Who is it going to be?..

27PNUR3Z83 The fear of letting someone down, is overwhelming. No, I don’t think this phobia has anything to do with pleasing people. I feel pleasing is not the same as, not wanting to disappoint someone. I never go out of my way to please anyone. But if there are four words that I just can’t digest, they’re, “I’m disappointed in you”. Or it’s alternative, “You let me down”.

Now, I know, it’s not our job to make sure that someone else is satisfied with our actions. But sometimes when that “someone” happens to be a really genuine person, and has been there as a positive support and as an encouragement, it really breaks my heart to let them down. You might ask me, “In that case, why would you act in such a way that would dismay someone like that?”. Well, I’m afraid most things in life aren’t as simple. It all begins when, what that person expects me to do, contradicts my interests and who I am as person.

To draw a parallel to my predicament, take the parents out there who dream up big things for their children. And they support, encourage and provide them with everything that they need. Now, when these children grow up and deviate from the preordained path, the parents feel disappointed. A child, in such a situation, would feel torn between 1) following their dreams and feeling like they failed their parents, and 2) adhering to the already determined choices made by their parents and not being able to live true to themselves.

Most of the times, the right things and the tough things happen to be one and the same. And we all know, when it comes to choices that decide the course of our life, or the decisions that affect our fundamental values and principles, we should place ourselves above others, irrelevant of who they are, what they’ve done for us and how disappointed they would be. By choosing to do things that contradict who you are as a person purely because you don’t want to let someone else down, you are letting down the most important person in your life. Yourself.

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The two sides of the same coin..

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Life is an irony, isn’t it? We pay a ridiculous amount of money to buy a pair of shoes that hurt our feet, just because that’s what everyone wears. We dine at restaurants that serve average food at small quantities for an exorbitant price, because it’s considered cool to dine at a place like that. It is ironic, because in the world, there exist two complete contrasts. There are people who splurge in the name of brand, and then, there are people who work day and night just so they can fill their stomach. People who have access to all the sources necessary to accumulate knowledge and yet don’t, and people who can only dream about going to college to pursue their subject of interest. Sounds unfair, doesn’t it?

Sometimes, I just can’t help but wonder, how many of us even realize our folly? Do we even stop to think how blessed we are? There is so much we can do with what we have. Can’t we all just share what we have and make this world a better place? I do realize that ranting about how this world is an unfair place isn’t going to make any difference, but I’m just thinking out loud here because I’m equally guilty of all that I mentioned.

The 5000₹ that you spent on a pair of jeans? Well, 5 people could have clothed themselves using that amount. The 2000₹ that you paid in that gourmet restaurant? 20 people could have had a square meal at a normal restaurant with that money. There is absolutely nothing wrong with pampering ourselves a bit, for, life is to live joyously. But when we lose the moderation, it becomes dangerous.

Giving need not necessarily imply materialistic things. Yes, it would be amazing if you can provide people with a roof above their head, clothes to keep them warm and food to fill their stomach. But it needn’t necessarily begin or end there. Like they say, “Most often, the smallest things matter the most”. There are so many things that wont cost us a penny, but, have the potential to make a huge difference in someone’s life. How much effort does it take to smile at the people who serve us, to give someone our time and listen to what they have to share, to just love and respect people for who they are? Not much.

Compassion. That’s what we need. We are all one and the same, born out of the same material, into this world. We are all connected by our souls. By helping you, I would be helping myself, because you are nothing but an extension of me and I am nothing but an extension of you.

When you stumble upon who you are..

When you stumble upon yourself

At times, positive things can produce a negative effect, if we let the moderation slip. I feel, MBTI is one such thing.

I’ve spent almost my whole life in the constant fear that something was wrong with the way my brain was wired. How could a person be so radically different from everyone else. Surrounded by people who spoke in a strange language, I was filled with a desperation to comprehend and communicate in that language. Constantly blaming myself for not knowing their language, I failed to realize one thing. That there are others who knew mine.

“It is almost like squeezing yourself into this box of societal expectations and trying to fit into it. But eventually we learn, that it is okay not to fit into that box. Any box, for that matter. After all, the term “normal” itself is quite subjective. In fact, “normal” is a word which is used in the place of “majority”. Majority of the people are extroverts, hence to converse with ease in social situations is considered to be the norm.”

For someone who felt like a defective piece of toy, to come across a phenomenon called INFP, was a very comforting thing. I was finally able to comprehend the reasons behind various “why”s that I’ve been asking myself regarding my behavior. It helped me see that I was not alone. No. Apparently 4% of the world’s population constitutes of people like me:

“Dreamers who feel everything on a deep level, who are silent observers, who want peace and harmony more than anything else, and who fancy love to be the potion that would heal the world.People who are not angels. They are dreamers with a dark side, like just about any other human being.They might find it difficult to frame sentences while conversing with new faces, but could go on and on about the things that they feel, matter.The people who are often mistaken to be cold and unfriendly or shy.The misfits and the misunderstood lot who yearn for the rest of the world to see through them and understand that the facade hides a lot of things.”

Naturally, I was euphoric. It felt like I finally belonged somewhere. But with that feeling came the flip side. The obsession. I would spend hours online, reading up on personalities. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is absolutely fine to want to know more about one’s type, for we all love learning more about ourselves.

But this becomes deadly, when we conform ourselves to that list that is given. It becomes dangerous when we attribute all of our weaknesses to be just another side effect of being an INFP. The test gives only a basic outline. All of it need not apply to us and we need not conform ourselves to it. Let us not draw a box around us and tell ourselves “This is it. This is who I am.”

Just because our preference is “I” does not mean we should cut off all contacts with the society and turn into a recluse. Although we need not fool ourselves into trying to behave like an extrovert, we can definitely push ourselves a little bit to come out of our comfort zone and initiate a conversation, the next time we meet someone new. Just because our preference is “F” does not mean, we are slaves to emotions and are mentally incapable of forming rational thoughts. We can always work upon and improve our thinking abilities. We are capable of logical thinking.

I guess, all that I’m trying to say is, never underestimate yourself. Don’t stereotype your type. Celebrate being an INFP, but yearn to be much more than just that.