Photo by Heavypong, www.freedigitalphotos.net
With Halloween around the corner and kids everywhere saying ‘trick or treat’, it all got me wondering in a tricky way.
While the tradition goes back centuries, I had a vivid imagination if we as adults are either a trick or treat in real life for others. In other words, in our loved ones perspectives are we really a trick or a treat for them. We are all taught principles and values and love and when we fail we judge ourselves. But do we really consider ourselves as strength or a weakness in the perspective of our loved ones. Are we sure that, what we think makes our loved ones happy really does make them feel that way.
Using the path of ‘Trick’ is most often the root cause of many arguments .For instance, when there is a need for an emotional support, we tend to offer practical guidance and when someone looks for validation of their decision we simply do not challenge them enough. And at times though our intention is to provide comfort we land up hurting them. And when you sit down to replay the situation it dawns upon you that the whole situation got blown out of proportion because your word of love and intent to provide comfort was received as insensitive and words of blame.
It all starts when you don’t want to simply say the things your loved ones want to hear because you are the only person who can give them a frank opinion or feedback or even tell them they are wrong. And you do that only because you don’t want to give them false hope or baseless confidence which will do more harm than good. And when you do say things without empathy and talk your viewpoint and continue to challenge and criticise with little and no encouragement, we will tend to lose them emotionally. When this happens, the whole discussion point derails and leads to an unproductive argument sometimes involving ego. We tend to lose that trust they once had with us to come and open up and the belief that we would understand and help them and be their pillar of strength.
Treating and always saying they are right especially when they need to be told a different perspective also will not work. As they will either continue to lose empathy in their own lives or evolve to believe that when they say or do something it is always the best possible way.
With both ways not the optimal solution, the key is striking a balance between ‘trick’ or ‘treat’. The understanding is to know when to trick and times to treat or sometimes a combination of both. Trick it when needed and treat them when they deserve it.
Everyone at times needs empathy, and at times direction and who better than our loved ones can give us that. And from our point of view, trick or treat, there is belief that where there is love, there is genuinely a deep sense of wishing for our wellness. Be it a friend, a partner or a mother, when there is word of caution or words of comfort given, let’s begin to open up and listen from a place of love and trust. This way a healthy conversation happens leaving both of us understood, heard and loved. After all loving is not giving but taking too.
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