YES, NEVER EXPLAIN YOURSELF TO ANYONE
A friend of mine, who is a well-established soft-skill trainer, called me a while ago. “Gerry, I want to enroll my daughter (age 19) for your summer P.D. programme,” he said.
“Come on, you must be joking,” I said, “She has an excellent guru right at home.”
“But, Gerry, you know how it is,” my trainer-friend said, “Our own children are, always, more receptive to outside gurus than the in-house ones. I trust you and that’s it.”
“Never explain yourself to anyone,” we often hear this statement, “For, your friends do not need it; and, your enemies do not believe it.”
I really think, that all explanations are futile, if we see from this perspective. I get drained, sometimes, when I attempt to ‘explain’ to others… how I teach, how I handle students – my methodology, my approach to exams, marks, homework, success, discipline and everything that goes in the name of students’ development, success, excellence, coaching, competition and so on.
Over decades of teaching and training experience, many of us are fortunate, that we do not have to ‘explain’ ourselves to others on these matters. In my case, mostly, there is no need to go that route. Those who come to me, mostly, come through a good reference… The word of mouth, I have believed, to be the best form of publicity. However, despite this, I do encounter some parents, who go on ‘judging’, ‘digging’, ‘probing’ and ‘mind-reading’… They don’t believe in emotions and sentiments. Well, that’s good for some extent, particularly at the time of initial interaction. But, for some of them, trust doesn’t come easily… They see everything with a suspicious eye, and take everything with a pinch of salt. That is toxic!
Somewhere, the need to seek explanation has to end and trust has to come in. If it doesn’t, the need to give explanation has to end. It’s time to dust your shoes off… and walk away from that spot!
Thanks to the experience gained through my decades of interaction with parents and students, I have begun to sense the ‘trap’ of explanations… The moment I sense it is going to be a trap, I just stay out of it…
“If you are my friend, you will not need it; if you are my enemy, you won’t believe it.” Yes, it’s as simple as that.
I think, this wise counsel applies in all types of relationships – personal, professional and social. If trust doesn’t come even after interacting for weeks, months and years, then, there is some ‘personality disorder’. Jealousy, fear, doubt, resentment, and animosity – well, these are symptoms of this personality disorder. Experience teaches many of us to sense it in our interaction… You cannot change that mindset. It’s hard, deeply rooted. Your explanations won’t help… You will be left frustrated!
So, let the 'hard-nuts-to-crack' be… Leave them alone!
Pic.: Uttam Ghosh