I was a socially awkward creep the other night. I locked horns with one of the acquaintances fighting hard in a quasi-moronic ‘battle of wits’. It was a waste of time. It always is. I’ve never met a person who changed his mind and thanked me for the enlightenment after an argument of sorts. They might even have plans to slit my throat in a dark subway after the altercation. Who knows? I argue anyway. Maybe it is a personal mark of pseudo existentialism. One can never claim to be rational enough. Yet, I try to break my own habits every other day.
There are days when I’ve a little less faith in my surroundings. There are some background factors which come into play, deciding how my behavior will pan out. I’ve come to acknowledge them. I’m not a mathematical constant with an absurd value, but a real living error-prone human being. I’ve learned quite a few lessons from my own mistakes and idiosyncrasies, for being a little less violent and destructive (pun intended).
- Fear. Everyone has their own version of a micro disaster waiting to rip them apart from toe-to-toe. Losing their home, not getting a job, death, disease, debt, dreams not panning out or unrequited love. They are afraid of being lonely, of amounting to nothing, of being ridiculed or raped. Sometimes I’m afraid of being afraid.
Fear is powerful. And it manifests itself in myriad forms. I’m a result of a multitude of fears and rebuttals crossing out in my mind.
- Uncertainty. Of things going haywire. Of investments turning out lemon. Of going broke. Of people changing.
I usually have an iota of doubt in my relations, as if hedging my way to avoid a total collapse(!). It is a double-edged sword. It saves me from the potential heartaches while deprives me from some awesome experiences. But is it the right way to form relationships? Who knows? How do I decouple my past from the present to have an awesome future?
- Reputation. You’re not the nucleus of the gathering. Period. You might think that people are going to critically analyze your wardrobe or hand movements; but seriously, they’re often too busy for that. Or, they just don’t give a shit about you and just want to keep you down through fugly comments. You might spend umpteen hours wasting your hard-earned money to impress people you don’t like, only to realize that it doesn’t even matter. I’ve a weak memory, and I can keep the right set of people only by being myself. No false reputations to uphold.
- Mood. You won’t be able to tell what someone is thinking of in entirety. Heck, I’m sometimes confused by my thinking. The moment I realize I’m not in a good mood, I refrain from making comments and decisions. I also try to keep away from blokes who seem to have a bad mood. If there is bad mood, most often I end up fighting with people or pulling their hair out and there is blood spilled all over. It is ugly as hell. I just want to wait for the phase to get over, as I sometimes wait for a good bowel movement. It happens autonomously and is a great relief in the end.
By knowing these behavior-twisters, I try everyday to be in control of what I say and what I yell. I’ve also come to accept the non-rationality of human behavior and the power of the ‘need to be right’. But, to know is not enough. I dream of the days when I break free of my mood and of those around me. The day will perhaps be a little more brighter in celebration. I’ll carry on with a lot less fuss. Simplicity is heaven.
Posted by: Rohit Gupta