“You are unstable.”
“I have been indirectly trying to say ‘No’ to you, but you just don’t get it!”
Two different statements from two different individuals at two different points in my life! While the latter came at a time when the guy was trying to hide from his mother’s wrath after she found out we were texting, the former was an attempt at counselling me, post a sort of depression which was generated by the guy’s insensitive comment on Facebook.
People believe what they want to believe. We all have the power of adjusting our minds and come up with imagined explanations for a person’s bad behaviour or cruelty or insensitivity. Once it gets past a particular point, things begin to get toxic. You lose your self-esteem in no time. And, trust me; it’s harder to forgive yourself for the stupid, but human mistakes you make than to forgive someone else for what they did to you.
I always swore by that line I heard in the show Mahabharat, made by Siddharth Tewary. In one scene, Krishna tries to warn Draupadi about the calamity that was about to come on her and asked her to keep her patience intact at all times.
“Sometimes in life, you will be shocked to your core by the actions of people close to you. Your patience will begin to waver. But, it is at that particular moment that you will need to keep your patience intact.”
Easier said than done.
The last two years taught me how important it is to maintain your composure when things go downhill. When self-esteem is at its lowest, you will make huge mistakes and end up disappointing yourself. Manipulative people feed on that insecurity and slowly begin to take control of you. In the era of social media, it is even easier for you to feel insecure and for others to turn nasty and narcissist.
And then, I swore that I’d never let any fucking person on the planet treat me in such derogatory manner or let anyone make me feel bad about myself on the pretext of being my friend. Ever since I learnt to cut such people off, I am happy, carefree and in a better place than I was before.
You can’t do any of this as long as you are not conscious of your actions. For all I know, you don’t always need to be drunk to text or call the guy, sometimes you feel pulled into even when you are sober. Therefore, it is important to keep a tab of the things you need to remember.
You are Nothing without your Self-Esteem – One of my friends suffered from low self-esteem for a very long time. Most women are taught to put others’ needs before their own. They end up craving for acceptance and seek validation from others. This problem manifests itself in far dangerous ways as one grows older. And bad relationships are a direct consequence of it. You suffer from insecurity and possessiveness and begin co-depending on your partner. Within no time, they feel suffocated by you and end up quitting…you. The resentment takes years to go away. And we begin to feel something is inherently wrong with us. People who value themselves and know that they alone can look after themselves do not take shit from others and always keep their needs above everyone else’s. That’s not selfish, that is important. You cannot lend the only pen you have to anyone when you need to write something down then and there, right?
Self-confidence is a Power – And not a trait. Confidence shows in your body language, the way you walk. I and my friend spotted this guy at the University last week. He was handsome, walked straight, his hair flying backwards with the wind. And beards, in any case, make men sexier. But, the most attractive feature was – his confidence. One could know from the way he carried himself that he was new to the place, but had come with a purpose. And he needed to get his work done. It all reflected from his walk, his posture, his eyes which looked straight ahead. That is irresistible, that is sexy, that is manly. We are not stalkers, but I and my friend did try to follow him. See? Power!
You are not as Foolish as you Think – I have a friend who was called dumb almost all her student life. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend and did not consider premarital sex bad in any way. We, fed on the Indian notion of virginity, always thought she’d be let down one day and will probably end up killing herself. Nothing of the sort happened with her. It happened with us! She knows what she’d be getting into if she’s not sure of the guy’s intentions; she knows that guys camouflage their emotions easily and hence, are dangerous; she knows how society always forces people to make common, popular choices. If she gets pregnant, she’d have no recourse. She is high on Emotional Quotient (EQ). She is not dumb or foolish. Like me, she takes time to understand some stuff.
Intelligence is of different Types – I take my own sweet time to understand stuff. You will have to explain a thing a thousand times to me. I am slow and casual. And don’t expect me to be proficient in anything related to Maths or Science. So yes, maybe, according to societal conventions, I am not intelligent in any way. I was being mistreated by this friend of mine and yet, I was in love with him. But, that does not mean I can’t do well at work; that is not to say I am not good at interviews; my teachers loved me because of my firm grasp on literature. Give me a mic and put me on stage and see for yourself what I do. My friend is intelligent in relationships; I have a different kind of intelligence. You cannot put both of us in a common platform and judge us. That would be a fallacy of judgment.
Stay True to Yourself – If you think you are not made for long-term commitment, stop trying to take advantage of people who are far from commitment phobia. If you are not in love with your friend, just say it. Don’t colour your answer with, “I feel for you too, like a friend. Okay, let’s see! I don’t know if I love you.” Anybody who says these things to you are manipulating you, letting you stay hanging on to them. They are yet to develop that courage to speak their minds and know nothing about what they want. They might not intend to, but they will end up using you. If you are not meant for casual relationships, do not hook up with the person you are in love with hoping he’d someday fall for you. That is movie crap! Do not fall for that!
You Attract who you are, not What you Want – I wish I had known this before. So many of us keep hoping we’d meet someone who completes us, who is our soul mate, who understands us and cares for us at all times. But, if we keep dumping our baggage onto someone, expecting them to be our counselor or something, we are going to be a mere pain in the ass. Co-dependency is so toxic! Instead of chasing people we like, we need to become who we like. I watch shows where I see strong women asserting themselves. And they are not damaged goods which mainstream media portrays. These women know what they want and are ready to be called bitches for that. If you are strong and confident, you will attract strong, confident people who would let you be and not thrust them on you.
Bottled up emotions are Harmful – I had read this poem ‘The Poison Tree’ by William Blake during my graduation years where the poet talks how dangerous and lethal bottled up emotions can be. Unfortunately, that’s what I did. The hatred for my grandmother and the resentment I have for the two friends of mine have done much more damage to my mental framework than anything else. I wish I had reacted the moment something bothered me instead of keeping it in my heart till it turned poisonous.
Cut people off who make you feel bad about yourself – And do not feel bad about that. I was dwelling too much after I lost my childhood friend. It was not worth it. My welfare or pain did not bother him a bit. For all he cares, he’d be happy if I am dead. He kept saying, “I still consider you my friend in spite of whatever happened,” even though his actions speak otherwise. There were a thousand derogatory things spoken about me behind my back including slut-shaming me. And all this while, I lamented the loss of my childhood friend. For nothing! When people do not respect you, do not treat you well, know that is what they think of you. See what is right there in front of your eyes rather than believing what you want to.
Resist Drunk Texts and Calls – Once I called the guy after a drunken night and the next day I did not remember who he was! It is a sign of desperation. And you lose your self-esteem and pride then and there. The other person gets an ego boost while you get nothing. It’s the hardest thing in the world to resist and everyone has done it at some point or the other. Alcohol is not really the best way to cope when you are heartbroken. It makes us impulsive and we end up making a fool of ourselves. I have stopped drinking completely, because it keeps me awake all night and I feel tired for around 48 hours. That stops all my work. So, I now make better use of my time and keep away from alcohol.
Actions Speak Louder than Words — While teaching Othello, my professor warned us about the sweet words of a lover. He advised us to trust the actions of a man, not his words. Because men are good with words when it comes to wooing women. Its their actions and what they do for you which is an indicator of their intentions. In spite of it, when the time came, I believed in those stupid text messages than the fact that he never met me whenever he came to the city. He’d always claim to be busy but find time to meet others, people who were more important to him. The truth was right there, but I couldn’t see it! People who like you will seek time to spend with you. And the ones who don’t, well, your instincts will tell you that. Trust your instincts.
Block the Person on Social Media – I unfollowed the friend who lectured me a whole lot than required. He is okay now and knows why I did that. And last month, I finally blocked my childhood friend. It is cliché but it works. You won’t stalk him anymore once you do that and it will keep away the needless anxiety of knowing what’s happening with him/her. I don’t have to resist any temptation, it is all done now. That is best for both the parties involved.
I see life with a completely different angle now. My friend says that I needed to go through such an ordeal because I needed to learn to think of myself first and do what is best for me.
More than anything else, it is forgiveness that will pave the way. I still have a tough time forgiving myself for all the pain I subjected myself to. Things of this sort happen and you are to treat it as a learning curve. Sure, there will be a part of you which isn’t coming back, but what you get is so much more worthwhile.
It is all about this – When you have a broken heart, make art.
And then, sit back and enjoy!