12 October 2016

The dark side of a woman

We worship the 9 avatars of a woman during Navratri. As women we all strive to achieve what we desire while maintaining a balance between family, work and health. And while we all strive to "Do good and be good", one can only hope to 'let go' of the anger within.
Incidently, on the occasion of Dusshera, i happened to read an article which interestingly puts light on the dark side of a woman.

13 July 2016

Semantic Barriers in Effective Communication

As humans living in a community, we need to interact with other people. However, a person may have different types of interactions and as a result has different experiences(and therefore relationships) with different people.  
In my pursuit of understanding what i call "Why misunderstandings occur" :) , i happened to come across some articles on the internet which sort of gave me a scientific explanation of why things work out with some and don't with others.
Semantic Barriers in effective communication

Semantics refers to specific meanings of a word, especially in academic circles. Semantic barriers, therefore, are the misunderstandings that occur by people trying to communicate an idea, but simultaneously having completely different meanings in mind for the words.

Semantic barriers come from differences in language, education, and culture. Obviously if the sender is speaking in English and the receiver doesn't understand English, there's a problem. But even if the sender and receiver speak English, they may not speak the same dialect. The words they use may not mean the same thing.

For example: 
1) If we order a soda in Washington, DC, we'll get a soft drink. If we order a soda in Detroit, we'll get a drink made of soda water and flavored syrup with ice cream floating in it. 

2) If one is from the United States and he is speaking to a Scot from Glasgow, the American may have a hard time simply understanding his pronunciation. And his accent may be incomprehensible to the person from Scot. The receiver may use complicated words or phrases that the sender doesn't understand, such as "to ratiocinate" instead of "to reason," or "I am extremely appreciative of your efforts in my behalf" instead of "Thank you." 

3) In some cultures, the use of titles before names is extremely important as a sign of respect, while greeting someone we've just met using his or her first name (as many Americans do) would be considered quite rude.

4) Remember Shiny Abraham at the 1986 Asian Games at Seoul? Despite coming first by a very wide margin in the 800 m. race, she was disqualified and lost her gold medal for having crossed the track at the place where she should not have gone. According to her she mistook the symbol, i.e., the colour of the flag. Whereas in our country the red flag indicates danger, in South Korea white flag is used for the same purpose. Misinterpreting the white flag which had been put up at that point, she crossed the track at the wrong place and suffered a setback. 

5) We say "Dhanyavad" which means in Hindi 'Thank you,' but the same word in Guajarati means 'congratulations'. 

Personal factors like difference in judgment, social values, inferiority complex, bias attitude, time pressure, communication inability, etc. broaden the psychological distance between the sender and the receiver.
Semantic is the science of meaning. The same words and symbols have different meanings to different people. Difficulties in communication take place when the sender and the receiver of the message make use of words or symbols in different senses. The meaning intended by the sender may be dissimilar from the meaning followed by the receiver. People understand the message in terms of their own behavior and experience.
Well, as the saying goes "Everyone is right from his/her own perspective"! :)

11 April 2015

How to not be hard on yourself

Nice thoughts depicted in pictures! :)

25 March 2015

Being an empath

I read a really good article today. I know for a fact that i can easily empathize with feelings of people around me. Though being able to pick up on others energy and feel what they are feeling is a wonderful gift to have, it has been a burdensome curse and caused me emotional distress whenever i have interacted with people full of negative energy.

So this article had small tips as to how to prevent ourselves from losing our energy and our sanity whenever we are around such negative people. 

An extract:

1) Gaurd your thoughts
Let’s say you are sitting down with a friend, and another person walks into the room and you start picking up on what they are feeling.  When you start picking up on what they are feeling, pay attention to the thoughts that arise in your mind when this happens.  They may be thoughts like:
“Oh great, now I’m going to have to deal with this”, or 
“Why did that person have to come here”, or 
“Why can’t I stop feeling what they are feeling”, or 
something along the lines of you affirming the reality of a negative experience for yourself. 

 Your mind treats itself as a victim to that person’s energy. You start condemning them for draining you, or yourself for allowing yourself to be drained.
You are both reaffirming your own lack of control and contributing more negative energy to yourself by the way you are allowing your mind to perceive it.

Next time you experience a situation like this, catch your mind want to condemn, and you will save yourself a lot of suffering.

2) Zoom out. Adopt a new perspective
Instead of turning your empathetic experiences into a personal problem, turn them into an opportunity to understand.  
Don’t just sit there allowing yourself to absorb someone else’s negative energy.  Zoom out from the situation, and consider that they are clearly lost, confused, or going through a rough time.  Maybe nobody has ever taught them how to deal with what life throws at them, or with the thoughts that are dragging both of you down.  Once you realize that THEY are a victim (as opposed to you being the victim), your energy shifts from being one of passive compliance to one of pro-active love and understanding.

3) Clear your energy field
Instead of asking ourselves “How can I get away from this?”, it may be more helpful to ask “How can I be stronger than this?”
Close your eyes, and practice deep conscious breathing.  Bring your full attention to the act of breathing. Don’t think about your breathing, but feel the air move in and out of your lungs.  
When your attention is focused on something that grounds you instead of it being focused on the situation in front of you, you are able to see how much you are allowing yourself to be influenced when you don’t have to be.

Take back control over your energy field.  It’s your domain, and you are the gatekeeper of your thoughts.  Don’t be afraid to take your power back.  Sometimes, all it will take is 60 seconds of meditation, or 20 deep conscious breaths, or a minute of contemplating how much of a miracle it is that anything at all exists, and you will give yourself some breathing room between your energy field and the influence of the ones around you.

Take Responsibility
It’s too much to ask of the world to expect it to be peaceful and harmonious so we don’t have to bear the weight of negative energy, so the key to your freedom is to turn inwards and see what you can do change the way you engage with that person and with the thoughts and energy that person has installed in you.

Once you realize that you are the architect of your life in each moment, you take your power back from the hands of people around you.  You can choose to guard your thoughts and not let negative thoughts fill your head, you can choose to adopt a new perspective of love and understanding, and you can choose to put your foot down and clear your energy field.

You are a powerful creator.  Living as a empath may not always be easy, but living as an empath with victim mentality is a sure-fire way to put the keys to your happiness in the hands of the world around you.  You are more than just an energetic sponge.  You have will power and volition.  Don’t be afraid to step into your power and take back control over your energy field.

12 June 2013

StrengthsFinder 2.0

Recently, my husband had a day-long training in office. They were given the book "StrengthsFinder 2.0" which he brought back home and suggested that i read it. 
This is unlike any other self-help book. Based on some thorough research, it comes with a code for an online assessment to gauge what your top 5 stengths are. The core philosophy is this : "you are more likely to excel when you invest your energy in developing your strengths instead of correcting your weakness". 

Our Society is so obsessed with focussing on people's shortcomings. Our books, movies and folklore are filled with stories of the underdog who beats one-in-a-million odds. We celebrate those who triumph over their lack of natural ability more that we recognize those who capitalize on their innate talents. In every culture, we have this fixation for 'weakness' in a person, nicely put, 'areas of improvement'. What we do not realize is that each person has a greater potential for success in specific areas...so the key for human development is building on who you already are.

The book lists and details out 34 most common talents. On going through each of these talents, one realizes what his/her strengths and 'lack of talent' are. The book then lists out what you can do to further sharpen this strength (10 ideas for action), or if there is a weakness, to partner with someone who has more talent in something that you are lacking.

For me, the book came closest to evaluating my strengths. Knowing one's strengths can really make a difference in not only in one's career but also can build confidence in one's personal life. Do read! :)

13 June 2012

On Sharing

My husband and I alternately take our son Siddharth to the park every evening. There are all kinds of kids in a public park. Just as Sid excitedly sat on one of the swings today, a small girl came running to us asking me to get Sid to vacate the swing as she wanted to sit. Thankfully, her mum caught up with her and asked her to wait for her turn. Considering the maturity shown by the parent, I told the kid that she could sit on the swing after about two minutes.

"It is difficult to teach these kids to share", said the lady with a resigned expression. “I was at my daughter's school today. In the parent-teacher's meeting, we had a discussion on how to teach the ‘sharing concept’ to a child when it is so unnatural to an adult" she said.

True! It is difficult for adults to share anything. If I was asked to share something with someone, my reaction would probably be “why should I?". Also, one might consider sharing with relatives and friends. But why share anything with a stranger? Especially, if the object to be shared is limited, one would rather fight it out than share – similar to the 'survival of the fittest'.

I guess the feeling of sharing has also got something to do with feeling content. Only when you've had the satisfaction, you are ready to give.