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Sunday, 27 November 2016

NaBloPoMo Day 27: Change is Not Easy

A few days ago I met an acquaintance who has recently begun counseling. She recounted to me her experience with a client who obviously has some not-very-optimal responses to people and yet, is not willing to accept that she needs to explore different response patterns. My friend was quite surprised at this behavior, so I put her at ease by explaining that this is very common.

For example, let’s say a lady feels her husband and kids do not care for her. She complains that she is the one always busy doing things while they all have a jolly time, and expect her to wait on them. The angst keeps building up and turns into either irritability or feelings of worthlessness. Now, this lady has two options – either she continues doing things like before and not let herself get affected by the situation, or she learns to assert herself, and gets the rest of the family involved in the work, so she gets to relax a little.

Now this is exactly where people get stuck. We don’t want to appear demanding, we don’t want to upset the apple cart, we want everything to remain hunky dory between us and others and yet, we want them to somehow miraculously understand how we’re feeling and come forward to help us out. Which is never going to happen because people around us are not mind-readers. Sometimes, people genuinely don’t understand; other times, they may have an inkling and yet, they won’t venture beyond their comfort zone since you are not asking them to.

So, when faced with a situation like this, you have to decide which is more important to you. Your own long-term peace and happiness for which you may need to bear some short-term discomfort, or, not upsetting others.

Quite a few such people, who lack assertiveness, come to the counselor unconsciously looking for someone to reinforce their belief that they are a victim of circumstances. When you try to suggest ( in milder terms than the one I’ve used here) that they stop playing victim and start taking an active role in improving conditions, their visits gradually stop. 

There’s nothing much the counselor can do in such cases beyond praying that the client somehow gathers the strength to come back and do the hard work of working on one's own behavior.
NaBloPoMo November 2016


  1. This is so true. Yet, thought it is important, when someone does take such a decision, they are branded a rebel and someone who does not value relationships, says yours truly! :P

    1. When, in fact, it is they who value it more!

  2. What you have said seems to be so right.


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