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Man: Hi, Whatcha doing?

Woman: hey, little busy, I will call back asap?

Man: Yeah, cool. Nothing urgent, call me whenever.

…………………………..

Woman: Hi, sorry I had the daily status call late today. What’s up? How you doing?

Man: Ok-ish. She tried to contact again today. New day, new number to block.

Woman: Man, why is she this desperate NOW. You made it clear that the ship has sailed, right? Why is she trying too hard now to get back together?

Man: I know! She still thinks it can work. Just thinks she deserves another shot.

Woman: What about the irreparable relationship trauma! Are you ready to think about her & give another chance?

Man: Apparently, realized her wrongdoings and is sorry for that. Want to make amends and do this time right. But I am broken enough. Never her again.

Woman: Good! You can always be optimistic, but too much of anything is delusional. Sometimes you have to cut your losses and call it a day, Move on! Hope she gets it too, SOON.

Man: This whole issue feels like just a really bad symptom. The root cause is this backward society. When I say these are my views, likes, preferences & even boundaries about physical material things, it is easy for people to acknowledge, recognize & respect. But the same about emotional and mental stuff fly right over their heads. Not just parents or family or other older generation people, even our generation is dumb and clueless.

Woman: True. Not all of us are so blind. I think that the proportion of people aware of this sensitivity is rising with each generation. But the overwhelming majority, of even these millennials/Gen-Z, aren’t aware of those things. Inclusive & holistic thinking may be this 21st-century “trend” but our mindsets are still in the last century, at least! If 2% of our dad’s generation are aware & understanding then maybe our case is something like 5-10%. The graph may be rising but nowhere near to making our lives better anytime soon.

Man: Exactly! So sick of all these people. Why is it so damn difficult to get through their heads? “No” means “No”, not just for women, not just in a sexual context, but in everything! Especially in vulnerable emotional stuff.

Woman: Based on my experience, I do feel that physical & material things are easier to analyze, understand & interact with. Personal judgements, preferences, views, etc., are decided by how you feel about them. And these are easier for others to accept & understand because of their tangible nature. It is easy for us as a society to construct boxes, even accommodate conflicting positions & recognize the concreteness of material things. When it comes to emotional decisions, they are linked to intangible, highly fluid & dynamic thoughts. This makes others perceive some randomness and the possibility of hopping back & forth on your stances. This relatively greater fickle-minded nature in dealing with emotions compared to material stuff is true. But this becomes a justification for me to pursue influencing your decision making beyond the boundaries you set for me. Also, mental & emotional awareness as a part of our lives is very new. Even most of our generation is not exposed, sensitized & trained in any way. At this stage, it looks like a self-help exercise voluntarily done by a select few out of curiosity and wellbeing rather than a fundamental thing to accept and improve.

Woman: There is also the issue of how to be fully accepting of the much more shifting & fluid boundaries of others when interacting & bonding with them. “No” means “No” is a good mantra. But what to do when your “No” is of value [100] when she perceives your same “No” to be of value [50]? In that case, which I think is the core issue in most cases, she thinks that there’s a leeway of [50] that can be tried to change your “No” into “Yes”. This exact “benefit of the doubt” in your decision making is perceived by others and used as a legit justification for “being unable to recognize boundaries” and even “cross boundaries” to an uncomfortable level.

Man: That is all fine and good. I get now from her point of view as well. As per your theory, the fault is with perception and the receiver having a wrongful understanding of the transmitter feelings & views. So, I see that they are at fault. If I call you only to find that the reception and signals are bad in your area, then the onus is on your side to get better reception, right? What can I do if your system is not updated for proper communication?

Woman: Valid point. But not the right analogy I feel. Relationships and emotional bonds involve separate entities, sure, but there should be a strong interdependent feedback system within them as well. That is where open-mindedness, mutually improving, maybe even challenging sometimes, exchange of ideas, thoughts & communication come into the picture. I think all these are bare essentials for reducing most of the red flags in human interactions as a whole. Being open-minded ultimately improves your ability to receive other’s intentions better & also empathize with why their “No” is valued at [100]. When you realize that and appreciate their point of view, it will be easier for you to look past your understanding and value their “No” as [100] in your mind too. In case you feel that their [100] is over-valued and is unfair or irrational somehow, it is your turn now to explain your side and see how a compromise/win-win can be achieved. BUT only after their point is through and you completely get it.

Man: Wow! Why aren’t there more people thinking like this? Still, I can’t empathize like you with a broken system that doesn’t understand me. Maybe in future.

Woman: I get that. It’s all numbers game! There is a famous quote.

We have paleolithic minds, medieval institutions but god-like technologies

Edward O. Wilson

Ironically, a few positive outliers among our collectively backward minds also come up with many inspiring ideas to pursue. I guess we can’t change the world, but a little open-mindedness & empathy always helps. MAYBE you can give my contact to your ex and I can explain these same things! MAYBE then she will leave you for good!

Man: NO WAYY! She’s bad enough for me! I need your friendship, okay!

………………………….. (And the BFFs talked through 100 other random things too!)

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About Post Author

Vijay Bhaskar

Engineer by education. Analyst by work. Philosopher by design. When I'm not using my analytical skills to understand data insights, my time is either gone in decoding the everyday world or binging anything and everything.
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