Monday, 21 November 2016

Switching between extremes

Is this something others have been noticing too:
Recently many a people people seem to switching between extreme sentiments suddenly. One moment someone might be very happy with you, the next they may be very unhappy. One moment very approving, the next very disapproving. And these shifts seem to be abrupt. Like a switch going on and off.
I think I got a clue as to what might be behind this in a discussion with a student of mine recently.
I think what might be happening is that we might have become excessively judgmental and gotten ourselves on a trip of expecting continuous perfection from others, continuously holding them to a sword, that too as per "our definition and expectation" of perfection, which is of course very unreasonable.
For one, everyone can have a different definition of perfection, so even if someone is trying to take feedback from the world around and improve himself or herself, he or she is likely to get mighty confused as the very same words and actions can be alright with some and not alright with others. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I wonder if we hold ourselves to such a sword too or are we more accommodating of ourselves than of others? If its the latter, we might be slipping into hypocrisy - which is a pretty bad space to be in.
As with most things I believe the resolution lies in seeking a balance. Yes, we can expect people around us to hold a certain standard and be critical of continued mistakes. But at the same time we need to (a) set the same standards for ourselves and (b) realize that people around us are human too. They are going to have their good days and not so good days just like us. They will be at their best at times and not at others just like us. And as long as they are doing well on an average, they are fine - just as we are fine if we do well on an average. Some amount of fluctuation is perhaps inevitable with most people and we need to account for that. If we don't I'm afraid we'll head towards a sort of instability of thought, emotion and relationships. Not a good thing...

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