It is just that you don’t need to change yourself based on your assumptions about how people think of you. In my opinion I have learnt this from experience as well, that it is better to portray your true self to people than to later surprise them.
             But of course there is the flip side to this as well. Being myself has not done me good all the time. It has gotten me a lot of haters as well.  I have been called an egomaniac, arrogant, selfish etc etc. Not that I care about it. As a matter of fact, who is not selfish or don’t bother about their egos? How many of us are saints? And of course I don’t mean to say that I am completely perfect, but, atleast most of the time I have the satisfaction of having been myself. I have never gone around and intentionally attempted to hurt people or anything, in fact I have always showered people I really like with unconditional affection. However, I have my own limitations, my problems, my attitudes etc. And similarly I know what I am doing, what my responsibilities are, how I behave and my intentions as well. What is the point in trying to prove to people that you are not someone others have perceived you to be? If people cannot accept the person I am; I have learnt this over years in my life that it really is their problem not mine. You can please others only so much. In the name of love or affection or respect, we could attempt to please others, not that it is wrong, but in the end who are you trying to fool? Yourself, isn’t it? Truth is whether you like it or not, society and people around you love only the social masks and those who actually like the 'real' you, never make you feel that you need a social mask. Have the audacity to be yourself, even if many do not want to face the real ‘you’ most of the time.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Feminism and Female Chauvinism

               There is a fine line of difference between feminism and female chauvinism. Feminism is what suffragists basically work for - parity of genders, equality between men and women i.e.  equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for men and women. Meanwhile female chauvinism is very similar to male chauvinism, i.e. excessive and blind patriotism towards female community and rights, undue partiality or attachment to female community and finally an attitude of superiority towards men. But it is very easy to get confused between both these concepts. A feminist need not be a female chauvinist and a female chauvinist could very well be nuts. In my opinion, in a country like US, feminism for the most part has gradually gone on to become female chauvinism. This is not really surprising considering the independence people have and comparatively individualistic society. 
             However, in a country like India, there has been a rise in suffragists advocating and fighting for women rights. Yet, here, there is still a male dominance in the society and female chauvinism is not likely to be witnessed much. But there are people who do not clearly understand the difference between feminism and female chauvinism and conveniently assume that feminists are/likely to become female chauvinists. A movie like 'Fire' very well portrayed female chauvinism. However, that is not as common in India as yet as it is in Western countries. But here, feminism itself is seen with negative eyes. The moment you call yourself a feminist, you are looked upon as a female who has no family values and who does not respect tradition and in short, you are not a typical woman who will give up certain things for the so-called sake of family. Though younger generation definitely is getting better in treating women. Yet, female equality still has problems to face. As an example lets take an IT organization where a female gets promoted sooner than other peers. Even if the female is a geek, chances are really high that the women is going to be called arrogant, overbearing, bootlicker and has asskissed her way up. All this, just because men find it difficult to accept that a woman has just shown that she is capable of getting a promotion sooner than her peers by means of hardwork. Similarly, I read on another blog which talks about history and how hindu women were treated back in olden days according to so - called Manu Smruti and other such books or whatever. A religious leader with whom the author of that blog had interacted in person multiple times has been quoted saying that if women are allowed more reservations and more freedom, it would be the beginning of chaos and destruction and women would become uncontrollable. Again I am not surprised. I have heard more than a million times from different men that women should not be given equal rights. First off, in my opinion this just goes to show how much of freaks such men are as they are scared they may lose their self assumed powerful positions in the society. There is no denying the fact that things with respect to parity between men and women are changing. Yet certain aspects of it are yet to change. As I had talked about in another post of mine that women themselves let other women down in several scenarios. 
             Coming back to feminism and female chauvinism. I think female chauvinism gets triggered when there is excessive male chauvinism. After all we are all human beings. But feminists being misunderstood to be female chauvinists is completely unfair. Is it wrong if a woman prefers to be herself, prefers to have her own identity and not to change her identity after a so-called marriage, prefers to have dreams, goals, ambitions and to work towards them, prefers to be treated fairly. Feminists advocate equality of men and women not superiority of women over men. But I feel that society puts more and more pressure on feminists and they feel compelled to turn towards female chauvinism. I mean if for a woman, standing up for herself against atrocities and retaliating back is going to considered female chauvinism, which by the way it is really not, then women are better off being female chauvinists. If on a social network profile, I were to put that I am a feminist, all I would mean is that I want to be treated equally as a human being and that I don't want to beg for rights from men, I just want to take them anyways. Feminists do not aim at putting men down, but they like to live their lives as they want of course keeping in mind their responsibilities just like men. Feminists do not want to be treated inferior because of being women. I want to end this post with just this much. I can go on and on on this topic and I do have the audacity to write much more with respect to how annoyed I feel about being an Indian woman, but I would like to reserve that for another separate post. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year - New Beginning

New Year marks a new beginning and we should give up all old sorrows, worries and look forward to the new days coming up. As for me, last year began in the worst possible way and on new year, I wrote a pretty apologetic post. The beginning of the year was pretty much a mess. Well it is fair enough to say that my life has been a mess more than once, but I manage to have everything in control, for the most part ;). As the year proceeded, several events took place...moving to CA, quitting my job, getting back to India, getting a new pinky vaio, an ipad :D etc etc..phew!!!...Nevertheless, once I was back home, I believe things started improving and I think that's what happens when you are around family :). There were tons of things on the back of my mind, lots of pressures, feeling of being in a deadlock, but thanks to my parents, brother, bff, and all my other friends who understood me and did not get mad at my isolating myself and building a wall around myself, I have been able to and I am still managing to fight my emotional setbacks.I must say, it has been one hell of a year, a lot of laughter, tons of tears, tense days, hectic days, but all is well in the end. Having said that, I hope the new year brings joy and peace to not just myself, but to everyone on planet earth. resolutions for the new year - well, I have not really thought of any big time resolution except to keep my life more organized and disciplined. There is one thing to definitely look forward to this year - admits to universities and flying back to the US. Apart from that, things would keep happening, lets see what is in store. So here is wishing everyone a happy new year again...lets look put our pasts behind us and look forward to better tomorrows. And as several of my friends tell me - keep smiling, it is very important. :)