It is interesting to observe our behavior towards those who are very critical or reactive towards us.
If these people are not significant in our lives – say, some of our classmates, neighbors, office colleagues, co-passengers and so on - having been on the receiving end of their criticism or reactions frequently, now, we tend to avoid them, shun them. “It is not worth having any relationship with them,” we declare in our hearts, and leave them alone.
On the other hand, if these people are significant people in our lives – say our parents, spouses, bosses, school Principals or teachers, Police or Government officials, Religious heads or our Society Secretaries and so on – we tend to walk on egg-shells… fearing a reaction or criticism from them, any moment. We can not avoid or shun them… We have to live with them. So, we constantly tread with extreme caution… always fearing when egg-shells might break off!
Walking on egg-shells is not a pleasant situation to be in!
We are not at our best natural selves when we walk like that… always wearing our guards on. Fear makes us close, sulk… We do not express our feelings towards those who keep us on egg-shells all the time… We only ‘transact’ with them!
And, that’s, for sure, not a pleasant situation to be!
Now, let’s turn the table.
What about us? Are we, too, critical and reactive towards others in our lives?
Let’s be honest…
Psychologists tell us, that if have grown up under too critical and reactive people, we, too, tend to behave so towards other people in our lives. It means, if my dad was too critical towards me, I too would be towards my son. If a daughter has seen her mom nagging her dad like hell, she too would be towards her own husband… If my teacher was too critical and reactive towards me, I too would be towards my own students…
Well, this piece of psychology may contain some truth in it… as we do tend to learn from what we see when our minds are susceptible…
However, as we all have the freedom of choice, conscience and our own set of values to choose from and live by, we need not continue to do what our parents, teachers and superiors did towards us. Yes, we can break the vicious cycle.
Thus, I think, having some critical and reactive significant-people around, in our lives, though, makes us walk on egg-shells all the time… it helps us, too, to be mature individuals. It provides us definite reason why we should not be so towards others… Why we should break off the vicious cycle…
And, yes, it helps us in one more way: To catch ourselves ‘red-handed’ whenever we slip into the whirlpool of being caustic towards our loved ones… and enable them to walk around us without egg-shells under their feet… Just the way their hearts long to!
Our Life is about our maturity…
And, that’s all we can do about the egg-shells!
Pics.: Aditi Kamath