MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “human nature”

Learn, thrive, and grow together

It’s a skill knowing when to stop a tiff from developing into a full-grown quarrel. It takes patience and a lot of struggle to reach the point of constraint, of choosing to walk away and quieten down rather than engage in a fight not worth having.

It takes time to learn things. Any thing.

Like the fact that you cannot force people to change. No matter how much you love them or care for them. Regardless of how deeply you let them in, people will only understand what they want. And they will alter their ways only when they truly desire. But just like a selfish person cannot become more caring, an altruist cannot suddenly stop placing others first and only look out for their own benefit. It goes both ways.

It is a wonder, really: is there something in between either feeling everything so profoundly or hardly sensing anything at all?

We are so accustomed to the stories we tell ourselves, those deafening voices in our heads that convince us to try more, to talk more, to press more in the hope that we’ll put ourselves out there and people will finally see us for who we are, for what we’re worth, for the value we so long for them to acknowledge. Yet in this, we fail to see that what we intend as effort, as nurturing care, and affection, to others seems as a suffocating attempt to change their beliefs and attitudes. We judge ourselves on our intentions and not on how we make the other person feel. We act in the way we consider as ‘common sense’ and obvious, but it is not so for everyone, and we often fail to realise that people seldom think and act the same way. Our cheerful ramble confiding in another a portion of our day may be regarded as moaning and just noisy chatter. We feel disappointed and rejected because we’ve created an expectation in our head that is hardly ever met. We set out already knowing what we want to see, and are shattered when it doesn’t play out as such.

Perhaps the biggest mistake we make is taking everything too personally; even when that is how it seems, we are rarely the reason people act like they do. The real cause for people’s behaviour lies within themselves, their upbringing, their experiences, their fears, their influences, their social surroundings, or even just the noise in their own heads.

True relationships – of any sort – help us do three essential things: learn together, grow together, and thrive together. Having fun is just a bonus. Any relationship makes you better in every single way possible. That’s the point of it after all.

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Inner conflicts

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It sounds like a cliché but it’s true: Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. You are not aware of what is going on in other people’s lives. You only know what they allow you to. If you are not at the receiving end of a heartfelt conversation, you’ll never know. You won’t realise the depth of the people around you if they don’t open up to you.

People long to share their emotions. It’s a way of maximising the joy of success and good news, and a means of alleviating the suffering of pain and sadness. It’s not about making you feel jealous or burdening you with additional problems. It’s about trusting you enough to confide in you their intimate details.

Secrecy breeds pain. In all aspects. If we keep things inside of us, we’re suffering so much on our own that we’re causing our own destruction. And no one knows.

We let people in whom we can trust. Whom we believe won’t scare away. Who’ll comprehend that what we want is someone to sit by us in silence while we share our version of the world.

True, we all have different viewpoints, but it is only when we are given another’s lens that we begin to see the world differently.

Icebergs have the extraordinary ability to be able to majestically float when the majority of them is underwater, hidden from the naked eye. We sort of do the same when something is wrong. We hide it under the carpet, hoping nobody will see it and pretending it will go away.

There is so much more to what we see in others. You can discern it in their eyes, in the authenticity of their smile, in the sincerity of their laugh. Happiness comes in waves. But it’s at the lowest points that we need help getting back up. Even if asking for assistance may seem like the hardest thing to do.

Every person you meet is going through things you will never know.

Just like you share in your head thoughts you will never speak of.

Plant your energy

There is an experiment simple enough that children are even taught to carry out: you take two plants and water each of them equally, but to the one you speak lovingly with kind, encouraging words, while to the other you burst out your rage, anger and hatred. You watch them grow over time and soon realise that the first one blooms into a tall, sturdy, leafy plant, while the latter steadily withers away into misery.

Humans are like that too.

The words we receive affect us in every way.

We are told to be careful of the language we use to talk to ourselves. Those deafening voices inside our head and what they tell us. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to hear things we wouldn’t even tell our enemy. That being said, we shouldn’t tolerate such negativity neither from ourselves, neither from anyone around us.

We become what we constantly tell ourselves.

But have you ever considered that no one wants to be kicked at when they’re already down? When we’re having a bad day and someone else is having a great one, the aim is not to bring the latter down, but to lift the former up.

Friends are there to raise our spirits when we ourselves can’t talk ourselves out of a bad state. They need to realise when we require a pep talk, when we call for a reality check, or simply a few words of encouragement. There are days when life seems to suck. It’s just the way it is at that moment for some. And we need to help them deal with it. Not by showcasing all their negative traits, but by pinpointing all their positive ones so that they too can see how brilliant they are regardless if it doesn’t feel so at that time. We need people who can speak highly of us even in the midst of an argument. We don’t need people around us insensitive so as not to realise when they’re causing more trouble than they’re worth, overstaying their welcome and causing problems to an already tumultuous relationship. Friends respect our choices and the people we’re with, and they tolerate them even when they don’t agree with them. We desire friends who call to check up simply for the sake of it and who can sit with us in silence just for the company.

There is a time for being criticised and one for being consoled. Our people can distinguish between the two.

You can’t feed a plant with negativity and expect it to be the joy of life.

The same is true for people.

Treat them well, and they’ll give you even more of their heart.

It all comes down to how you make them feel.

Life-changing flares

It takes courage to get up in the morning and convince yourself that today will be the day when something so wonderfully extraordinary happens that life will never be the same.

It takes guts to be so cheerful before you’ve barely opened your eyes.

Leo was one of those guys.

He was that person who sang as he shaved before going to work. Who made breakfast for the family on weekends. Who hardly complained about anything, because ‘what good would that do?’ He was the one who could literally turn your frown upside down because when you saw him, you wished there were more of him in the world.

Linda was a girl with mood swings. Like any female, she was easily affected by hormonal changes, to the extent that days of laughter would be preceded by spurs of inexplicable irritation or followed by moments of melancholic sobbing. There was no real explanation for any of it. She was, however, a person who would wear her heart on her sleeve; she would do anything she could and more to take care of the people she loved. She would organise surprises and be happier for the emotion felt rather than the gift itself. She was a person who would go all out, and despite what she said, she secretly hoped someone would do something similar for her too.

When they met, the flare lit up inside both instantly.

Leo asked her if she believed in fate. “What if everything we lived was precisely to lead us to this very moment, so that we could meet right here, right now?

What if we’re one connection away from changing our entire lives?” was her response.

She smiled and his entire world lit up. His heart fluttered and she blushed, her eyes glistening with happiness.

It wasn’t always easy. But they tried. Together. It required finding the middle line. Making compromises and retreating when fighting would not lead anywhere.

I need you to be happy, because we can’t be sad together,” he told her when she felt blue.

If you laugh, I’ll smile,” she would reply.

And step-by-step they would make each other better.

In life we don’t need extravagance; just one person to turn on the light. Everything else will follow.

A cheetah among dogs

We humans are curious creatures.

We like to talk about each other, but we have a vital need to feel acknowledged. More so by those we appreciate and love.

It makes us feel valued, it boosts our confidence, and gives us motivation.

But the thing is, in all these modern self-help and manifestation vibes going around, we’re taught to depend on no one other than yourself in knowing your own worth.

We’re supposed to know our own value. To not alter that despite what others think. Yet, we are unavoidably impacted by external opinions. Perhaps to a larger extent than we should.

It takes strength and great confidence to dispel the outer voices and go with whatever you think is appropriate and what makes you feel good with yourself.

You don’t always have to prove yourself.

Sometimes it is even insulting to have to demonstrate your worth (just look at that cheetah in the dog race).

The red lines we cross

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We all have them. But it’s only when we cross them that we perceive their significance.

Red lines are like raising the alarm; that something is wrong.

We all seemingly know at what point something becomes unacceptable to us. But you never really believe you’ll reach that point, or surpass your limits in an often dangerous manner.

We dream of life to be perfect, with as few problems as possible, with disagreements being restricted to a minimum with our colleagues, partner, friends, or even strangers. Hoping whatever row we have may be trivial five minutes later, when we eventually cross those red lines of ours and tensions rise and voice levels increase, we are stunned ourselves. Because this point of no return was never our intention. And it usually becomes so obvious in how it leaves you drained, emotionally exhausted, and psychologically unable to think straight.

We exceed our limits when we accumulate emotions and thoughts for too long without expressing them; when we’re fighting a battle on our own and trying to conceal it from everyone else; when we’re pressing ourselves too hard to appear that everything is fine when it’s really not; when we want someone to stand by but are too proud to ask.

When our mind is too clouded to be able to think clearly, we can only see problems rather than solutions to them. That is when we need a support circle the most. To help us restore reason in that chaos-creating head of ours. It’s not easy. Nothing of value ever is. It would be too boring otherwise. We sometimes need to transcend our own limits – and our comfort zone – to awaken to everything else that can happen if we rattle ourselves up a bit.

For the record and as an interesting fact: The origin of the phrase ‘red line’ in English traces back to the “Red Line Agreement” in 1928 between largest oil companies of Britain, the USA and France at the time of the end of the Ottoman Empire. At the time of signature, the borders of the former empire were not clear, and to remedy the problem an Armenian businessman named Calouste Gulbenkian, took a red pencil to draw in an arbitrary manner the borders of the divided empire. The expression remained significant to global diplomacy and was reused during the UN’s founding after the WWII, especially in the English-speaking world.

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.

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