I have not necessarily agreed with many people in their opinions, statements.

I have my own strong views and counter views. My strong beliefs are based on my experience, reading and perception that I have created within me. I see this phenomenon everywhere

For a long time I didn’t recognise that my biases were my nemesis. They are even now.

I may be right as far as I am concerned, but it could be wrong from other person’s perspective. Then who is biased ? Who is right and who is wrong ? Am I or the other person?

At a the very base level it is contextual and personal comfort with respect to the subject or idea that determines one’s right or wrong perception

To stay sensitive to others in this complex world of differing perceptions and biases and yet not getting dragged into negativity/ anger is what is the foundation for engagement, confrontation, negotiations and conflict resolution

In my childhood I was very introverted. I am, by nature, even now. But I evolved towards enjoying outgoing and befriending others.

In my childhood, I used to suppress my emotions within me. I would cry in solitude ( I still do so when my tears of compassion urges to come out). I would jump in joy, also in solitude. I will become very cross with my near and dear ones over an issue and express that in solitude. I used to vent out by taking a long walk in solitude, sitting alone and mulling in solitude

The solitude became my coping mechanism. I wasn’t aware that I am vulnerable to negative thinking pretty fast. I wasn’t aware that my introverted mindset was basically stemming from more self-indulgence than my boyish shyness. Though shyness played also played its part pretty well, particularly in my teenage

The next stage was getting out of introversion to creating friendships and attaching emotions there. The movement towards extroversion was gradual. Yet it was based on how comfortable  I was in that relationship.  My interest in the friend as a person was always there. However, in my subconscious mind it was my image in that friendship that mattered most. Along with this attachment came the side effects of reactive mode of getting angry, sulking, bursting at a flash point in those moments when expectations were belied, the behaviours were not appreciated or understood, when opinions clashed vociferously. But by then, I had shedded my introversion and had turned expressive. Hence my expressive behaviour turned nasty at times in the face of such negative situations.

It started affecting relationships in a flash, which were cultivated assiduously over ages. I used to repent immediately after that expressive behaviour. I used to patch it up again. But it becomes a patch, not anymore the original beautiful one

It took quite a while to understand that it was my attitude towards life, myself with my ego attached and my lack of understanding of importance of my existence with respect to others that was affecting my relationship with the rest of the world

I found it is ok to be introverted and focus on some work, passion or pursuits. But it wasn’t ok, if I need to relate positively wrt external world. I need to be more extrovert. It was also not ok in my extroversion to offend others and damage relationships

There has to be way out , to relate to external world and engage with it without impacting the beauty of relationships

I started seeing myself in the mirror of my soul. I saw the ugly side my attitude

I realised that when you want to relate to external world , you must be sensitive to the worlds’ need, comfort and requirements first.

What is driving others ? How are their emotions being driven ? Do I know enough of the other side’s requirements before I engage ? Do I have enough love to oil my engagement? Am I capable of knowing their needs from engagement? If yes, then proceed, take interest, be civil, listen and understand before you express. Once you know, express in most respectful way, knowing well that you could still be biased, and partially knowing/ understanding.

Is it necessary to react and say the contrarian view vociferously? If you do so, then you are focused on your ego, not the engagement.

Engagement is always enquiry and advocacy. It is always understanding and contributing. It is never “My way or Highway”. It is always many ways. It is always explorations and opportunities.

Hence, one can confront someone when one doesn’t  agree, or one is averse to what is being done by the other person. But how does one do that ?  One can do that in such a way that other person feels one’s concern for him or her. It is this concern and love 💓 that matters, that oils the relationship even while confronting

As Keerthu has written

People change as seasons do. Hot as summer, when we confront them. Cold as winter, if we offend them. Warm and pretty as fall, when we praise them. Bloom with fragrance when we love 💕 them

Or as Drake has told

Live without pretending. Love without depending. Listen without defending. And speak without offending

I will not say that I have learnt this art of agreeing to disagree or confronting without offending. I am still working on my ego. But I know that I have enjoyed those moments when I could use restraint on my negative emotions and cultivate love in my confrontation and disagreements

When we change ourselves, the world changes along with us. Let the journey of transformation be on and let it happen within

Stay Happy, stay Blessed

Happy Dussehra and Navaratri to all

 

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Rajib Kumar Jena

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