Thursday, 10 December 2009

Is it a cat or a dog in you??..

Margaret, a 70 years old lady stays with only members of her family, Tommy and kitty. Tommy is the name of her dog and kitty is the name of her cat. She loves them more than anything else.On one hand, she loves Tommy’s excitement, greetings offered to her on the door when she comes home anywhere from outside, and On the other hand, she likes searching for Kitty who is busy scratching one of the most expensive furniture kept in some room. Without taking it any further, think and answer “had you been at Margaret’s place, whom would you have loved more, Tommy or Kitty”? How many of you have a kitty (Cat) or a Tommy (Dog)? If you have both, have you observed the very few basic differences between them? While Tommy, the dog greets you with jubilation and great enthusiasm, Kitty, the cat remains at its place without giving you any attention, doing whatever it was doing even if you enter the house unless you reach that room. On seeing you, the dog starts wagging its tail and keeps on chasing you, whereas the cat wants you to come near to her and stroke her. If you are not around for a while, your Tommy gets restless and starts looking for you. But have you noticed that when you are not around, your Kitty is not this much bothered unless it’s too late? While your cat sleeps besides you when you are fast asleep, your dog goes to sleep only when you are wide awake. Does your Tommy ever stare at you and looks straight into your eyes, but I am sure your Kitty looks right into your eyes and will keep on staring at you until you take your eyes off. Of course there is a difference in their body language as well. While the dog’s head bobs while standing in front of its master, the cat stands straight and still in front of you. The chin of the dog is down when its master says anything and the cat’s chin is always up. This gives us an idea that while a dog is submissive, a cat is dominant. A dog considers its master as its God while the cat thinks that she deserves everything and she is the God for her master.
Any thoughts or guesses what could be the idea of telling these differences between a cat and a dog? Don’t you think this has a significant pertinence with facets of human personality? To be very clear, aren’t we sometimes doggish and cattish depending on circumstances? I suppose the answer is yes we do behave cattish and doggish in different situations. It will be easier to explain this with the help of some examples which are quite commonly seen.
Senior-junior: - In any set up, it has been observed that a senior always has an upper hand thus gives him a chance to behave like a cat towards his junior. The junior who is dependent on his senior in terms of trainings, feedback, taking decisions etc, in return shows doggish behaviour.
Child & the father:-We all know if a child has to buy a video game or any stuff to play with, will keep on pursuing his father until the father gets that stuff for him. Once the child gets it, he is so much engrossed in his video game that he doesn’t give any attention to his father’s constant screaming. So to get the stuff, the child shows doggish behaviour and once he gets whatever he wants, he becomes a cat.
Boss and the staff- A boss shows cattish behaviour toward his staff once the work is done but the staff often maintains the doggish behaviour towards his boss.
Marriage negotiation: - It’s not difficult to understand the situation of an Indian girl’s father who is negotiating with the boy’s father regarding anything to do with the marriage, be it dowry, venue, jewellery, guests etc. The girl’s father always keeps an approachable body language, speaks in a low tone, and tells anything with a request mode to avoid any sort of mistake which may hurdle the marriage of his daughter. Whereas the boy’s father maintains a stiff and strong body language unless he is pleased with the proposal and offer.
Sales executive and the customer:--A sales executive does all sorts of things to please the potential customer. He will chase you, will ask and take you for dinner/lunch, will never raise his voice, will bring you some or other gifts and will be in a mode of nonstop admiration for you, if you are the potential customer. While on other hand, you are always busy, keep on postponing the appointment and if you are irritated you tell him to leave or not to disturb you. Thus in the above situation, it heralds explicitly that the Sales person develops a doggish approach to please his customer while the customer becomes a cat.
Leader and public:-Before an election all the leaders behave doggish in front of the public, in terms of convincing public for their votes, visiting them and discussing about their problems, promising them for developmental works. Once they win, they behave as if they deserved it and no one could be better than them.
So there are different situations when we behave differently. However, there are certain circumstances when the ideal is to have a balanced approach rather than simply having a cattish behaviour or a doggish behaviour. This is possible if you get rid of “Cat & Dog” and tune yourself to “Cag & Dot “behaviour. For example, as an appraiser if you are evaluating somebody, you can’t be completely cattish or doggish in your behaviour. You are in a position where you have to appreciate the appraises achievements and remarkable performance. However you also need to tell his drawbacks and areas of improvement. Similarly an interviewee needs to tell the interviewer about his qualifications, relevant skills, and strengths and other good qualities. At the same time he needs to talk about his weaknesses and areas where he needs trainings and support. Thus it’s wise and advisable to follow a balanced behaviour in such settings. Nevertheless keep thinking about yourself, is your behaviour often Cattish or Doggish and more importantly what you aspire to be?

Monday, 7 December 2009

Storytelling-The Teller & the told

Stories , we make up, we read, we listen to, we tell, we write whatever it is the best part is that we all enjoy doing any of the above.
We all have some or the other stories to share with which we have heard from our grandparents/parents in our childhood. There are different ways of storytelling. Some people make use of louder expressions and gestures to make it more appealing and novel. Some mention each and every small detail and while some try to keep it as succinct & brief as possible. Earlier the typical method of storytelling used to be orally with gestures and expressions. But the modern ways of storytelling involve a lot of accessories like pictures, wooden blocks, videos, audios, etc in order to make them more attractive and easily comprehensible. Story telling is an art and a skill which is not everyone’s cup of tea. The storyteller needs to have few qualities to make the story touching, emphatic and remarkable.
Ø Expressive – It’s very important to be expressive for a story teller. Appropriate use of gestures, different & vivid expressions (sadness, happiness, thrill, fearful, anger etc) and body language attain the attention of the listener. It keeps the listener wide awake and at pace as the story moves on.
Ø Contextual/pertinent- Adding spice to the story is good but it should be pertinent. It shouldn’t be fake and artificial. Telling irrelevant things might kill inquisitiveness and generate insipidity amongst listeners.
Ø Elucidation – The teller’s ability to elucidate on significant characters /incidents of the story fosters imagination and association on the part of the listeners. So the story teller should be in a position to explain doubts clearly and solve listener’s queries.
Ø Language & Speech–It doesn’t matter what language you tell the story in as long as your crowd speak & understand the same language. Whatever it is, be it English, Hindi, French, what matters is your ability to maintain a flow with a coherent speech. In order to maintain the flow the storyteller needs to have proper understanding and good knowledge of that language. The listener’s involvement, imagination, attention goes along with your flow and a clear speech. If any of these gets disrupted, that heralds the interruption of listener’s interest and enthusiasm in the story.
Ø Voice modulation- Having well acquainted with a language is not enough, the story teller must have the ability to modulate his/her voice. This does help a lot when the teller has to emphasise on a daunting moment, a hilarious moment, a miserable situation or a very jubilant situation. It enables him/her to communicate effectively with the listeners.
Ø Creative- Creativity is an important part of storytelling. It can be seen in different ways like, keeping the mystery unrevealed till the story ends, use of different props ( videos, audios, pictures, etc,) use of ornamental language, taking volunteers from the group of listeners and make it interactive etc. The more you add creativity the more you can make the story interesting to the listeners.
Ø Truthfulness and sincerity. Most importantly the story teller should tell the story justly and sincerely. Creating fake excitement, unrequited sound effects, excessive use of accessories may spoil the fun on the whole. So important is to be your real self as far as possible.
Impact of storytelling:
Ø Listening ability-Since you need to be alert and concentrated while someone is telling you a story, so it helps to improve your listening skills.
Ø Language development-While listening to a story you get to hear many novel words, sentences, relation between two sentences/words etc. It helps you to improve your language.
Ø Imagination- You not only listen to the story rather you start interpreting and thinking and visualising about different characters and incidents involved in the story. You also start speculating about the end /repercussion of a particular act in the story. Thus it improves your ability to imagine and visualise.
Ø Cognitive development- Since you start finding the meaning and interpretations of different things which are a part of the story, it enhances your cognitive ability.
Ø Behavioural impact- Any story has a great impact on your thoughts and feelings. It has been believed that oral storytelling has a considerable role to play in fostering emotional and social development amongst children.
Ø Awareness- Children are exposed to different characters, places, incidents, emotions, situations while they are told a story. It helps in their overall awareness.
Ø Association- While listening to stories, listener starts associating with a particular character. This gives him a chance to experience the emotions of that character and also ability to cope with an emotional situation.
The storytelling is being used more as educational methodology. In healthcare story telling is used as a tool to develop confidence amongst stressed and depressed people. It can also be used to inform the media about the service changes on various levels. It is also being used in organisational settings to create brand identity and to promote staff and customer loyalty.
Thus storytelling doesn’t happen in pedagogical setup only but its use is vast and diverse.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Relationships- Handle with care

Gaurav keeps calling on his friend Abhishek’s mobile but Abhishek keeps disconnecting it, Sonali keeps pinging her cousin who always replies back with this sentence “Catch you Later”, and some reactions are I don’t want to talk about that, I don’t feel like meeting her anymore, let’s not discuss that, it was just a past, I am not in touch with Sunil who used to be my best friend at school.
I m sure many of you would have encountered a situation where u would have reacted as above. That’s how we react when we overlook our past relations (any kind of relationship) and intend to forget them. Yeah I know what we all agree with, life means get going and not sticking with one thing, life means experimenting and not just getting along with routine stuffs , life is so busy that there is no time to think for anything and if nothing works out, the best tool we use is to blame it on someone else. But the unfortunate part is we start feeling the same for our relations and also for the people whom we are related with without realizing that it’s nothing to do with our life or time rather it’s us who want to get rid of something/somebody.

Case study 1:-Ruchi was very happy to see her cousin sister cum friend, Priyanka after a long time. Ruchi had her weekend off and visited Priyanka who was in Pune.Priyanka didn’t seem to be very keen to meet Ruchi which was very evident on her face and by her unusual behaviour. While Ruchi had so many things to tell Priyanka, on the other hand Priyanka didn’t have time for them. She was busy in talking to her friends on phone and texting them and also with her roommate who was there at that point of time. Ruchi was embarrassed but priyanka didn’t bother about it at all. Ruchi was disheartened and she couldn’t figure out the reason for Priyanka’s unnatural behaviour.Priyanka didn’t seem to be upset or sad about anything .So was she just avoiding Ruchi or had she got so many friends now that she didn’t require her cousin sister anymore? Whatever it was, Ruchi was not expecting this and since then all her feelings, emotions and thoughts for Priyanka were altered. They are hardly in touch with each other.

Case study 2:- Rohan & Vikas had been very good friends since their childhood. Now they are working. Two years back they got admission in MBA. They were extremely happy for the fact that they were in the same college and will have a good time together. The first year went well for them. They studied together, supported each other when any problem arose, and both of them did well in the exams. Vikas was quite worried about his career and stuff like that. Rohan had been a great support for Vikas. Vikas wanted to achieve everything very fast and he started expanding his contacts. He made a lot of new friends and started interacting with people from different backgrounds in order to get a good career. But while he was doing all this, he forgot about Rohan who in spite of being equally worried, always helped and consoled Vikas. Rohan did make new friends but never overlooked Vikas. On the other hand Vikas wanted to get rid of Rohan as he believed presence of Vikas in his life wouldn’t let him make new friends and new contacts. So slowly and gradually they started getting disconnected from each other.

Do we ever make an attempt to understand “Is anything worth at the cost of splitting from our near and dear ones”, “Why someone, praising whom you were never tired of, is now turned into somebody whom you can’t stand at all”? No we don’t, why should we waste our time thinking about something which happened 2 -3 years back, Why should I take the effort, she should apologise. We would have hundreds and thousands of reasons for not doing so but just for one reason i.e to safeguard our relations, we should ponder why we actually forget old relations.

Don’t feel the requirement: - May be you feel the person is not of any help to you so you don’t require him/her anymore.
Too many things: May be you are preoccupied with so many things in your life like job, spouse, children, boss etc. that you don’t want to take the effort of still maintaining old relations.
Expanded group: - If you have enhanced your friend circle and have added many people in your contact list, you would no longer remember /miss your old buddies.
Change of priority:-As you grow, different things like education, career, money, house, new people, work, etc get added in your bucket list and accordingly your priorities change. So you stop speculating about people with whom you used to be appended to few years back.
Taken for granted: - Have you started assuming that your dearest friend will do anything for you if you are in any troublesome situation? If yes, it means you have actually started taking your friend for granted which will jeopardise your friendship.
Unpleasant experience: - You might have had some experience with a person which could have generated a friction in between you both. This can also become a reason for you to get disconnected with that person.
Unsorted misunderstandings: - Many a times you believe what others say and you just leave the things like that without elucidating the misunderstandings that you have in your mind. Any unsorted misunderstanding may lead to break up of any relation.
Ego: - The whole story of human beings and their relations will be incomplete without talking about their EGO. Your ego can be a big hurdle for any of your relations. You believe he should apologize to you, he should give you a phone call first, he should take the initiative for patch up & and many more such things your ego tells you to believe. That’s how ego takes you away even from your close ones.

Whatever the reasons could be, if you still have a longing to maintain and not forget a relation that you shared once with a person, you will be able to do so. Sounds difficult?? Let’s brainstorm and see whether the following facts are convincing enough for you to keep up with your old relations or not:-

Do change your priorities but avoid omitting & deleting your old realtions from your bucket list. You can manage to give them a call, or ping them, write to them at least once/year. Believe it or not, your buddies, friends, won’t mind even if you keep them last in your Bucket list of priorities.
· If you are a kind of person who feels proud of having a fantastic PR based on the number of people in your friend list of Orkut, Facebook, etc, you will just be left with shallow & fragile relations. So if you are really yearning for deep and candid relations ignore the quantity but don’t ignore the quality by being in constant touch with your true and old friends.
· Learn to respect people and more importantly whatever they have done for you. It doesn’t matter if they helped you 5 years back or 5days back. Remember such people never lose their kindness, generosity & honesty and you never know people whom who you feel are not required anymore may be the one to hold you up when you don’t find anybody in your surroundings to back you up.
· Be forgetful about incidents and not your relations: - It doesn’t take seconds for you to decide that you will never meet a person who lied to you even for a small thing, or who didn’t treat you well. But it’s a herculean task for all of us to forget such incidents and by the time we forget them, the person on the other side has already forgotten us. Try not to hold any grudge against anybody, if it’s there talk it out. Forgetting the person will be costly affair than forgetting such incidents as it takes whole lot of your energy, commitment, trust, honesty and many more such things to begin & build a relation.
· Always try to have clear and open communications. It helps you to sort out any of your misunderstandings and thus facilitates your relations.
· Try to keep your ego aside and make a phone call to your old friend /relative whom you have not spoken to for ages just because of ego.
· Last but not the least, if you after reading all this, think that you will make the whole of it a big laughing stock, I am sorry friend, you are absolutely mistaken as I trust myself and my friends out there that you wouldn’t find anyone to join you in that fun of yours. So if you still feel honoured in telling people that you are a very pragmatic & practical person and you don’t belive in emotions, feelings, commitments etc, you are making things extremely difficult for you. It’s always wise for us to keep ourselves miles away from such person to save our relations.

So people what are you waiting for now, go and get your telephone dairy and start calling up people (who used to be very close to you) whom you have not heard from for ages, write to those from whom you disconnected yourself completely due to some sort of misunderstanding or because of your ego. We don’t what will be the reaction on the other end of the line but certainly you will find yourself to be happy, relaxed & at peace. All the best friends!!!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Don't worry everything will be fine with you

Take a pause and think for 2minutes, How many times have you used the above statement to reduce your friend’s distress, to relieve your mother from a worrying thought that she is occupied with, to console your classmate who fear of failing in examination, to sympathise with a colleague of yours who is on the verge of losing his job and you will come out with many such situations.
There are different ways and we can have our own style of comforting somebody who is undergoing some sort of emotional despair. But does that help him/her? It’s difficult to answer this question but at least we can make an attempt to understand the right ways to do so. Let’s think about few things that one should avoid while giving emotional support to a person who is undergoing any kind of despair and grief.
a) Don’t overdo it. Avoid any kind of show off i.e. don’t pretend to be disheartened to the extent of repeating “Oh! I am sorry, I feel sorry for what happened with you”. This will make the person annoyed rather than reducing his/her pain.
b) Avoid using sentences like, “don’t worry you will be fine”, “Just try to relax, I am sure things will be fine with you”. By using such sentences you are dismissing someone’s emotion and not addressing it properly. Such sentences do not lead to anywhere and do not even let the distressed person to vent out his/her emotion.
c) Avoid gossiping. Don’t make someone’s grief your topic of discussion. “How it happened, when it happened, where it happened”, all these can be discussed later. It doesn’t show your concern rather your curiosity.
d) Avoid being judgemental. “It must have happened because of your carelessness”, saying so you will give your judgement about the person and he/she would not like it. It will make the person reluctant to share any of his/her worries to you.

By following little few things we can extend our emotional support to a distressed person.
a) Be yourself. Try to behave as natural as possible and don’t pretend to be something which you are not. You will be liked and appreciated for what you are.
b) Address the emotion. Try to address the emotion by your active listening, facilitating the communication, and being with the person in true sense.
c) Open-ended question will help the person to vent out his emotions. Don’t feel uncomfortable in asking questions like “How do you feel about it, what is going on in your mind, How do you want to react to this situation”. You never know, these questions may bring out the underlying grief and despair of the person.
d) Practice some positive gestures. Don’t be hesitant if you see the distressed person wants a hug from you or want you to hold his/her hands. It helps him/her to release his/her suppressed pain in the form of cry, shouting which will be a great vent out for the person.
It’s not important for a friend of yours that how much time did you spend with him when he was undergoing a gloomy phase of life, what matters more is how did you spend your time with him. Remember emotion is not something which you can sort out quickly by saying few things like don’t worry, everything will be fine with you, which sounds very meaningful to you but may be equally meaningless for your friend. It needs your time, your quality time, it needs you to empathise and not just sympathise, in order to be addressed properly.
This is something which is of great importance not only in our personal life but is equally important when a Psychologist is counselling his client, a Doctor talking to his patient, a Marketing Professional trying to convince his customers, and also when a leader is addressing a crowd.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Aspiration VS Destiny

“ Jo insaan actual me chahta hai na, real mein, woh hi use milta hai”, yeah people u got it right , its the dialogue from the hindi movie "Jab we met" which I am sure many of would have watched. "Samay se pehle aur bhagya se jyada kisi ko kuch nhi milta", give yourself a second and ask yoursef , how many times have you used this saying either to console youself or to sympathise with ur closed ones.
So guys and gals there, try to brainstorm for sometime and discover for urself , which one of these u are more convinced with:- kareena's stated dialogue or the saying...or you are convinced with both of these? Writing this blog will be a help for me to come out of this dilemma and figure it out which one do I follow.
I had just got my result for my graduation and I wanted to go for my Post-Graduation. I got the call letter from B.H.U , Dept of psychology. My father had his own concern about leaving me alone in a city and that too in a hostel. So he wanted me to continue my study in patna only which I didn't want to happen at all. I was very rigid about it and my father was also very convinced about his opinion . I was very disappointed and kept on trying to make my father undersatnd that nothing will happen to me if I am alone on my own. He could see my grief which worked for me and after a lot of tussle he gave me the permission to take admission in B.H.U. In this case , still I dont know what was it...was it my bhagya or was it, ye maine actual me chaha tha, real me??Whatever it was , it was fruitful for me.
I have a cousin brother. I call him Bhutkun and he is Ram for his friends...before u start thinking anything about why he is Ram for his friends ....basically his name is Ram. This guy did all his primary education in a village called Awadhpur and that too in a school where students had to take their own mat to sit upon as there was no benches, where the teachers were not highy but hardly qualified and with may more limitations. This was the first time , he stepped out of his village and came to a city i.e Patna for his XIth admission. He finished his XIIth and enrolled himself for B.C.A in IGNOU. He enrolled for B.C.A. , but did he have a single clue what computer was all about, had he even seen a computer before this, could he manage to take up this course with his existing ability to communicate at that time?? No...Not at all...So he mustn't have continued with his B.C.A. Nevertheless he did continue with this and he met a guy, who was a great support for him. Bhutkun used to call him his guru. This guy (My apologies as I dont remember his name) facilitated him both technically and emotinally. Bhutkun still feels that arrival of this fellow was like onset of good fortune in his life. However , As on date, Ram is in Microsoft, Banglore, working as a Beta Engineer in Unified Communications. What I know bhutkun, I guess, he gives the credit to his destiny.(correct me please if I am wrong).
I feel many of us wish to b taken overy by our destiny several times and many of us just keep on striving & trying incessantly even if the things are not working out at all. It wouldn't be justified if we say which one is right and which one is wrong??Or should we give it an attempt which we do quite often actually in order to make things handy and convenient for us...Don't we??
Well there does not seem to be any bottomline to this , is there any ??if u find one ..Please tell me also. What I believe personally that everyone tries as per his/her best ability (mind it as per his/her ability and nt urs or mine ....) and if it doesn't work out , I leave it in SFGTD (Something for God to do) box...Believe me it helps and afterall God helps those who help themselves...well I don't say this..this is again a famous saying like "samay aur bhagya"which we all use to comfort ourselves and console others as well...and there is nuthing wrong in doing so...

I guess u must have done enough brainstorming by now if nt do it to find this out..inspite of kareena putting all her efforts (fled away, left her family....usne ye real me chaha tha na , actual me) to meet her boyfriend...but did it happen??...and Shahid kappor on the other hand liked her and just left things on his fate and it did worked out for him...didn't it?? Or was it the liberty of reel life (movie) that made it possible? Ya fir probably both kareena and shahid had eagerly, actually wanted it to b with each it happened? Or could be it was just their fate?
Carry on guys ..u dont have much time and dont worry even if u dont come out with any result ..Probably its not the right time ("Samay se Pehle") for us to know this...definitely not for me at least..

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Inspired by bharti thats my soni di.. to begin with.....please dont start assuming that whatever i will be writing in this blog ,will be an inspiration from bharti...But Of course..taking efforts to write a blog after such a long time is happening only after didi sent me her blog link on orkut....
To start with, its something to do with "Sab Maya Hai". This statement has got a deep meaning underlying it, which I am not fully aware of , may be not even a bit of it.First I heard it from my elder brother, Ajay, when I was in class VIII. Then I started hearing it from my younger bro, nishant, in a bit modified form i.e "Sab Time Pass hai".
As I said I dont know the underlying meaning of these statments , but deep down inside my heart, I recognize their significance and keep taking their advantage whenever required/needed. I would like to mention such few incidents.

It was the final year of my postgraduation, and we all were worried about our career and stuff like that. By the Almighty's grace it didn't take me long to find something which I was looking for .I started working as a Psychologist with one of Psychological firms in Mumbai. So was I happy??..Not really....No dont take me wrong , I was very happy for what I was doing, but it was a very hectic schedule .There was nothing else left but going from house to office & office to house . At that time I really used to wish ,I want something where I can take up my job as a fun and not as a burden....and very soon this wish of mine was fulfilled. I came to this place last year July.Again by Almighty's grace I started working in a hospital with every sort of flexibility and liberty. No burden at boss, no seniors, flexible hrs (choose ur own working days). So basically, I was completely relaxed and what I wished , I got that. I must be very satisfied..Was I? No, B'coz I was deprived of social life over here what could i do with my flexible hrs and leisure time. What does it get something and u start looking for something else...So basically U end up becoming unhappy for something that u dont have and not just happy for getting something that u had wished for once... To wrap it on today, I try to follow the "Sab Maya hai" or "Sab Time Pass hai"concept which help me to take life as it comes to me. Does it mean stop having dreams and desires?? U can/should dream and fight for your wishes and desires to be fulfilled, but not the extent of leaving youself with a sense of forever incompleteness, sadness, unsatisfaction...Take it easy folks..its all Time Pass. The sooner u learn it, the happier u would be...

So dont take your life too seriously..otherwise u wouldn't come out of it alive...and dont read this blog too seriously, otherwise u will be entangled with Maya and Time pass..

Will tell you another incident later..have to go now for another time pass ....

Monday, 15 December 2008

Implications of PCT....

The implications of PCT in psychological distress are :-
1) The conflicts are internally and individually resolved
2) The conflicts are discussed in present
3) Knowing the historical background is not as effective as knowing the present situtaion and emotions at present in undersatnding and resolving any conflict.
4) An indiviual willingness to share comforatbly and openely that he /she is undergoing , his/her emotions , feelings with the therapist acclerates the process of therapy and increases the probablity of a successful therapy.
5) Bringing the conflicts to an invidual's awareness and consciousness plays a vital role in distress resolution.

Thus PCT model in psychological distress is very challenging and rewarding.