I wonder why is it hard to appreciate somebody but extremely easy to find faults! Is it one's insecurity that prevents one from appreciating something good about another person? In some cases, its quite the opposite as well…There could be an exaggerated sense of self, which makes one feel that he/she is the best in what they do and thus always measure others against this (oft) imaginary pedestal on which they have placed themselves.
But a lack of positive stroke causes one to wither and die. When someone is too hard to please, then you stop trying…
I have been thinking about appreciation (or rather the lack of it) in two very different aspects of my life – my personal life and my professional life..Well, I thought a lot about whether to even put these things down in this blog and whether it would be construed as a washing of dirty linen in public…However, my readership is so minimal that these things shouldn't exactly be worrying me J
My mom is a tough task master. No maid or driver has ever lived up to her lofty standards…There is no person even among friends/relatives about whom I have ever heard her say a nice/appreciative remark…She feels I am a lousy mom…I am not exactly what they call a perfect, self sacrificial sort of mom, but I would still rate myself at about 70%...However, till date, she has not even once said that I have been a good mom…And she has never lost an opportunity to crib about the rest 30% of me that messes up due to various reasons. Now, lot of people may ask as to why it should even matter to me what she thinks..The simple answer is that it does. Period. And it hurts that she chooses to hurt every time she has the choice between a hurtful remark and a loving/consoling one.
My boss is not a tough task master, but an extremely busy one. Conversations are often cut short mid-sentence and I am not exactly sure where me and my team fits in his list of priorities…My firm is extremely competitive and expectations from each individual is sky-high. There are several parameters on which each person is measured and goals are often conflicting in nature. You cannot excel unless you do a tight rope walk balancing multiple facets of each project – client, team, quality, deadlines, profitability and so on. Here again there are areas where I do well, and others where I strive to improve. But conversations with the boss often revolve around what could potentially be problem areas and never on stuff that goes well.
However, my reaction to both these situations are very different. With my mom, I often feel bad about the way she treats me and spend hours thinking on how I can get a nice word from her….I often feel like banging my head against a wall…Every time I think of my mom, my stomach churns and my heart burns-yea, literally.
My reaction to my work front is much better. I am able to deal with it objectively, and try to get to that near impossible target of being the best…The motivation no doubt is the salary I earn….There are times when I wish I were appreciated more at work, but these are more often fleeting thoughts than a permanent feeling of sorrow at the pit of your stomach…
I wonder whether loving someone is the biggest vulnerability that you could have! If I didn't care for my mom, probably I would have still felt bad, but it would be more the way I feel about my situation at work rather than this abysmal sense of loss…
It is extremely easy to say that we should not wait for others to ratify our behaviour, but we all can do with a genuine kind word once in a while, right?