Just keep going

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By Nina S. Custodio


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Conversation between 2 friends:

Friend 1: What’s this? (Asks while Friend 2 tries to hand over a watch to be given to Friend 3)
Friend 2: (Looks at the watch then looks at Friend 1) It’s a watch. She (referring to Friend 3) asked me to keep it for her.
Friend 1: You talk to me like I’m dumb.
Friend 2: ???????

So who among you has ever had this conversation before? At one point we have come across this situation and become quite left dumbfounded about what in what we said could be so wrong to incite such a reaction.


I admit I do have the tendency to ‘process’ questions quite fast that I do not realize the fact that I have trailed off ‘into the sunset’ without actually answering what was being asked of me! In the past I have been told that I answered questions with explanations rather than a straight answer. I have been told this quite a few times that it prompted me to do some self evaluation. I decided to address it and try to change it rather than pretend that it didn’t exist and that it did not really matter to me. We should always try to upgrade ourselves in a positive way and I felt that it would be a good start towards being a better me. It has been a subject of many discussions between me, my family and my friends; mostly constructively funny but there have been a couple that did not quite take a positive tone. It would bother me so much that it merited ample attention and reflection. I figured I would try my to correct my habit and answer questions first before launching into my usual gamut of explanations. It works most of the time but there are still occasions when you realize that you cannot expect thing to go smoothly.

So take it with a grain of salt. Chillax and rethink. Maybe it was in the way you said it? We have to admit that there are situations where the delivery matters as much as the message being delivered (sometimes more). Maybe we need to be better aware about how we say things because there are individuals who are more sensitive about the way they are being addressed.

Maybe your facial expression did not match your well-meaning harmless message? Sad to say there is always a possibility of being misunderstood. Maybe you got your signals crossed and sent the ‘wrong’ message cues?? What is it really?

Sometimes I think I understand why people try to change and then end up going back to the way they used to be even when we they their best to be better. It can be quite discouraging when people don’t seem to recognize your efforts. Of course these feelings can be quite egocentric but how can one not be a bit egoistic when you have exerted major efforts to improve yourself? It is normal to take pride in the things we do right? I believe that there are two ways to encourage people to do better or become better.

Constructive criticism. It is positive because it is constructive and it is somewhat negative too because it criticizes. There are people who thrive on proving other people’s negative opinions of them wrong. They take negative comments and turn it into impetus to propel themselves into gaining a more favorable image of themselves. The challenge to prove themselves otherwise provides the fuel to their efforts of becoming not only better at what they do but also pushes them to become better or best. Encouragement. There are individuals who respond better to kinder words and commendation. They do well with kind words and grow more when you cheer them on; but they become discouraged when they are criticized and shrivel when disparaged. We are aware that there are people who lean more to either way of inciting them to do better. There are those who utilize both ways depending on the situation. Both can work well as along as it floats your boat and you are able to maneuver your way into challenging situations and survive.

Should we give up when the discouragement gets too overwhelming? I hope not. We change for OUR own good. We should never give up trying to be our best selves. Life is one long extended lecture about how we can best make the most of it. It teaches us how to best maneuver our ways into its crazy mazes and go through it remaining in one piece. We may experience a lot of disheartenment and we might even feel insignificant or worse invisible to people who matter to us BUT we need to always remember that we should matter most to OURSELVES. Taking other people’s opinion of us should be taken into consideration but in the end, we act according to what is best for us and should continue seeking better ways to achieve it despite the challenges along the way. So just keep going!

Happy Sunday :)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 02, 2014.


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