​When they say ‘Why’, Ask them ‘How’

A series of Office Psychology discussions about how people behave at your workplace and how you can handle those situations.

This particular discussion is about those cases where your superior starts getting upset about your particular decision (say unplanned leave or even planned leave in some cases).

… …

Many a times, at our workplace we find that other people start getting upset with our particular official decision. When we communicate that decision to them, they get scared, start making different types of arguments and conclusions and get us scared too.

If we do not handle that situation properly, possibility is that you may end up ruining your relations with that person or may end up canceling / reverting your decision, which is often disheartening to yourself and often your family.

And when you look back at your decision of reverting your decision in the past, you see it very clearly that there was no need to revert the decision and the situation could’ve been handled very easily, even with the decision that you made. That you got scared unnecessarily. That your colleague meddled with your mind in his fright.

So, what to do when we are in such situation?

The answer is simple – Ask questions. Yes, as simple as that.

Asking questions to your superior or questioning his conclusions is a good thing. Don’t get scared of him. And if he’s that type that he’ll make your office life hell if you raise your voice, why haven’t you left him already! You didn’t sign up for slavery, did you?

Let us discuss this with a very simple example – say taking a half-day / leaving office early than the usual time.

Obviously, your manager will get upset on hearing this 90% of the time. Sometimes, his getting upset would be valid, but still there’s hardly a possibility that your absence can’t be managed with other resources.

So when he starts telling you irresponsible on taking this decision or sharing your possibility of taking this decision with him, ask him questions. Ask him what are all the assignments which are due that day or in near future, and discuss with him how your absence for that period will affect those deliverables. Discuss the meaning of ‘Urgent’ status that they give to each and every assignment on hand. See to it that that urgent status is actually urgent, and not just superficially made by your boss.

Many a times, it will be the case that when you ask him the question, he will start faltering. He will lack on substantial evidence or explanation as to how your presence is actually required. He will not be able to justify his concern about your leave and thus, you’ll have your dilemma cleared to make that decision.

This is valid in various other scenarios, apart from taking a leave. Even in official decisions taken by you in your power can be questioned by your colleagues. The best way to tackle such oppositions is through asking questions without seeing their position.

After all, a lower rank on the grade doesn’t mean that you are dump compared to a higher rank person. The worst thing will be him giving out proper justification, and that will obviously teach you for good.

Go on, try this out in the next opportunity you get at your workplace.

Till then, hope you have fun working your but-t out.

Difficult Expressions: Love vs. Hate

There are tons of expressions that we can express through various gestures, signs and sounds. But expressing each of those expressions takes different level of confidence and inclination from our inside. If not found, we would find it difficult to express those expressions freely to that person.

So, which expression is difficult to express when compared to the other? The act of expressing should be to the person for whom that expression was made in the first place.

This battle is between two most felt feelings in the world – Love and Hate.

… …

Love. A feeling so strong that can be expressed in tons and tons of ways to the person for whom we feel so. Sometimes, it can even be expressed without doing anything. And the person for whom we feel so, often can feel or sense our feelings for them.

Hate. A feeling equally strong as love, again which can be expressed in several ways to the person we hate. And the other person mostly understands that we hate them unless we hide our feelings through fake expressions and false greetings.

Often love is difficult to hide from people, but the other person might not understand your feeling and can confuse it with something else.

Hate can be confused, though very rarely, with greed, selfish desires and a feature of our nature. But, it can be faked and kept hidden from the person we hate using acted expressions of care and gratitude.

Both expressions have their own definition and complexities, which when mixed with human desires and intentions, can create a compound, altogether a new feeling. But if all other factors are kept constant, and we talk only about expressing our love or our hate for the person to the person himself / herself, then we can compare which of the two expressions is difficult to express – generally speaking.

Often Love wins the battle and the title of being a difficult expression to express of the two expressions in question. It is easy for us to express our hate to the person we hate. Why so? Well, there are reasons, very clear.

Love is often misunderstood by us. A casual liking or a temporary attraction for someone is often labelled as Love. And for this reason, it is often failed expression or a feared one as we feel that our love might turn out to be something else or might be misunderstood.

As we love the person, we get scared about our expression not expressed properly. We don’t want our loved one to feel sad, or leave us, or hate us in turn. That’s why, we are more conscious and, thus, more scared.

On the other hand, hate is often expressed with disgust or anger in a surge. We don’t care for the person. We don’t care if the person understands us differently than the way we want. We don’t care if the person gets hurt by us or doesn’t talk to us ever… And that is why, we don’t carry burden while expressing hate to someone.

But, even hate can be tricky to express, if hate is mixed with other factors such as our nature to be likable with everyone around us, or hate mixed with care for the person, or gratitude towards other person’s good nature against our hate… All this can make expressing hate complicated.

If you have any such incident where you had difficulties expressing your love or hate, share with me…

According to you, which feeling is difficult to express for you? Love? Or Hate?

She Almost Loved Me

Almost a fictional narrative about a girl who loved me…
… …

Not every one finds true love in their lives. And of those who do, not everyone can realise that fact before already losing them.

I woke up with a grim face. It was Sunday morning and I got up from my slumped position on my bed when the doorbell rang.

I walked up to door without giving a second look to nothing to my way and came back without looking who it was once I opened the door. Nothing mattered to me, except that I wanted to go back to sleep.

Soon I got bored of sleeping, I woke up and took a bath, dressed up and prepared my breakfast. I switched on the TV as that was what I was gonna do for the whole day. I put a random channel with some movie going on and sat infront of the screen.

I didn’t even realize that clock completed three whole rotations and I was sitting at the same place since morning till noon. I had to go for my lunch somewhere.

I entered a random restaurant and ate whatever they served on the plate.

After returning back home, I slumped back on the couch and took my phone in my hand for the first time since waking up. There were several notifications, which I casually swiped through, half even without reading.

While doing that, I saw a notification of a new profile update by her. I quickly opened that notification and stared at her beautiful face for quite a while. She wore a baby pink tee with khakhi shorts and matching star shaped earnings. Her eyes were round and teasing as always. She made a mouse face like a child and all I felt was pain…

In our lives, we are given several opportunities to find happiness. The catch here is that if you fail at finding that limited stock of happiness, you’d definitely find unlimited stock of grief…

There was a time when we were totally crazy into our friendship. We used to talk only occasionally, but whenever we did, we really hit it off.

I still remember when I first met her at a birthday party of my friend and our journey started from then. We stayed in different States and could hardly meet, but that never reduced our emotions for each other.

We used to share our deepest secrets and our deepest fears with each other. We used to help each other in the weirdest of all problems and used to handle the other person’s bothersome habits.

But somehow, in the game of balancing on the string of emotions, we somehow forget that one little jerk may cause a painfull fall.

I completed writing down another story for my blog. It was almost evening and time for exercise. I started doing it as hard as I could, trying to give me more and more difficulty.

Now-a-days I enjoyed watching myself in pain. A day without some trouble wouldn’t count as a day for me at all. And when in some trouble, I would let me suffer to my heart’s content before coming out of it.

Not always, but at times, pain is the best medicine for a hurt heart.

After my workout, I walked out in the balcony to watch kids playing. Watching them play was comforting for me in these otherwise ho-hum days. I missed playing table tennis with her. We had played only once when we met after two years of our friendship on her birthday in her town. That day is engrossed in my mind eternally.

The screensaver started on my laptop which brought me back to this world. I was lost thinking about the time we were together. I saw our photos of the trip to Manali. It was ecstatic watching our pics. We were so great together. But then, not all can maintain the balance in a relationship. And I was poor in that.

One thing led to other and other thing led to another. We were fighting over petty issues. And she brooded at me for several days. I being of that nature never realized that she was sulky due to that incident. I had forgotten that fight the next morning I woke up, but she was very hurt.

After that fight, she used to tell me all the things that she ignored earlier in me and how that made her feel sad and stewed due to my behavior. And I got more and more agitated for the fact that she had never mentioned these things before and we were so good together, how did these things come in between us!

Soon her behavior changed. Her emotions for me were wearing off. She was moving away from me while I was still trying to identify the issue that led to this time in our relationship. All things aside, but she couldn’t heal off the holes left in her heart by my thorns, my actions.

Emotionally hurt person has scars all over the body, just not visible. With each breath that he takes, with each pump of blood in his veins, those scars are touched again, are scraped again, with the claws of his broken heart, trying to stay alive…

She was a girl who understood me more than myself. And she knew that I wouldn’t be able to understand what she felt or why she is changing. And so she moved, slowly, away from me. She knew that this would scar us both, but she did it for her happiness. She would have always felt graveled with my behavior and attitude towards life. And she left, without breaking me into pieces, without tearing me apart… But without her, what was I, a scrambled soul.

As we had never told each other about our love for each other, there was no breaking up. It was just a parallel shift from being great together to just being us, not together.

Even today we talk and share a laugh or two. But times have changed. It is not the same as before and it won’t ever be. She took a turn in her life and moved on to be happy. While I’m standing on that turn, thinking about where to go, as without her there’s no journey left in my life.

My phone rang and my friends were meeting up for a late night party and booze. I got ready and walked in the party with a big smile on my face. My friends cheered me welcome as being the most beaming person of the group.

Up above the stars watched me spread joy and humor in the group with my, sometimes pesky, sense of humor. But the moon went behind the dark clouds, so that he had not to see me as I acted out my condition infront of the world.

At night, I try not to remember her. For if I let it be, I wouldn’t want to wake up from my dreams. I will see those dreams when I finally lie on my last bed.

Togetherness ought to be the biggest sin, for it takes away the life out of our heart when it finally stays no more…

The Unusual Driver

A lady returning from office, late at night on a desolated street, trying to find a cab but finds goons instead. Read on to find out how she manages to run away.
… …

The telephone rang after ages and its ring seemed extra loud, as if it was screaming for proving its existence.

Riya got surprised on hearing that unfamiliar sound. The call was from her home, they were tired of trying to reach her on her ever-silent cellphone.

It was half-past twelve, mid-night. By this time, the helper staff would have left the building and security personnel would have slept in their cabins. And Riya knew about this. She forgot to look at the clock in making the presentation more appealing. After all, it was her first big prospective order from a reputed client and she had to give her best.

She left the building after closing her office, rather reluctantly. She never liked to lock this building as she had grown a special attachment to this place. It was from here that she had started her own business, that was all hers – no dependence on anyone. But her business was growing and so was the need for a bigger office.

It was a business street and was covered with offices all the way to several intersections ahead. So, at night it seemed deserted and a little scary to people not familiar with this road.

Riya wasn’t afraid of this road, the darkness. She had walked on this street for all her life. She took the second exit from the first crossway. It was very easy to find a cab on that street, had it been a normal office leaving time. At this time, the street looked more deserted than the desert.

She went on walking while trying different apps to find a cab. But she couldn’t find anyone operating in that area at that time. And she could call for cab only if the cab is operating in the nearby vicinity. Technology has its limitations after-all.

She was desperately trying to get some service online when a gang of vagabonds appeared out of nowhere on the next carrefour. It seemed through their behavior that they were probably drunk. And it still wasn’t very safe for a lone girl pass by a group of men in this country.

She was wondering what to do, whether to take another road or to walk through that situation strongly, thinking positive or to walk while calling someone or pretending to do so… when a car horn startled her.

At once, her mind started shooting different thoughts – whether it’s another mob of trash people who have come to kidnap her or whether it’s just another patrol van, which will be more grievous for anyone at night as they will hypothesize a filmy situation of crime and adultery and will demand proof for one’s righteousness without having evidence of any offense.

When she turned she was happy to see the yellow colored number plate on the car. Finally, a cab had arrived on that forsaken street.

The cab stopped ahead of her and the driver looked directly at her without saying anything. She looked at him, saw the green light saying ‘Available’, was about to hop in the car, when thoughts started pouring in her mind again. Riya found it hard even to trust the cabbie.

The cab blew a squeaky horn that got her attention. She stopped again, and considered taking the cab. She saw those drunk strangers up ahead the crossway and found somehow more safer to go with a single stranger instead of a bunch of ’em.

She sat inside the cab and told him her destination. The cab driver started driving without a word. He didn’t even look back at her. However, Riya was constantly looking directly at him and then at the navigation in her cellphone. She kept an eye out for any wrong turn the cab might take.

He wore a normal sweatshirt and rugged pants with a not-matching cabbie hat. His dashboard was unacceptably clean for a taxi. And there was a small family picture pasted on the only empty space on the dashboard. The backdrop looked ancient, and the driver was weirdly young comparing his picture and his current face, Riya thought. The cab had a distinguishing smell, as if the upholstery was polished recently. The dashboard design was also very old compared to the cab nowadays.

“How come you don’t show up in the taxi app? I tried searching for cabs, but there weren’t any on the app.” Riya’s suspicion was still on.

“I haven’t connected my services with those apps. I still believe in the old ways. Streets were more safer back then.” driver replied without looking at her.

Riya looked at the antiquated taximeter, which was working surprisingly. She was comfortable to be sitting in an unregistered cab. But, she hadn’t enough options. She didn’t ask any further questions to the cabbie, and hoped to reach some active street, if not crowded at this hour.

All the things were causing her to be suspicious but then…

“Don’t worry madam. You’re safe now. Those drunk people, or anyone for that sake, won’t be a problem to you anymore.” Cabbie said.

Finally she trusted the cab driver enough to sit without suspicion. The cool breeze and the calm ride took Riya into a quick nap, unknowingly.

After a while, when she woke up, the engine sound was off. The car had stopped. She abruptly got up to see where she was. But then calmed down to see the familiar neighbourhood. She had reached her destination.

She turned to talk to the driver but stopped when she saw the driver was sitting without any movement or any motion whatsoever. She saw the meter for the fare and shuffled through her purse to get the money out. She dropped the amount in driver’s box without looking at the driver, where something caught her eye. The box was almost empty, but had a few old, outdated currency in it. That currency wasn’t in circulation since years.

“Thank you madam. You’ve paid generously.” the driver spoke in a weird voice.

Riya almost got a heart attack when she heard his husky, changed, broken voice. She dropped the currency notes that she was examining from the driver’s box at his abrupt break, and looked up to find that the driver had turned to look at her – for the first time all this while.

His face was deadened and a large, slant cut on his face that ran through his eyes agitated Riya. She stopped ajar at the sight of him, but she didn’t ask anything to him. She just smiled and hurriedly left the car. On her way out, she saw the rear-view mirror just for an instance but she couldn’t see the driver.

She panicked and ran a few steps. But then, she must have seen from a different angle, the driver must have shifted while she saw that mirror, or she might have just imagined that in her mind. She just wanted to take another look at that scarred face, to see that vintage cab again and feel that smell of new polish, she wanted to ask the cabbie how he got that scar, she wanted to take another look inside that mirror… she wanted to thank him from dropping her at the right place.

Having walked just a few steps from the car, she gathered all her courage and turned back towards the cab. Out of all the things that she could imagine, she wouldn’t have imagined this.

The car had turned from a vintage car to a scrap, and was broken into trash as if a truck had hit it. The windows were broken and sparks were flaring up the car. There was once a moment that she could see the driver burning inside the cab. The driver’s head turned back in his seat and saw directly towards Riya through the rear window.

Riya was terrified deep down to her every nerve that she couldn’t even move an inch at that horrific sight.

Just a blink and everything in front of her disappeared. As if the car was never there, the cabbie was her imagination and all these events were just pen downed by some horror-stricken writer; the street ahead of Riya was as clean and as empty as ever. The night was calm and silent again.

But then, she had come all this way from her office to her home. It just cannot be an imagery all inside her head. Can it?

There are many streets untraveled by people at night. And this cab lurks around those roads, not to harm anyone, but to prevent a harm.

But would you trust it? …If you find one that is, or if it finds you…

The “Perfect Time” Trap

A trap of waking up at the rounded up time in the clock.
… …

The “Perfect Time” Trap is that when one decides to wake up at a time which is a round figure, they tend to never wake up at any time as they always mark a subsequent time as rounded time compared to current time.

What really helps this is that you wake up at any time in the clock, your definition for a perfect figure time changes.

If you wake up at 6:37, you wanna wake up at 6:40. When it is 6:40, you wanna wake up at 6:45, a more complete figure.

If you wake up at exactly 7:00, a rare scenario, you will take several mins to see the clock, which will again be a non-rounded time, say 7:09. Now you wanna wake up at 7:30…

I go through this everyday. And somehow, I have to let go of my desire to wake up at a perfect time…

First of all, I’d be dreaming about some weird thing which will wake me up early than the time I had expected. So I’d think of a better time to wake up and go to sleep again. Again, all sorts of weird dreams will come up. I’ll somehow get out of those, but it will be too late and the time would have ran way ahead. Desperate to wake up at a perfect time, I’d dig inside the blanket yet another time, this time half awake and counting the time. If I wake up on time this time, I’d still not be happy because anyway I wanted to sleep more.

The only way to come out of this is to wake up at whatever time you open your eyes without seeing the time. Taking another nap for a few minutes more is nothing but a trap. Don’t fall for it… The sand in the hourglass never forms a flat surface on its own.

I say this to me every night and do the same thing every morning. As if, in the morning my mind is not in my control and forgets all my talks from the night earlier. It starts functioning on its own wishes and the result is that I’m always late for everything in the morning.

And now, it has become so normal for me – to wake up late – that the day I break from the trap by waking up at exactly a perfect numerical time, I feel accomplished! 😀

So have you been waiting for a perfect time to fo something? A perfect time to start that book, to leave that sucking job, to propose her, to give that guy a tight slap, to start that new business idea or to start something you really wanna do?

Then do it… There’s no perfect time to start.

Till then, I’ll just get on with that extra 5 mins of sleep. The perfect time to wake up is right now (for you), never (for me). 😉

P.s.: I was waiting to publish this on a perfect time… I’m so obsessed with perfection that doesn’t matter! 😛

Fear of Tests

Fear of Tests

No matter what test it is, there’s always a fear of test crawling into my confidence, slowly weakening it.
… ….

No matter what kinda test that I’m supposed to give, there will always be a fear of test imbibed into my inner self, crawling over my confidence and slowly weakening it.

The fear of test doesn’t go away as we grow up. It stays, hidden, ready to attack whenever another test or task comes up. It was so dearly implanted and nurtured by parents, teachers and society during my education years that now it is almost impossible for me to ignore it.

Usually, we sense this fear as soon as we get to hear the word – test or any of its synonyms. We feel so dejected by the fact that we are supposed to be giving a test soon. And that is not just the only food to feed this fear.

No matter how meager the value of the test is or how less it’s gonna impact our life, everything around us conspires to make it such a big deal for us in our lives that we also believe in that!

When it comes to giving a test, there’s always a cost of exam attached. Hence, we fear that our expense might not yeild proper return if we don’t clear the exam in the first attempt.

Our family members keep on reminding us about our exams and that we should be working for it, that we should be practicing for it. It keeps on hitting our gut so hard that the test is such a big deal and we won’t be able of clear it is we don’t try hard.

On the day of exam, our mom brings ‘dahi shakkar’, giving us best wishes for the exam. But that too reminds you of the exam, the seriousness, if you have forgotten it.

This all happened with me recently… I had my driving test.

I don’t own a car. I haven’t had driven car ever in my life. I took driving classes, which were pretty bad actually. And I didn’t have any practice for the driving test. And I can go on and on giving excuses for my lack of preparation for the test. But yes, I did have that fear of test even in this case.

All the events that I narrated above happened with me, except ‘dahi shakkar’. But yes, praying before God happened in my case, that’s the way we do it in my family instead of ‘dahi shakkar’.

Then all the fear accumulated and came out while giving the test in various forms like perspiration, heavy breathing, and haste and lack of confidence. My mind went blank and I did miserably at the things I was good at actually. The result was negative. And I came home with my first failure in life.

People say that failures are very important if you want to achieve something big. Well, it certainly didn’t feel anything like that. I let. E while episode pass by and thought it to be just a driving test. Not a big deal. But the fear of tests was not to be defeated so easily.

As soon as I came home, my mom came out running, eagerness on her face… She had already assumed my result to be positive. And it took me great effort to prove it to her that I was saying the truth when I said I failed.

Then her expression turned from eagerness to worrisome bothersome tension. That expression which can give you goosebumps instantly inside your head. The fear of test started to creep into me again.

She asked me several questions about what went wrong. I sincerely answered. Then she gave several advices on how I should have taken up this task and explained to me how poorly I had practiced and what were all the flaws in my methodology.

After an hour of discussion from her side, and listening from my side, I actually started to feel bad about not clearing the test. And that was another food for my fear of tests.

Then I spent the whole day thinking about the whole episode and it bothered me to much to not have cleared it at one go. I was already scared for my next attempt. And that was when I had lost the game… even before playing it.

All the people who knew about my driving test asked me questions for the next whole week. And they never let me conquer over the fear of tests in my mind. All of that made the roots of that fear strong and well established in my guts.

The constant nagging, reminding of the tests, setting of expectations and my good self nature of trying to honor their expectations, all the time, made it worse.
I was on the verge of breakdown… When my friend talked with me about it and laughed. She said what’s the big deal about a driving test! It doesn’t even impact you in anyway serious… I calmed down for a bit.

But people were always trying to bring out the fear from deep inside my heart… For it never dies. It stays, lives with us, feeds on our confidence and helps us in every way possible to fail the test. Brings us all the pain of not meeting the expectations and the mockery & harrasment from society.

So I dedicate this failure to all those who helped me not forget my fear for tests and to all those who have made sure that the fear stays with me forever… Thank you.

Small Bites with Family: Accidental Booze

When You Accidentally Drank Booze Infront of Your Parents

What happens when someone offers you vodka and you take it openly, without realizing that someone is watching you… 😛

… …

Now for those of you who found this title weird and think that what’s wrong in doing this, kindly consider that I come from a dry state and here no one would have ever seen me drinking before.

So this happened when I had gone to a different state for giving my presence in my sister’s wedding. This state doesn’t have restrictions on drinking and it’s very normal for people to drink.

It was sangeet night, the night when there’s open battle of dancing between bride’s side and groom’s side. Battle is namesake, everyone just wants to enjoy and dance.

We were on the dance floor and we almost had forgotten where we were and who all were watching us. Our concentration was mainly on dancing and impressing people in nearby vicinity.

But then suddenly, someone from our group comes with a bottle of water and offers it to everyone while drinking it himself. Being from a dry state, you never suspect a water bottle and humbly accept it with gratitude. So did I while taking a big gulp from the bottle, till that person took it away from me.

But as the vodka drains down your throat and every thing it touches heats up, you know that it’s too late… In my case, I came to know it a little later when it has successfully landed on my stomach bed.

I ignored it and kept dancing. Good thing is that a few gulps doesn’t do any harm / good to me. I stay sober nonetheless. I didn’t see anyone around me. But back in my mind, I knew that everyone had seen me drink from that bottle.

When my eyes accidentally met my mom’s, she immediately gestured me to come down the dance floor and talk. And I knew it will be a serious talk.

I somehow managed to keep a calm face, innocence on it. As I didn’t suspect the water bottle to contain anything else than water, so I couldn’t be held guilty, I thought.

She asked me did I drink anything that anyone else offered? This was a truth test. I passed. I told her what happened, exactly as it happened. She warned me to not accept anymore drinks from anyone as there it was normal for those people. I silently obliged…

I went back to the dance floor, handled the repercussions of the vodka on my body and danced my heart out. Again, everyone around me was a bit drunk, and ditzy. Whereas, I was sober, as far as dizziness is concerned. We all danced like maniacs, but the thought came to my mind afterwards that people might have thought that it was vodka that made me dance crazy…

When I came back from the dance floor, ready to leave the party, I felt thirsty. I grabbed a water bottle from a nearby waiter. My mom instantly snatched it from me and tasted it herself to check that it was actually water. I smiled at her while taking back the bottle, but I was thinking… How different people see a particular act, when they come from a different background and environment!

Anyways, the night went well, and vodka gulp didn’t have any visible effect on me. Fingers-crossed…

Series of Small Bites Posts:

https://justhokumhere.wordpress.com/2016/03/26/small-bites-with-family/