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Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

20- 4 June17 -A great relationship

If you look at the friendships you have made over the many years of your life, what stands out is the fact that you have and equation with your friends which is often very ironical. There are things about your friend that you love and that is the reason for the bonding and yet there are habits/ mannerisms/ behavior / style of your friend that you dislike, possibly abhor and yet you overlook them. Friendships thrive on these differences and how individuals manage to reconcile these juxtapositions holds the key to endearing and enduring relationships.

It is possible that in many relationships it is differences between individuals is what triggers attention to each other but ultimately it is the similarities that bring about a confluence of appreciative emotions. In most cases though, it is the similarities in thought and approach that helps bonding and the respect for differences cements these bonds. Excellent relationships are all about managing these juxtapositions.

Good relationships are cemented stronger if both the appreciation of similarities and the respect for differences are expressed; the former more vigorously the latter more diplomatically. The latter is a tad tougher to express for it always carries a possibility of being misunderstood or being seen as a reproach and hence viewed as an indictment. This can bring about a wedge in relationships and hence has to be expressed very selectively and cautiously.  The differences are accentuated in criticisms, puns, sarcasm and disagreements. Hence it is important to be aware of the potential lethal effects of using any of the above in words or deeds.

Honesty in the relationship ensures there is greater understanding. However, brutal honesty can be damaging. Disagreements and differences of opinion are essential to retain the individuality of the people in a relationship. It is the individuality of the parties in a relationship that makes the communication, the interaction and the engagement in a relationship unique and interesting. The similarities between two individuals is what cements the relationship for there is a commonality of understanding, purpose and respect born out of appreciating the commonalities in each other.

Try these

  1. What are your three strengths that you think your friends appreciate in you? What are your three traits you think others find it hard to reconcile with or do not appreciate in you?
  2. What are the similarities and differences you note in the following people
  • Your siblings / cousins
  • Your three friends at work
  • Your three colleagues with whom you bond easily.
  • Your three best friends
  • Your classmates in school/ college with whom you meet up occasionally

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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There are times when the spirit is low, the pathway seems steep and the goal looks very distant. Disappointment is evident, frustration is natural and giving up seems the best and easiest way out of the predicament. It is at these times that we consciously or unconsciously attempt to reach out for help, support and encouragement and the two mains stays of our life friends and a song to hum anchor us firmly to the bedrock of hope, positivity and inspiration.

Notice carefully that friends and that includes family, neighbors and colleagues are the external anchor that we can physically lean on. The importance of being social is never more clearly articulated when we face a crisis and seek support from those around. When the human race is unique qualified as a being ‘social animals’ it was well established that human beings need each other at all times and its efficacy and importance is best established when one experiences it when one needs it most; a death in the family is an extreme case and contrasting that are the joyous occasions like a wedding or a birth. In day to day life though we experience this social dimension practically every moment be it at the work place or at home. The times when we are

A song on the other hand is an internal anchor, developed through our upbringing, our attitude and our fortitude.  Most of us are bathroom singers, who open up and express our joy through our tuneless, carefree and occasionally senseless rhythmic meanderings secure in the knowledge that we are all by ourselves. That gives us a good clue as to how important a role a song plays in translating our emotions into an expression of hope, delight and fun. There are times when a song lifts us up when downcast and forlorn and other times we would rather merge our emotions with the pathos and subtlety of the poetry. The latter though does not last long and when we have indulged in reliving our sorrows through a mournful song, we realize the futility of regret and find a more meaningful peppy song to uplift and inspire us.

When amongst good friends, have you noticed the cares of the world seem to disappear, life seems like a breeze and while tomorrow may not change very drastically, it becomes a lot easier to embrace tomorrow?  Similarly when a lilting tune pops out of nowhere and we merrily hum it, especially when confronted with a problem, an issue or a challenge, the load becomes lighter, the burden more bearable and there is a ray of hope that seems perennial. Do you anything more to live life to the fullest?

Try this:

  1. Make a list of 5 of your good friends and outline the one quality of theirs that endears him/ her to you.
  2. Can you recollect the names of books or movies in which friends have been shown to bond despite all odds and differences? E.g. Remember the Famous 5 and Secret seven series of Enid Blyton
  3. Click on this link to hear the Theme song of the war movie The Bridge on the Rive Kwai http://tinyurl.com/yff5zlh
  4. Can you list out 3 songs that will always uplift you no matter what your mood?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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When one looks back on the days gone by, there will be some people and some incidents that you will recall with great fondness. Focus on these people whose memories always bring a smile to the lips and warmth in the heart and you will be transported to a world of nostalgia. If you correlate some of your successes with the influence these people have had on your life, you would be amazed at the volume of positive inputs they have given you. These inputs could be as varied as having full faith in you, encouraging you,  guiding in you, comforting you, giving you tips, empathizing with you, allowing you the freedom to pursue your passion, supporting you when you falter etc.

Here are a set of people who would be ideal people to associate with and benefit from.

Those close to you.  Beginning with parents and siblings, the list includes friends, colleagues, teachers and seniors. Of course it is possible that some of those close to you would find it hard to empathize with your thoughts and views but it is in your interest to give their counter point of view a hearing. The best part of their support is their response is always keeping your best interest in mind.

Those who have a natural flair to be cheerful and positive. Some of these people could be from the above list but it is equally possible that you do meet others who radiate positive energy. It could be trainers, motivational speakers, superiors from other departments, neighbors etc.

Those who you find knowledgeable, fair, impartial and open. These could include people in positions of authority like the principal of an institution or a senior academician, senior executives in your organization, experienced professionals, a friend’s parents etc.

Those who are good listeners.  Anyone who is willing to lend you an ear, pay attention to you and express interest in your thoughts, views, hopes and aspirations. They may counter question, raise objections, have a different point of view but as long as they pay a lot of attention to you, you can be sure their patience and genuine interest will accelerate your progress.

Those who display appreciation, give proactive encouragement and offer creative solutions. You often meet people from varied backgrounds, experiences and views at seminars, conferences, meetings etc. It is possible that they have some insights that are congruent to your line of thinking. If they display interest in your views, ask relevant questions and give encouraging feedback you can be sure you can profitably tap into their vast repository of knowledge, experience and wisdom.

Action Points:

  1. Make a list of 5 people at least 2 of whom are senior citizens and one of whom is younger than you who you believe would be excellent people to associate with and who would appreciate, understand and encourage you.
  2. Can you list out 3 of the best advice that you ever received. How did advice have a major bearing in your life?
  3. Who was the one person who offered you the best solace when you were very low or depressed? How and what did the person do or say to reassure you?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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People must be taken as they are, and we should never try to make them or ourselves better by quarreling with them.  Edmund Burke

One of the many reasons relationships fail is because we have a lot of expectations from the other party and consciously or unconsciously we keep finding faults over trivial matters and blow it out of proportion.  Other times we are so full of ourselves that we fail to understand that we are actually irritating the other person by our selfish and self centered ways.  There are times when we believe we have the right to harshly criticize, articulate uncouthly our feelings particularly when irritated or hurt and worse of all take liberties in ascribing motives to people’s behavior that does not appeal to us. When we let our differences become barbs, turn our expectations into demands and dogmatically spurn friendly overtures to pamper our own ego that is when the first signs of cracks in a relationship show up.

It is tackling our own ego that poses the real problem in maintaining relationships.  Many a time we make an issue of a perceived slight to our ego. It could be a comment that we do not agree with or it could be indifference that we think is deliberate or it could be completely misunderstanding a gesture,  a communication or even non communication.  Other times we want to be given importance, want others to take the lead in touching base with us and far too often we seek to control the relationship. If we step back to take a good hard look at the reasons why we do not get along with some people, why we do not enjoy the company of others and avoid like plague certain individuals we cannot deny the fact that we are in some way at least partly responsible for the situation. Perhaps we need to also look at why the same people could possibly be giving us a wide berth too.

The challenge in any relationship is to balance expectations, minimize presumptions and maintain open communications. This is easier said than done because our personal styles are so varied, we succumb to the pressures of our own emotions and attitudes. While some of us are loud, arrogant and on your face there are others who appear docile, submissive, fearful but are constantly scheming. While those inclined to adopt the aggressive style easily provoke and snap of ties the latter are prone to mask their feelings and yet cunningly severe ties by pushing relationships to the brink. While individual styles play a crucial part in cementing or severing relationships, one can make an attempt to become aware of how to change and soothen ruffled feathers and restore balance and relationships.

The fact is we can with effort on our part, an open mind and honesty of purpose always improve relationships, cement relationships and nurture new relationships. For this the first step is to meet, greet and respect people.  The next step is to acknowledge people, praise them when required, be patient if the need arises and give them their due. To scale up a relationship to a different level be more candid without being offensive,  be honest without being moralistic and be open to all feedback without being judgmental. Patience, respect and acceptance are three virtues that will help us maintain healthy relationship with all those whom we interact with.

Remember: It doesn’t matter what the other is being, doing, having, saying, wanting, demanding. It doesn’t matter what the other is thinking, expecting, planning. It only matters what you are being in relationship to that.

Try this:

  1. Recollect three pleasant memories and one unpleasant memory of your relationship with the following people. Ask why you enjoyed the relationship and how you could have helped improve the relationship that was unpleasant.
  • Your father
  • Your mother
  • Your siblings
  • Your best friend in school
  • Your favorite teacher in school
  • The teacher you disliked immensely
  • A current colleague or batch mate
  1. Name one person who comes to mind in the following situations
  • An actor or actress you dislike
  • A player/ sportsman who you feel is overrated
  • An idol/ icon who you would love to meet
  • The sweetest person you can think of immediately
  • A person known to you personally for whom you feel really sorry for.
  • Someone you need to really apologize to.

(In the first three cases are you justified in your feelings since you do not know the people concerned personally)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

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When it hurts to look back, and you’re scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your best friend will be there.

Many of our actions today are subconsciously affected by our past experiences which in turn also have a major bearing on our attitudes, behavior, thought process and decision making and that indirectly has a bearing on our future too. For the overwhelming majority it is the hurt, the humiliation, the failures, the taunts and similar negative experiences that remain deeply ingrained in our psyche and percolate into our thinking and our action which are often defensive or aggressive. Looking back at the past therefore hurts terribly. Looking ahead seems and equally frightening prospect and that is when one really longs for someone to be right besides you to support and encourage you, help calm down your anxieties, point the right way ahead and accompanying you when are fearful and scared. While family would often offer all this it is only one’s best friend who will really understand you and accept you the way you are. It is the best friend to whom you can open up freely, fight with remorselessly, shout and scream at to let out our frustrations and confidently turn to when there is no one left to lend you an ear and a shoulder to lean on and cry upon.

Most times our best friends are school mates/ college buddies or neighbors but we can also get fortunate in meeting some new people who providentially cross our path and we become soul mates. Similarly most times the best friends are of the same sex and age group but some people get exceptionally lucky and discover their best friend in someone much older or younger and someone of the opposite sex too.  What is important to note is that TRUST holds the key to friendships, OPENNESS crowns the interactions and TRANSPERENCY holds the mirror to show up the warts and moles and ACCEPTANCE cements the relationship. Each of these elements needs to be present for a friendship to develop into a relationship of BEST FRIENDS. More importantly we need to nurture and treasure these critical components that make us fortunate to have BEST FRIENDS.

Without trust no relationship can develop.  For friendships to develop there must be implicit trust. This means we not only believe the person but are willing to overlook his / her transgressions, forgive their mistakes and place your faith and possibly your life in their care. One can do this when one has to know the person intimately and accept the person as he/she is. Interestingly even if the person has breached your faith you will continue to give the benefit of doubt and give them another chance to both redeem themselves and also reaffirm their trust. Openness relates to our willingness to share and disclose our personal,  private and privileged information partly to unburden but mainly to get a an honest  feedback and unbiased suggestions from the friend. This is risky business because we may divulge information that could be misused or misunderstood too. We may even open up a Pandora’s box that could have potentially devastating effects on relationships and friendships too. It is by being open that we crown the relationship and turn friends into best friends.

In being transparent one does not hold back one’s feelings of hurt and disappointment in our relationship with our friend. It also implies that one would not hesitate to call a spade a spade and would show courage of conviction in firmly articulating a view resented by a friend. As individuals each one has a different thought process and view and even between friends there could be vastly divergent views and equally controversial positions being taken up on matters. Transparency ensures that one is brave, bold and business like in openly articulating feeling and thoughts. The high point of the blossoming of a relationship between best friends is the unconditional acceptance of each other.  As individuals we may have radically opposing views and philosophies. Yet when one is willing to give space to the other to follow his heart and yet accept that person unconditionally that is when one discovers ones best friend amongst a multitude of friends.  Even when there are serious differences, perhaps even disparaging comments and remarks made in anger but when the dust settles and the individuals can look eye to eye and embrace each other without rancor or disapproval that is when one knows that your best friend is there by you ALWAYS.

Remember: “Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.

Try this:

  1. Look back and ask yourself if you had a best friend in school, in college and in your work place. Do you still remain good friends? If not why do you think the friendship did not sustain. If it sustains till date can you identify one reason why you have been able to cement your relationship so well.
  2. Think of your best friend and honestly answer if you know the following about him/ her
  • His /her worst fears
  • His /her real passion
  • His/ her worst moment or experience
  • His / her most annoying quality

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

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A man is known by the company he keeps. Anon

Just look around and see how we pass judgment on people around without ever knowing them. In most cases we base it on their mere appearance and personality and unconsciously we also give a lot of credence to the type of people with whom they are seen moving around and interacting extensively.  In effect, our perceptions about people are largely dependent on physical appearance and physical company that one keeps. While it is quite possible that we may be wrong in our initial assessment and discover that the individual is made up of much more than just the outward appearance our initial assessment ahs a large bearing on how we interact with the person later on.

In the 70’s for example, anyone with long hair and flowery clothes was broadly described as a hippy and anyone who associated with these people was perceived to be cool by their peers but viewed with disdain by the society at large. Today the same people following similar trends are either cool or geeks and seen as a breed apart who merely march to a different drummer. Funnily enough most people would think that geeks and cool techno savvy people are brilliant but at the same time they wouldn’t really want their own children or siblings to be influenced by these geeks. They would rather that have their kids and siblings follow the straight and narrow path that is the family tradition or the societal norm. It is human nature to rebel against norms and confines and it is also human nature to view rebels as social pariah’s who are forever stretching the boundaries of convention and customs. Obviously anyone who is seen as associating with such a crowd is inviting trouble and the wrath of the majority who view them with disdain.

In most formal settings there is a social hierarchy and pecking order that is determined by the social status of the people around. There are no fixed norms or clear cut boundaries but by and large the social order is based on financial muscle, perceived social standing and power play. There are of course some incongruent elements who are thick skinned and shameless enough to ignore the social rules and by stealth or cunning attempt to be seen in the company of those on the highest pecking order. The hangers on around politicians or the entourage that accompany film stars and high flying business men are ample evidence of the crazy to be seen in the right company. They thrive on portraying themselves as close to the seat of power for the general perception is that those seen with the high and mighty are influential, powerful and useful.

There are two outstanding examples of how each of us is deeply influenced and is easily influenced by the need to be seen with the right company. The craze of people to be seen with celebrities who will never ever know them or recognize them again is not just a fad but an expression of our urge to be seen with the extraordinary. Sportsmen, actors and writers are among the most sought after celebrities. The second example pertains to the new age social networking trend where a look at our friends list reveals a lot about ourselves and the company we prefer. Our preferences for certain blogs of celebrities and following the posts of celebrities/ high flying  individuals on twitter etc. are also pointers to our need to cozy up to power, status and social visibility.

Remember: Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company. Mark Twain

Try this:

  1. List out 3 individuals who are still alive who you would like to meet in person if the opportunity arises. Now note down the reasons you want to meet these people and the line of interaction you would ideally have with them.
  2. Make a list of the types of people you will never associate with. Now make a list of people who you would love to associate with. Now check and jot down at least 3 things you love about your current friends and at least one irritant in them.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

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A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they’re not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they’re not so bad. Arnold H. Glasow

It is tough to find good friends not because they are not made anymore, but because the slightest of misunderstandings can kill a beautiful friendship. People today tend to be more sensitive, have greater expectations from friends and are quick to pull the plug from a potentially lifelong friendship because they get impatient, take offense easily and often let their ego overrule their judgment. On the other hand if one has the ability to be non judgmental and love a friend unconditionally, overlook his/ her faults nonchalantly and be able to put with their idiosyncrasies be it their silly jokes or their oversensitive outbursts then the fruits of those friendship never go stale and they will make our life heavenly.

Friendships blossom on compatibility, affection and trust. Each of these parameters poses a challenge and it also provides the platform for friendships to begin, grow and blossom. Most people view compatibility to mean that good friendship s can be formed only by people in near similar age groups. This is largely true because many friendships are formed during school and college days and invariably all the friends are in a similar age bracket. However the critical factor in compatibility is the meeting of minds; the ability to find common ground, the possibility of moving ahead hand in hand and the insight to reconcile differences if any.  Many a friendship has perished when the apparent initial compatibility began crumbling under the weight of impossible expectations and unreasonable demands.

While compatibility can be there between people as it is possible with two people who share a common interest or hobby, it does not necessarily mean that they have any affection for each other. Affection begins with understanding and then proceeds to the next step of liking and culminates in being completely at ease in each other’s company. Many a time they understand each other so well that they are able to instinctively anticipate each other’s emotions and feelings be it one of elation or sorrow. Trust is what cements a friendship. Trust is all about having implicit faith in one another being able to see only the good in the friend, being able to overlook the idiosyncrasies and quirks of the friend and being able to stand up for the friend through thick and thin. Trust will ensure that friends are open in their communications, respect each other’s individuality and be magnanimous in pardoning friends faults. A true friend will never let a good relationship die because of lack of trust.

The challenge to maintaining friendship is in ensuring that all the three pillars of friendship remain strong and upright always. Communication is a critical ingredient in the reinforcing the bonds of friendship. Humor is another factor that goes a long way in cheering up friendships. Above all faith in one another will eliminate misunderstandings, suppress ego’s and ignite the candle of friendship on the rare occasions that the flame gets blown away. The beauty of true friendship lies in its nebulous property to endure the limitations posed by time, space, silence, indifference and separation.

Remember: “To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.”  Brandi Snyder

Try this:

  1. Pause and look back at a close friendship which has either died out or that has end on a bitter note. Can you make the effort to forgive and forget and begin again by reaching out to that close friend and making him/ her know that you still value their friendship?  If you are rebuffed do not take it personally but try to ignore the hurt and rather cherish the good old days.
  2. Some friendships become too demanding and it is possible that we are guilty of having too many expectations from a friend which ultimately snapped the friendship. Some friendships may have withered away for lack of effective interaction and communications.  If you feel that you are guilty of either of these two strikes that robbed you of a very good friendship, put your ego behind and rekindle the friendship. You may discover that the new bond is stronger than ever before.

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our WEEKLY Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

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