In our professional lives, when some one doesn’t react, respond, cooperate the way we expect, what do we do? We may talk to them, have an argument, come back onto the same page, rework whatever needs to be reworked or move on. Either way the end result is we revise our expectations of them rather than take it emotionally or personally. Many a time we agree to disagree (that term is a cliche for a reason people) and move on to continue working together or apart. We accept them as they are and they accept us as we are, short-comings and all. The consequences for either party may be may be negative or positive professionally, but we rarely do we (if ever), go home and cry about it and spend days analysing why so and so did such and such thing.
The techie has taught me this in our personal lives too. Except for a handful of people (I mean very very close like a parent, sibling or spouse who spends or has spent years living in close quarters with you) we cannot dump the burden of our expectations on anyone be it friends or extended family. We all perceive each other in a certain way, given our experiences, and assume that others perceive us in a certain way. It often happens that we may be wrong on either or both counts. When this happens it’s okay to feel hurt initially but before we go and bawl out the other person, it’s a great idea to sit down and think through the perceptions in the relationship. Maybe the easier way is reset our expectations and then express our views to the other person. This way no one gets hurt (hopefully. I’m not an expert on relationships), while both parties get a chance to express their views and decide how to take the relationship forward. No finger pointing and no bad memories to dredge up every time there’s a disagreement.
Initially, I was against the idea and told the techie that relationships are strong and passionate and there’s no way I can take it impersonally. However, over time I have come to realise that this is not being impersonal. This is a way to ensure that we take responsibility for our happiness and include others in it, rather than making them responsible for it.
I don’t know if any of that made sense, but it’s something I have learnt over the past decade (yes, it’s taken me ten years) and a idea I wanted to share for the New Year.
Obviously, this does not apply to the people you can fight with today and then go out for a drink with tomorrow. It’s just for the rest of the world.
Seasons Greetings and see you in the New Year.