Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Canteen Fundas - Separate the Action from the Person

 Separate the action from the person!


Canteen Fundas: Here's why you shouldn't ditch the whole because of a part

Bhaiyya, a crisis is looming large,’ said Rinku. ‘Rahul’s on the verge of breaking up with Sohail.’

‘How come, Rahul?’ asked Rakesh. ‘I thought friends were for keeps.’

‘True, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘Sohail and I’ve been great friends for ages. But he has this bad habit of playing stupid pranks. I’ve told him repeatedly I don’t like his practical jokes. Yesterday was the limit. He sent some weird messages to my friends from my phone without my knowledge. I lost it. This time I’m done.’

‘Rahul,’ said Rinku. ‘Sohail can get irritating at times but he’s a genuinely nice person who is always the first one to help. He plays pranks but he doesn’t mean anything bad. That just makes him what he is.’

‘I can’t deal with him anymore, Rinku,’ said Rahul. ‘I’ve told him so many times to respect my space but he doesn’t get it. I can never forgive him for what he did yesterday.’

‘Sometimes by focusing on one act or one aspect we lose out our perspective on the whole,’ said Rakesh. ‘Remember, good friends are assets. Ending relationships should be your last option.’

‘He’s hopeless,’ dismissed Rahul. ‘But what options are you suggesting, bhaiyya?’

‘Firstly, separate the act from the person,’ said Rakesh. ‘Don’t take one action and paint the person as a whole with labels like ‘he’s hopeless’ or ‘he’ll never learn’ and condemn him forever. Separate the behaviour and the person.’

‘What then, bhaiyya?’ asked Rahul. ‘Suffer his stupid behaviour?’

‘Give him feedback — properly,’ said Rahul. ‘There’s a way to do it. Tell him specifically what the behaviour was that upset you, how it made you feel exactly and let it sink in. Then, tell him how much you value your friendship and that it’s about the act and not him. If you give feedback constructively, chances are high that he might change his behaviour. But instead, if you blame and make ‘him’ wrong, you’ll definitely lose him.’

‘What if he doesn’t change even after I make all that effort?’ asked Rahul.

‘We’re all imperfect, Rahul, and we all have our limitations,’ said Rakesh. ‘Understand that it’s a limitation of his. Leave that part and deal with the rest of him. If you don’t like the filling in a samosa, you don’t need to throw the entire samosa away, right? Throw away the filing and enjoy the rest. If you follow this principle, you can get along with everyone.’

‘Wow,’ said Rahul. ‘Thanks, I’ll talk to Sohail over samosas.’

Pro Tip: If you label a person as ‘bad’ based on one act, you’ll lose the relationship. Instead, give feedback in a manner that affects change. We all have limitations and by focusing on the good parts, you can get the best of your relationships.

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