Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Canteen Fundas - Separate Fact from Fiction, Don't Take it Personally

 Don't take things personally and separate fact from fiction to maintain healthy relationships.

Let’s not take it personally, buddy: Keep things simple and work towards what you love doing

Bhaiyya, Rinku stopped her athletics training,’ said Rahul. ‘She doesn’t like her coach.’

‘And Rahul quit his music lessons,’ said Rinku. ‘He’s not happy with the other students.’

‘I thought you loved your athletics and music,’ said Rakesh. ‘Don’t tell me you’re making the big mistake people do.’

‘What, bhaiyya?’ asked Rinku.

‘Of taking simple issues, building complicated stories around them and giving up on what you love,’ said Rakesh. ‘So, what happened really?’

‘I didn’t like the way the coach talked to me,’ said Rinku. ‘He said I wasn’t putting in enough effort.’

‘And I don’t like my co-students, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘They’ve formed a group and kept me out of it.’

‘So, though you enjoy athletics and music, you’re punishing yourself for what someone said or did?’ asked Rakesh.

‘But the entire experience is spoilt because of these people, bhaiyya,’ said Rinku. ‘It’s not fun anymore.’

‘You’re only adding to your story, Rinku,’ smiled Rakesh. ‘Instead, keep it in perspective. If the coach said something unpleasant, it’s a mere 5 per cent of your total experience, right? You still have 95 per cent to enjoy. Why give up something you love for such a trivial thing?’

‘True,’ said Rinku. ‘But I’m not able to get over it, bhaiyya.’

‘That’s because your big ego built a huge drama around a simple fact,’ said Rakesh. ‘Fact: The coach said, put in more effort. Story: The coach does not like me, he thinks I’m bad and he’s bad and so on. Once you start this story, it becomes bigger and more real in your head. You’ve taken a simple statement or incident, made it about yourself and painted the whole experience with it. You’ll keep messing up relationships, giving up on what you want and getting frustrated if you don’t learn. Same goes for you, Rahul.’

‘How do we deal with it, bhaiyya?’ asked Rahul.

‘Simple, separate facts from your work of fiction,’ smiled Rakesh. ‘When you don’t take it personally, you’ll see clearly.’

‘I can take the coach’s words at face value,’ said Rinku. ‘I can work harder. It’s good for me.’

‘I can enjoy my music,’ said Rahul. ‘If they make their own group, it’s not about me.’

‘Yes,’ said Rakesh. ‘Keep it simple. You’ll meet all kinds of people. Even if they say or do nasty things, deal with them, the facts, and continue to enjoy doing what you love.’

‘Thanks, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘That’s helpful. Fact: I want chai. Short story: I’ll make it.’

Pro Tip: Separate facts from the stories you create about them by not taking them personally. Life gets simpler and more enjoyable.

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