Don’t let the ones who like to circumscribe you, define you. If you allow them to do that, they will reduce you and you work to zilch- as if what you are and what you have achieved don’t count at all. If we are fooled into accepting their definition of us, we would be found wanting definitely. Not just materially and intellectually but emotionally as well. If we remain calm observers of ourselves, we could see ourselves in a far more positive light. It is an external processing exercise with splendid external results that can boost your self esteem. Henceforth, what people say and think becomes less important to us.
What our inner voice says becomes significant. If we look inside objectively, we see the whole picture not fragments stitched together by those who are inimical to us. Small action and behaviour patterns become understandable when we widen our perspective. That is when we see that those who dismissed us as useless and not up to it and not satisfactory, did so from a very narrow perspective. What is important for us is to engage in an exercise of self assessment, a kind of taking stock.
It is just so that we don’t get misled into believing the poor report of those who cannot see our potential and our good qualities. So why not do some moral boosting? It is a great way to get energised and set about exploring the treasure trove tucked away inside. These definitions are sometimes so powerful that they influence our notions of good and bad. This does not mean we have to be dishonest with ourselves and only indulge in self praise. Oh no. Let us do a reality check for who knows me better than yours truly.
God’s definition of us is of course the best of all. He called us “daughters and Sons” and made in his own image and likeness. With this definition before us, we become self-respecting, dignified and are able to walk with confidence. When the path becomes slippery, He holds our hands. When our steps falter, He steadies us. When we begin to become negative about ourselves, His grace fills us with reassurance.
Interaction with people is an inevitable part of life. It’s natural as we are social animals. Interaction becomes a complex interplay of emotions and ego, establishing hierarchal patterns that social structure mandates. Unpleasant interactions result from the view that the perceived identity that we have about others does not connect with the perceived identity the others have of us. Interaction is of perceptions, arguments, misunderstandings and humiliation that are unavoidable outcome of this. Our identity/ego is entirely perceptive and imaginary. Ego is variable, modifiable and mutable construct, it is not fixed. A variable parameter cannot be absolute. While we conclude that the other person cannot understand us, do we understand ourselves?
The self that we commonly assume ourselves to be add a base of memories with conviction of a unique discrete identity, a composite of impressions we have of ourselves and the impression we feel others have about us. The former is a complex of identity and ego while the latter represents the superego. Interaction with other nurtures the superego and lends meaning to the script of life. Using relationship as an emotional mirror to assess and evaluate one’s own identity, only generates a chaotic pluralities of identity. Stress and anxiety arise out of our efforts to build and maintain the image we want others to have of us.
Reaction based self esteem is susceptible to wild vacillation. It triggers approval seeking behaviour that is directed towards appreciation and recognition. This sort of behaviour is a form of self abuse for it puts others evaluation ahead of what we truly want for ourselves. One need not be contemptuous or completely disregard others opinion but they should not become the driving force of our life.
Stoic self assessment that is stable lends a great degree of security and self assurance in any interaction or relationship. A steady interaction between two stable individuals supports the beautiful edifice of a meaningful relationship. Leaning on one another only up to a point can never support the superstructure of a sustainable relationship. . Misunderstanding becomes common place and can be expensive. Relationships pursued solely with expectation or ego gratification are doomed from the start. Every relationship has rights and responsibilities and asserting only the former works to the detriment of any interaction. Relationships are meant to aid and search for our true self. They must help us evolve rather than serve self assertion.