MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “personality”

The invisible battles

You know that cashier who was rude the other day at the supermarket? The salesperson who seemed uninteresting in helping you? The waiter who evidently ignored you no matter how politely you called numerous times? The person on the bus who took up the whole adjacent seat and did not allow you a space to sit, or the driver who broke out in rage at the morning traffic jam?

They all affect your mood somehow or other.

Because we allow ourselves to be unconsciously burdened by the other’s disposition.

Consider it: If you begin your morning with angered yells, noise from all around, impoliteness, offensive remarks and gestures, and a general irritation that has no apparent cause, won’t you too inadvertently adopt an agitation you cannot explain?

But what about if you started your day with a smile? A sweet good morning message from a loved one, an unexpected caring note, a smile with your take-away coffee, a ‘have a good day’ from the customer you assist, a polite wave from the driver you allow to insert the queue in front of you. Wouldn’t that instantly make you feel better? The satisfaction you receive is immense even from the slightest of things that may seem irrelevant to you.

That morning greeting may have made someone’s day. And it subconsciously also made yours too.

Be polite, always. There is no excuse for rudeness. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

Courtesy costs nothing.

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.

Quirk of Character

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Introverts have a higher threshold than average for letting people in. Be it in their reading lists, their diaries, their lives, their homes, their minds, their hearts. If an introvert starts babbling away to you, you should know that they trust you and feel safe enough to confide in you. It’s not an easy feat for most to achieve.

Call it trust issues if you may, but introverts believe that the people around you need to compliment your happiness, your self-appreciation, and your confidence. Well, it’s what we should all really expect of others anyway. For if someone doesn’t add value to your life, why keep them there if they’ll only make you feel worse?

The truth is, there are certain instances in life that make you reconsider your friendships; who you consider your friends to be; who really are. Because it’s the ones who stick there through the rough times; when you have nothing to say or don’t even want to; at the times it feels like the whole world is against you and you’re raging against ‘the system’. It’s those who seek you as much as you search for them. It’s those who are willing to stay around when you fall face down and will help pick you up; those who see you at your worse are also the ones who deserve to see you at your best. Because as this excellent article says, “friendships do not have to be transactional, but they should absolutely be reciprocal”. It’s not all about having fun. It’s about being there for each other in every situation.

Each person reacts to life’s problems differently. We are not all the same. We have varying idiosyncrasies, mentalities, responses. Some seek assistance anywhere they can; others prefer to close up in their own shells and wait out the storm alone. It has to do with a person’s character and that’s not easy to affect. Introverts need to be left alone. They’ll come to you for help when they’re ready. But they want to know that you’re still there until they do.

In the end it all comes down to the fact that we virtually befriend hundreds of people on social media, but choose to have only a handful around; the best ones – those who remain no matter how far you unwillingly push them out.

“Beware of those who seek constant crowds; they are nothing alone”. – Charles Bukowski

“I restore myself when I’m alone”. – Marilyn Monroe

An obdurate nature

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There is a difference between remaining firm in your beliefs and simply being obdurate. Because in the latter you stubbornly refuse to change”.

That’s what you’re doing”.

She no longer yelled at him like she used to. She was too tired and exasperated to do so.

Why should I change? It’s not I who is thinking things wrongly”.

She sighed. There was nothing left to say. He had made it perfectly clear.

Also part of Weekend Writing Prompt #161

Three lives

http://grandvoyageitaly.weebly.com/uploads/3/7/2/7/37277491/3805826_orig.jpg?332All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret.” Gabriel Garcia Marquez believed that we create who we are by what we share. For example, the public life is that which any ordinary person can see of you; the private life is that open only to close friends, loved ones and family, or to someone who is willing to investigate and discover it; and the secret life is that that which is kept only to oneself (and sometimes even from oneself!).

Our personality is formed according to the experiences we have, the relationships we create, and the things we share with others. Perhaps in this digital age, it becomes harder to have a private or secret life, but we all have things we only disclose to those closest to ones, and thoughts that we only keep to ourselves.

The things we let out are what makes us who we are. But it is also those things we don’t say, that influence who we become. It takes strength and courage to let people into your life, let alone your mind and heart. And it is only with time that you manage to discern who those truly worth it really are.

What we need to remember though, is that in the end, we only have one life to live. So let’s make the most of it.

The Transformation Hat

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/02/Amsterdam_-_Hats_-_0931.jpgThe first one that ever came into his possession was a tall black suede one. It looked so elegant and it made him feel so sleek and classy, like a real gentleman. The next one, he found in a vintage store. It was a dark green beret, like the ones marines wear, and with it, he felt athletic, strong and robust. After that, it became an obsession for him. And it seemed that with every new hat he acquired, he was granted the key to emphasizing an aspect of his character, sometimes even one he was unaware of.

Jonah would wake up every day and decide on the hat that he would wear, before choosing the clothes he would match it with. It all depended on his mood that day, and mainly on what he wanted to feel. So if he wanted to feel sporty and pass by almost unnoticed, he would wear his favorite baseball cap. If on the other hand he wanted to cause gazes to turn his way, he had the brown plaited deerstalker hat á la Sherlock Holmes. On the days he wanted to seem adventurous and exotic, he had the black cowboy hat with its silver band glistening in the sunlight.

Jonah was generally a very hat person. But that was not always a good thing. Because one time he actually misplaced his hat and could not decide what type of personality he was until he eventually found it again. He relied too much on some material good to dictate who he was to the extent that he forgot what type of person he truly strived to be. It was wonderful that he could be all those different persons with a simply change of a hat, but what about when he was without one? He no longer new who he was, and that was a quest he was reluctant to take on. That is the danger of getting too used to something – you fear too much of letting it go.

The elephant in the closet

elephantinthelivingroom2When it was just a young calf, the little elephant was adopted by a rich high-class, very well-off family for no other reason because they could do so, and because their toddler son had become fascinated by the picture of the animal in a book he had, that he simply had to have one for his own. Most of the first few weeks were spent with the toddler running after the little elephant, tugging at its trunk and rejoicing whenever it squirt water back at it in an unsuccessful attempt to get the kid to stop.

As time passed by, the toddler grew older and found other interests. The elephant wasn’t the biggest fascination of his life anymore, but he did often still play with him. One rainy day, he had the idea of playing hide and seek. With the elephant. The elephant was to go hide.

The boy counted to 100, got distracted at 49, wondered off for half an hour, returned to count from one again and, well, two hours later he went to seek the elephant.

By now, the elephant was almost full-grown. So, really, where could an elephant hide? Mind you, the boy lived in a mansion, so it was quite easy to get lost in there. Or, in the boy’s case, get tired. After around half an hour of searching, the boy gave up and was then called for dinner. His mind drifted to other things and he soon went to bed.

The elephant had hidden in the basement closet.

They say elephants never forget. But people do. The boy forgot about the elephant and it was literally months before he remembered that he once had such a “pet”. But he never reached the closet. Because of laziness, of over-privilege, of low-concentration capacity? There were many reasons. Reasons that the elephant could not understand. For in its miserable, unnatural life, it was locked up, voluntarily at first and forcefully later as the closet door could not open from the inside.

The elephant perished in the closet of one of the most lavish houses people could ever build. But he became witness to the truth that appearances are deceitful. Because no matter the grandness of the house, the hearts of the people who occupied it were nonexistent.

Elephants never forget. But some people don’t even remember.

The dress and an escape from the truth

the dressIn the last week, we have been arguing over the colour of a dress (blue/black or white/gold?), have witnessed llamas run loose in Arizona, and have been baffled over a Senator’s questioning of the effects of climate change by tossing a snow ball as evidence.

All the while, it has been revealed that the masked Islamic State (ISIS) militant known as “Jihadi John”, seen in the videos beheading Western hostages, is a Kuwaiti-born British man from West London, while ISIS militants ransacked Mosul’s central museum destroying thousand-year old priceless artefacts.

Meanwhile, Eurozone countries continue to bewilder each other on account of their increasing economic problems, leading to internal strife, while the fighting in Eastern Ukraine is ongoing and getting worse.

It is interesting to how we chose to see as news what is more enticing and entertaining to us. The fact that conflict is rampant across the world no longer surprises or even affects us (unless we are in those impacted areas). Nor are we touched by the world’s financial problems, even though these affect our own economic state and employment status. These are things we seek to get away from when surfing the web.

Instead, we’ll click to watch Madonna fall at her Brit Awards performance, we’ll enter the worldwide viral debate on the color of that dress, and we will laugh at the videos of animals doing the weirdest yet cutest of things imaginable.

When we enter the world wide web, we seek to be informed, but at the same time entertained. Our attention span diminishes rapidly when we begin to read a long political analysis on the state of affairs – simply put, this is boring. We want something that draws our attention, that is quick and easy to read, and that is entertaining enough but enlightening at the same time.

We like to engage into quizzes on what your choice of wine says about you, for example, read the daily horoscope and cartoon strips, and be inspired by a quote someone famous said long ago.

What we don’t like, is to be reminded that nothing seemingly works as it should pretty much anywhere; that those who were elected to represent us are sometimes just as corrupt as the people they criticize and place behind bars, and that corruption and clientilism are two trends that may possibly never be transcended.

So we turn to entertainment. To momentarily forget the harsh reality and drift into a realm where all there exists are celebrities falling from grace, animals proving they’re smarter than us, and meaningless chatter on trivial issues.

We all need to get away for a while, and if this is the way to achieve some serenity of mind, then so be it. Just remember, The Dress is the colour you see, and all that says about you, is that you can at least see there is a dress.

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