Technically speaking, we as humans are the smartest people around on Earth. But our tendency to assert supremacy, have inferiority complexes and the fact that we are social animals, complicates our lives a little bit.
More often than not, most of us are engaged in some sort of mental grappling that acts itself out in very weird ways. Truth be told, it only makes us institutionally crazy. But it prevails and probably evolves just like the cavemen who started them!
1) Sizing up at the handshake
While for most of us a handshake is a simple gesture of courtesy when greeting, for some it becomes the ultimate Colosseum to test those forearms they’ve been carving out with Gold Gym and whey protein.
Often we won’t even know what happened until we are left silently grimacing over a crushed hand, all while the victor shrugs his palm saying ‘Hah! Amateur!’ and seeing his testosterones shoot up to Mars. Talk about a harsh reaction!
2) Not texting first
In a volatile world of social media, dating and friendships have become a 2nd hand experience, with nudes replacing intimacy and emojis replacing conversation. The biggest casualty of this is the one who musters the courage to text first.
With everything from ego issues to not wanting to seem clingy/bored, the list of reasons people won’t text first is longer than Ramzan fasting in Iceland (Google it).
The result? No one wins, both the sexes remain (un)happily unconnected and cigarette/wine sales shoot up.
3) Using the familiarity card
Let’s face it. Life is a huge game of fulfilling someone’s needs in exchange for having your own realized. Most people in India live through a few things called ‘engineering’, ‘marriage’, if you’re lucky then ‘travel/supercar/rich life’ and then ‘death’.
Yet, what won’t change is our preference to get away with something for nothing. Telling our writer friend to help finish your college project because ‘Apan Bhai hain yaar’ is cute, but rest assured that it will be done with more spite than you realize. Relatives are the worst offenders here, as ‘khoon ka rishta’ suddenly turns your obligation to be acknowledged monetarily into an unspoken crime.
4) Big cars, small manhood
Y’know what they say. The larger the car, the smaller the gearstick. A lot of people believe that a pimped-out ride can tide over their shortcomings and put them on par with others. Sadly some think it entitles them to be shamelessly brazen with people about it.
So the next time the midget driving a Hummer jokes about the size of your car, remind him of his atrocious mileage.
5) It’s my choice!
Not referring to the Vogue Empower issue, but to the larger one of mass media, allowing opinion that doesn’t remain purely opinion.
With social media, the concept of opining has changed. Everyone feels that their two cents are gospel from the Bible of authenticity (Wikipedia edition) and anyone contradicting them is a heretic/anti-national/opposition etc.
The herd mentality often picks up online and you may step alongside an idea/movement regardless of what your personal views are.
Thus stray opinions will now hound everyone and anyone, with free speech really slipping into the blender just because someone got too passionate about their choice being known. Think politics and religion.
The prospect of a bad layoff/breakup/encounter may be daunting, but the first thing our brains will always do is shield up our hurt hearts and souls and make us think ‘Ha! She/He/It wasn’t good enough for me anyway!’ If only we were smarter enough not to drink our life away to cope with it or jump into rebound with the next human with a nice face.
So your interview didn’t go as planned. That dress is two sizes tight. Your best friend has been sleeping with your crush and your college GPA is lower than the value of Pi…
Okay maybe that last one was a bit much. But we love to hate ourselves and our lives for anything that does not go our way. For those who inevitably slip into the ‘why me?’ mentality, things indeed don’t look rosy but rather bloodied. This is turn becomes a vicious cycle only to be broken by the new cause of ‘pain’ in our lives.
8) Entitlement versus Courtesy
Today many people are making their existent, nonexistent and sometimes ridiculously absurd rights known. However, the flip side of this has been a newer kind of customer or patron who doesn’t expect but demands to be served, exactly the way they want it. Most times they are obliged. Other times someone gets sued or hailed the new toast of social media for speaking up for the team.
Be it the offended uncle at a comedian’s set or the conscientious activist picketing against tobacco but drunkenly slipping at fund-raisers, we’ve seen them all. Plenty of us think that our position entitles us to take matters into our own hands. But truth be told, an approach of ‘let the experts handle it’ and ‘live and let live’ is better off. Sadly, courtesy in letting your displeasure known is now crumbling faster than cookies in the open.
9) Pricing your time when no one’s buying
Ever come across those people at a party who think us mortals are just brittle compared to the sheen of their Gucci spectacles? While the idea of being paid for your attention is what runs the professional world, some people are damper than a shower in Cherrapunji when it comes to casual occasions.
Despite the fact that social gatherings exist purely to mingle and socialize without talk of post, place or price (unless you’re in Antilla or 10 Janpath), such pompous personalities will love to wax eloquent about even acknowledging our presence. Sure sir, enjoy your disdainful impression of me while I actually have some fun.
10) A fool’s suffering
We’ve all had that one boss/professor/significant other/relative whose treatment of us made 12th grade math seem fun. A la Michal Caine, some men (or women, because equality) just want to watch the world (and us) burn.
The lesser of us will hate, kick, cry and plead our way to eventual freedom. But the smarter ones will take it, knowing that the satisfaction of not being broken in front of them is worth all the stress.
Think back to every single thing that scared you gutless ever. The 10th grade exams. That first rejection. Telling your dad engineering isn’t for you. Looking at your Aadhar card photo. And you’ll realize that while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.
To conclude, while Netflix, smuggled Lindt chocolates and Ian Somerhalder/Mia Khalifa may all give us a good life, such games are what we play to entertain and be entertained.
And you thought Ludo was bad!
Featured Image Source: fractalenlightenment.com