You know what: I don’t know this lady in the picture. But I believe we’ll get along well because we probably think alike. For example, looking at her gesture, I safely assume that we share our fondness for lady’s finger (okra). I love okra fries. In my opinion, the poor woman is probably invalid and through the gesture she’s just imploring her husband to go the market and buy the green vegetable, ensuring that none of them are smaller than her middle finger.
I’m sure the protectors and guardians of obscene gestures are going to look down upon me with utmost disdain and derision for having interpreted such an eminent and historical symbol in a casual way. According to them, even an infant can understand that the lady in question is not at all referring to anything edible; she is probably showing her long finger to her loathsome, hateful, obnoxious and abusive boss. So, Guardian Angels, please attribute this daft interpretation of the term to my naïveté and pardon me. If you read what follows in subsequent paragraphs, I promise you’ll see that I am looking at the upright gesture in a slightly different way.
Many of us must have used this gesture several times in the past and also harbour a secret wish to use it to tick off those “nasty” people. The sign is used mostly to exhibit emotions such as resentment, anger, antagonism, bitterness, hatred, disgust and irritability. But I haven’t chosen this gesture in Write Choice to discuss any of these emotions: I’ll use it here to illustrate what I call “I-don’t-give-a-damn attitude”.
I understand that for many of us, I-give-it-a-shit attitude borders “defiance, disobedience, insolence and insubordination to boot”. But minus all the negativity implied in the four words within quotes, does the term become useless and insignificant? My opinion is: No, it doesn’t. What remains of the term, after we carefully sieve all the negativity, is the subject of our discussion here. It means we’re not talking here about people who are defiant, disobedient, insolent and insubordinate; we’re referring to people who use the term to brush aside unconstructive criticism and laugh off mindless remarks tossed at them — wittingly or unwittingly; we’re talking about the attitude that protects the ego from being bruised by stray statements.
The point is that if we don’t disregard and discount all disapproval and disparagement, we’ll impair our productivity and surely deteriorate our efficiency. For example, many students desist from asking questions in the classroom because they fear being snubbed by the teacher and thereafter “becoming a butt of joke” among classmates. But in reality, they become a “butt of joke” but in their imagination. Psychologists trace the root of such fears among students to a mortifying incident/s in the past, which caused inhibitions or engendered shyness.
Likewise, many working professionals are hit by similar fears. Meet Ms Sandhya; she’s one of them. Sandhya is an accomplished worker. But when her colleague, Amit, make any “negative” remark on her work, style of functioning, behaviour or her dress for that matter, she loses sleep and becomes resentful towards him. When she goes home, she replays Amit’s words over and over again in her mind, takes all the criticism personally, produces plenty of rancour and plans to “give it back” to him. In the next few weeks, she might even “give it back to him”, but it’s unlikely that she will cease to experience pain caused by identical problems in the future. Because last week it was Amit, next week it could be Sumit, and the week after that it may be Sujit.
I am not a gyaani baba passing judgment on people or telling them what they should do, but I believe a change in attitude will definitely help Ms Super Sensitive Sandhya. I ask you: won’t it be a good for her to not lose her sleep and ignore the colleague’s comments? In other words, will it be bad if she sticks her middle finger (only in her mind) and tells herself: “I don’t give a damn about what Amit says”? Because if she doesn’t, she will become like a trampled flower. Just about anybody can walk over her, leaving her bruised and hurt. Do you disagree? If yes, I’d like to hear from you.
In handwriting analysis, a single stroke or a combination of strokes reflects an individual’s super sensitivity. But in most cases, the trait is seen primarily in the loops in lower case t’s and d’s. And we can change this self-tormenting attitude by bringing about minor changes in handwriting. If you face this problem, using disciplined graphotherapy, take these loops out of the two letters. You’ll feel better. That’s a promise. The exercise will help you understand that it’s a waste of time trying to control what others say; it’s easier to regulate how you choose to take the comments. You’ll also stop getting bothered by the words of your boss, friends, in-laws… They won’t haunt you in your sleep.
Hence, guardian angels, the gesture in question can be interpreted in many ways and obviously it’s not always a crime to carry the I-give-it-a-shit attitude. One of my ex-colleagues has it. I love her for that. She is too bindaas and raises her long middle finger very often to deflect the verbal crap thrown at her. And every time she sticks it out, I get a secret complex. Never mind, never mind. Hey! But I see your mind is in top gear trying hard to figure out about my complex? Honestly, I DON’T GIVE A DAMN!
VIREN NEEDS TO REIN HIS FEARS
In this post, I am analysing the handwriting of Viren who sent me his sample via email. Viren is a highly intuitive and calculative person who does not wish to reveal his real personality to others. Viren, in relationships, you want a portion of others but you don’t feel comfortable letting people in your world. While you can justify this behaviour by all means because you’ve been cheated many times in the past, others see your reluctance to open up as a repellant. It worsens the matter all the more because you are not at all the kind of person you show you are. In the first few meetings, you try to project yourself as a friendly and emotional person who needs others in his life. But as others get to know you, they realise you are not and then they silently withdraw because they find you have changed. Ironically, this change in you, Viren, takes place without you realising it. You don’t know that because of the secret fears you have (fear of deception & intimacy), you erect a subconscious wall separating you and others. Have you realised, Viren, that you suddenly cut off from people without giving them any explanation? And again when you feel the need to re-connect, you find them running away from you. Also, you’re unhappy as most of your tasks remain incomplete because of your proclivity to put off things and some amount of indiscipline.
POP A PEN KILLER
Viren, first of all resume writing in cursive and DO NOT write in block letters. For a month, write about three to four pages every day on ruled paper and write on every alternate line. Do not stop even for day. Your entire writing should be as connected and free-flowing as your signature. Secondly, expressly remove the dot that you put at the end of your signature and make two dots below the rule. That’s very important. Practise your new signature whenever you have some free time on your hand. At the end of a month, send me the your latest handwriting. All the best, Viren. Keep in touch.
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