It is important to express your appreciation at home and at work. We tend to take people for granted and feel disappointed when others don’t say something nice to us! Appreciation is like water to a plant. It can do without it but gradually will wilt due to lack of it. That is what happens to interpersonal relationships. We are quick to criticize but hesitate to applaud. How many of us take the trouble to thank the liftman who opens doors and presses buttons day in and day out? How many husbands thank the wife for laying out a good meal or how many wives thank their husbands for being ‘there’ for them? How many children thank their parents for giving them good education or how many parents thank their children for making them proud? How many bosses express their satisfaction of the subordinates’ performance or subordinates appreciate their boss’s concern? We all need a pat on the back once in a while and let us make it a daily habit – of appreciating someone – at work and at home. I have read that a psychological law of reciprocity says, if you make me feel good about myself, I will find a way to make you feel good about yourself.
This is a favourite topic for debates. According to the younger generation, love marriage is better as they can ‘vibe’ well. I think marriage is a big gamble anyway-arranged or otherwise. There is a lot to say in favour of each and against both. The biggest advantage of an arranged marriage is that when it rocks; everyone rallies around to help the couple save the marriage! While in a love marriage, the attitude is one of ‘you made your bed, so you manage the lumps’! If a love alliance is based on mature consideration of each others likes and dislikes and approach to life, it should do well. But if based on superficial considerations like looks or status-it is bad news. Most love matches are frowned upon by parents on either side for various reasons. If this is overcome before marriage, it is good going, if not, it is again bad news. Ultimately, the couple should remember that they not only marry each other but are wedded to the family too-at least in Indian society. Considering this, arranged marriages are more workable as the parents do a background check, look into economic, social and cultural compatibility- all of which can smoothen rough edges in marriage. But then, I repeat marriage is a gamble so use your head and not your heart when you choose a mate-is my advice. As the matrimonial Ad of a young man read ‘wanted girl with house and car-send picture of house and car’!
Most of the problems women face are due to lack of assertiveness which is the ability to honestly express your opinion, feelings, attitudes, and rights, without undue anxiety, in a way that doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. It’s a middle ground between being a bully and a doormat. It involves respect both for your own needs and feelings and for those of the other person. In the stereotyped role that women play as daughter/wife/daughter-in-law, assertiveness is rarely found. Which is perhaps the reason why they are stressed out. One of the most important requirements for assertiveness is knowing what you want in life and the ability to verbalise it. You also need the courage of your conviction to stand by your goal, whatever the hurdle.
As people practice assertive communication, you can almost see that little spark of self-respect glimmer, flicker, take hold, and burst into flame. People can sense it when you respect yourself, and they will treat you with respect. And that is the ultimate goal of assertive communication.