It is important to steer clear of impulsive responses and keep calm to maintain one’s relationships.
Impulse control when you are bruised or misunderstood or unfairly treated and humiliated is one of the most difficult controls to excercise! It’s easier to resist your favourite chocolate cake or a platter of jalebis when starving, than refrain from a retaliatory outbursts.
Most often you will agree, if impetuous retaliation is resorted to, things may go in a way you would later regret and may not be able to mend. A very interesting insight occurred to me when I thought of my friend, Shaila. That while I had wanted to throw something at her and even dump her forever, I realised she’s not herself and that people go through all sorts of changes in life, which are often transitory. But changes that affect the mood and behaviour. And to retain a long term bond one has to step back and wait for the friend to either realise that they are being unfair or incorrect or then bounce back good naturedly loosing the dark clouds hovering over their head.
To have a long term relationship that lasts, one has to weather the storms. The mantra is ‘overlook overlook overlook, move away, let go for a bit — look away, ignore and make light of some slights.
Practice ingrains in you a conditioned reponse where your mind comes to an established understanding that wisdom lies at least in postponing an immediate response or worse an outburst. This is one area where procrastination is, a virtue.
I need to emphasise that this is not about suppressing emotions! It is about the big picture of a relationship where you look at the relationship through a viewfinder spanning nearly twenty thirty years when friends go through break ups, shift cities, have torrid love affairs where they forget you completely for sometime. So you don’t take it personally. You step back.
Psychiatrists suggest that suppression beyond a point can cause a bursting at the seams. Suppression is not the answer. You change the negative perception to a wiser option. With self-counselling, one encounter at a time, you eat the enormous elephant one bite at a time! You understand and stand to gain profitable outcomes, better relationships, more enduring friendships, and greatly reduce hangovers of guilt and remorse.
Life changes happen to everyone. Undesirable phases pass, and you grow more into a person who triumphs over reactionary behaviours and the self. There, are of course situations where you might not want to continue with a relationship or a friendship, nor accept behaviour that goes against your value system or is just not worth it all, but more often than not a good friend is worth holding onto through ‘thick and thin’ !
The writer is a columnist, designer and brand consultant. Mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org