MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “human behavior”

The way we feel about it all

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We tend to associate people with events, circumstances, and above all emotions. It’s the feeling they evoke when we first meet. That aura they radiate. The vibes they emit. You know you click with someone from the first instance you set eyes on each other. And your intuition is often never wrong.

The thing is, if we encounter people at a negative condition, it’s very difficult to revoke that prejudice about them that we’ve already created. We may forget the event, or what actually happened, but what remains is how it made us feel. And feelings are an important part of who we are. They affect every single thing – from our attitude, our words our perspective, to our appetite.

It’s true that the chaos and irrationality that govern our everyday lives certainly do not help calm our often inexplicable nerves and agitation. But we try. We invest effort constantly to maintain a mental serenity that will help us get through the day, the week, the month, and so forth. It’s not always easy. And we certainly require some assistance in changing the way we feel. Perhaps we think too much about it all. Because our experience of life is seamless and smooth until the moment we stop to rationalise it all, to overthink, overanalyse and often overreact about it.

Coffee stop

©Ted Strutz

It was a four-hour drive to Minnesota. A very long period of time to not speak to each other.

Can we stop for coffee?” she said softly after about an hour and a half passed.

He nodded; “Of course, at the next stop”.

It wasn’t the drink itself that was a necessity for them both. It was the act of reconciling over it.

Coffee, no matter how much a requisite for some to start the day, is a means to enjoying each other’s company. It is the pretext of getting together and sharing views.

Of enjoying life with one another.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Set limits

There is a simple truth we tend to realise the hard way, after suffering too much disappointment in people: not everyone is worth your time.

We need to set limits not to keep others away, but to protect our own selves.

The world has fallen apart because we envy and hate more than we admire and love.

Solidarity is just a word, not an action.

So many empty statements are made, filled with hypocrisy and feint that it is not easy to trust anyone anymore.

We need to clear our lives of toxic, narcissistic people who have nothing real to offer us; to tear off their masks so we can alleviate ourselves from the burden of trying to please everyone to the extent that we neglect our own well-being.

‘No’ is in fact a complete sentence. We need to start saying it more so life can smile upon us.

Everything comes at the right timing, as long as we are able to deal with the situations we are called to face.

To remain optimistic, we need to have positive, smiling people around us.

But unfortunately, those genuinely rejoicing with your happiness are rare to find.

Up there

©Roger Bultot

Take me up there,” she said, pointing at the high-storey building in front of them.

He had asked what she wanted to do for their first day in the city together. He had been there for two months already before their schedules coincided enough for her to be able to visit.

He was planning on surprising her during the few days she was there. He wanted her to stay there with him. And as soon as their eyes met when she arrived, he was certain of it.

He was going to propose up there, with a view of the city.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Morning signs

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It was like a morning ritual: breakfast, coffee and the daily reading of her horoscope. She didn’t necessarily believe everything she read, but somehow she felt it offered a glimpse of what her day would be like.

Cecilia was a busy woman. Entrepreneur, with her own business since a young age, with diplomas and degrees, she delivered seminars and was a powerful figure in an industry dominated by the opposite sex. Yet, she was great with interpersonal relations, managed to network fast and easily with others, made friends or acquaintances easily, and was greatly popular in the romantic aspect of life too. But she placed the bar too high for the people too close to her. She held high expectations for who she became intimate with, who she shared her dreams, plans and sentiments with, and most of all, to whom she devoted her time and energy.

People often asked her why such a dynamic person as herself believed so much in horoscopes and zodiac signs.

There was no real answer to this. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your social status is. We all need some form of clarity about the uncertainty that dominates our lives.

Indeed, like many articles on the matter note, “astrology may not give definite answers, but providing meaningful explanations of ambiguous or confusing situations can increase an individual’s sense of control over them… It can also provide reassurance about the future, bringing people great comfort and reducing their feelings of distress”.

We all seek something to help us alleviate the stress we feel on a daily basis. Something to explain why things turn out the way they do – a Mercury in retrospect; the planets misaligned; an ascending Jupiter.

Astrology tends to help people deal with negative events in their lives, precisely because it seemingly offers a prediction or reasoning for life’s events. “A number of studies have demonstrated that people are more likely to turn to astrology when they are experiencing personal crises or facing stresses in life, attesting to its benefits in minimizing tension and worry during difficult situations”.

But there is also something more: “Studies show that astrology can greatly influence and even validate a person’s self-concept, as well as increase their certainty about their personal attributes. In short, the ruminative nature of astrology encourages self-reflection, enabling individuals to understand themselves and their environment more clearly”. If we need zodiac signs to gain a greater sense of who we are, believe in ourselves more and become more confident about our own characteristics, then perhaps we should all be aware of what our horoscopes say. We just need to remember that, regardless, we are the ones who forge our path in life.

Seeking advice

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We seek advice from others because it is often deafening to quarrel with the sound of your own voice inside your head. We feel the need for an exterior perspective, in case we’re missing something given that we’re so deep in the situation we’re experiencing.

Perhaps it is true that “advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t” (Erica Jong) or maybe it’s just that we look to others to help us find a solution we’re too blind to see.

Talking to others – to the right others – most times helps us clarify things that are fogging our own judgement. It makes us see a clearer picture by getting out of the circle of our own bias and viewing a more spherical perspective.

But there is a catch in turning to friends – or professionals – for help: they’re not you. And whatever they tell you, they’re not the ones who will have to live with the decisions you make.

Not all friends want what’s best for you, neither does everyone understand how you feel, how you react, your idiosyncrasies, needs or desires. But most importantly, no one really knows what you should do in any given situation; opinions are not facts; they’re merely a perspective of reality. And each person behaves differently, leading to a diverse outcome each time. There is no ‘one-shoe-fits-all’ solution to all of our problems. Plus not all ‘friends’ want what is best for you; jealousy is a vicious characteristic.

Remember this: “You are the expert on you and even if you don’t know something, nobody can know what’s best for you better than you. So start trusting your gut instincts more and listen to other so-called experts less”.

“The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm” (Joshua Miller)

Communicate it

In all we want to say but never do, in the things we say but don’t even mean, in the words lost for the emotions we don’t express, there is so much communication that fades between us.

Not everyone has the same way of externalising what they feel, think or even want to say.

But surely there must be a way of sending your message out to others.

Be it by humour – no matter how cold or inappropriate; body language, drawings, lyrics, or any other way, being able to express yourself is an integral necessity of our human nature, and ultimately our survival.

Because if we cannot even understand each other, how can we help each other become the better versions we are capable of?

Support in actions

If you observe the signs around you, you’ll see a lot more than what you’re asking for in a verbal communication. That is, there are some things words cannot express.

Not everyone can – or will – communicate in the way you expect or want them to. Each person has their own way of demonstrating affection. You just have to be open enough to see it.

Sometimes, showing that you care is simply by keeping the house warm for your partner, cooking dinner when their too busy, or simply calling to check in.

There are many ways to be there, even if you’re not physically present.

And at the end of the long, hard days we often have, all we really need is to feel loved and thought of.

Judges of character

© Dale Rogerson

You can tell a lot about a person from their library. What books they read. What worlds they delve into. What thoughts occupy their minds.

Like Robin Sharma said: “Ordinary people have big TVs. Extraordinary people have big libraries”.

Libraries are almost like your portrait; they reflect an image of yourself only few can see.

You can also tell a lot about a person from the pets they keep and the way they treat them. Animals are a great judge of character.

Combine the two, and you have a verdict, right there.

Happy pet and big library means special owner.

Also part of Friday Fictioneer

Masked control

She sneezed and suddenly the entire bus felt tense. It was as if everyone was holding their breath and counting the seconds until the next stop so most could get off. The pandemic has made us too touchy, always on edge, afraid of almost everything. We fear intimacy because we’ve been deprived of it for so long.

Mask constantly on, she got off at the next stop – that was the plan anyway.

She was observing people as she walked by. Their eyes had become their most descriptive characteristic at the moment; when you conceal everything else, what remains becomes more noticeable and gains greater power. You could sense their exasperation with the current situation: some had already given up wearing masks altogether, others were wearing two; most were slumping as if literally bearing their troubles on their back; and more often than not, they were all irritated by something.

So that’s where we’re at: being constantly agitated and not being able to explain why. We’re tired in all ways it is possible and we lack the motivation to do the basics, let alone go the extra mile. We’re carrying all this stress that is often inexplicable and unjustifiable and we seem unable to shake it off.

It’s easier to complain than to react. Perhaps that’s what we’ve forgotten. And we’ve allowed ourselves to tolerate it all passively for so long that we’re now dwelling in the comfort of inaction, seeing no reason to change anything.

No one will push you forward or get you going unless you do. You are your own motivation, alarm clock, red alert etc. If you don’t find a reason to move, no one else will inspire you too either.

We’ve become so reliant on others, on having things ready, at our feet – perhaps this is the downside of so much automation and technology in our lives. The fact that we tend to disregard that we are in fact in control.  So much, that we can even regulate the volume of our own sneeze.

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