[Image: A fridge magnet at a friend’s house]
For atleast 20years of my adult life, have had people tell me now and then how I was not in their shoes to understand what they are going through.. I have also been told,
“Only when you are a mother, will you understand why I do/say what I do”
“Only when you get a family of your own, will you understand dynamics, why we pussy foot around some….etc”
Does one really have to be all this to understand the dynamics/drama and/or give out suggestions/advice? Also there is no general standardised rule that mothers/wives/people follow right?
For instance, just ‘cos you are a mom, doesn’t mean you will follow what the other moms do, or say exactly the same thing..
Each one is different. Each one’s approach is different.. the lessons they have learnt, the things they bring to the relationship is different… Also, isn’t it enough to have maternal instincts to act motherly?
Over time, it has become such a thing that I kinda know how the conversation will go and therefore many a times keep my mouth shut. Not because of fear but because I don’t want to argue, don’t like to justify why I said what I did…
Ok, I agree I am not in whatever position the person is
Yes, I am not going through what they are
but then, as an outsider, don’t I have a right to share my opinion? Am not thrusting anything on anybody… but can offer some insight or what I think are reasonable to valuable inputs…It also never ceases to amaze me how people come to me for help/suggestions and then at the end of it throw this whole “what do you know, you have no idea what am going through” .. Hey, dont go all judgy on me, am just trying to help…
For example, I have done a brief stint in the corporate world. I was in recruitments and so I understand the psychology of those who are shopping for jobs, who are working in a company and their behaviour as well. Many a times, guys who take up an offer will not join, or they might join but leave within few days or will take off a few days without letting us know they were on leave and so on.
Heck, I have taken off without giving advance notice. Not because I dint want to, but because I know any reason I give will be turned down or questioned. And similarly, the same would be done to other employees.
Today, when the maid or driver or cook at home take off unannounced, I get it.. On the contrary, I dont get angry or upset but figure a way around it. Gramma on the other hand gets all worked up, angry , sometimes she calls them and yells at them or asks them to drop whatever they are doing and come to work. Few occasions, they have, other times they havent. The anger then spills over to the next day.
When I tell her the psych of people and why they take off the way they do, she doesnt get it. She doesnt get that as an employer she is never going to accept the Actual reason, and therefore many a times staff end up lying or cooking up excuses. If they announce their intention a day ahead, they are going to hear no end of it, and if they take off unannounced, they will hear an earful the subsequent day… Sigh!! All I hear is “You dont understand, you have no idea how they think/work/operate”.. and I quietly end up slinking away from the spot and controlling the tongue next time such a situation arises…
Similarly, I also feel things that what works for one person might not necessarily work for another. Be it medicines or even things like movies, food at a restaurant or clothes from a particular store. Opinions, preferences & experiences are all so personal. People infact get touchy and upset if you dint like something they suggested.
So these days even if I do offer suggestion or inputs to someone, I always end it with a “hey, you know what’s best for you, after all you are the one going through whatever it is you are going through.. take care”.. or “I went here, the food was good, give it a try, see if you like it” or “I bought a few shirts from xyz store, price was reasonable, they have sizes ranging from XS to 5XL, hop in if you have some time to spare”
Can never win this battle…. walk a mile in someone else’s shoes and yet you cannot figure out what they want!!