The dynamic world is fast declining on a speedy rate. This is why as often as necessary, some vital information exists to dispel the millions of myths and misconceptions holding humanity from having a thorough relationship. Below are some lists of those dangerous misconceptions you should avoid in your relationship with others.
#1 “Smile is an act of kindness”
No! Just because someone smiles at you does not make them nice. A pedophile smiles at children to lure them. An abusive partner smiles at an outsider while he or she treats his or her family with disdain. An insecure person provides smile as a way to get his or her way around others. Smile is not a synonym for nicety, just as frown is not a synonym for cruelty. A smile can be a mask as well as a frown can be too. If your focus is to see people smile in order to feel some level of acceptance, it is pertinent you figure out why it is so. No one’s personality is a tool for another’s entertainment; otherwise, the world will be filled with unreal people.
Having an accurate understanding of these will help you to develop a constructive relationship with other people. It will also help you evade the dangerous misconceptions as they float around.
#2 “How Are You?”
This question has recently been stripped of its value and used commonly for social gratification. While it is passed off in a caring undertone, the conveyer diminishes the genuine concern it communicates as he or she positions it as a rhetoric used to establish a conversation. In many cases as the other, it sets the tone of imbalance in relationships as a tool to establish superiority or ‘adultness’. Therefore, this profound statement gets diminished to a conversation starter, rather than a thoughtful carriage of care.
Children are often the worst hit on this. An average child does not ever say anything other than, “fine” when they are asked. This creates an avenue where he or she is unable to understand the difference between what constitutes okay and what does not.
“How are you?” as is gently put, is a statement that elicits genuine concern from the giver towards the target of their concern. A statement, which propagates kindness as the bedrock of communal living, not a means to use others as a weapon to fill your own vacuum.
#3 ”Put Others First”
This is another dangerous misconceptions you could use to de-educate yourself on the need for self-actualization. Thereby, throwing yourself into the throes of self-deterrence, and this prevents you from functioning at full capacity. When you prevent yourself from taking the necessary break, you block channels from whence you can perceive yourself completely. It is not just dangerous for you, but also for those in your care.
The act of putting others first at the expense of your wellbeing, is unwholesome. You cannot be present to treat people the way you desire, if you suffer burnout- physical and emotional exhaustion- due to stress. Taking time to indulge and rejuvenate yourself is both a helpful and selfless act. It is not selfish. Additionally, when you follow through on that, it also has the capacity to birth clarity and vision, which leads to streams of creativity.
#4 “Confidence is arrogant”
Confidence is that sweet spot between arrogance and despair. It is a surety of self-assurance; one steeped in accountability. Many times, for fear of being misconstrued as arrogant, you diminish yourself and play it in the level that others will not find irritating. Hence, you end up muddling yourself up in others. A strong sense of self comes with a sense of responsibility and accountability. This is where the difference lies. Arrogance or pride does not allow for accountability. It is evasive in itself.
In the case where a person confuses self-assuredness for pride, it is often when he or she loses control over you in the way that it is soothing for them. Clarity is necessary in every kind of relationship.
#5 Helping People As A Way To Feel Good About Yourself
Ideally, service toward people in need is an altruistic act except for cases where it is a mandatory exercise. It has become a common practice where people are advised to render help towards others as a way to generate happiness for themselves. This is propagated in a sense that service towards others is a means to swim in the fleeting ‘feel-good-ability’ the actor is rewarded with. The erroneous motivation underpinning this action is not just dangerous, it is also exploitative in nature. It spells a means to use others to get what you need and as such the entire premise gets hinged on selfishness.
When you genuinely render service, you look at the person in need, and provide what they genuinely need as against what they temporarily desire. That genuine need is always what is in their best interest. Focusing on their best interest provides you satisfaction. Not in an empty self-filling way, but in a way that brings confidence in who you are. In essence, the act ultimately brings growth and healing to your object of kindness.
In contrast, you must have enough kindness towards yourself to be able to give another. This posits that for any act of care to be directed towards another, the giver has enough supply to fall back on. Sometimes, helping another to feel good about yourself is a tactic you pull up to avoid facing the harsh reality before you.
Sadly, these dangerous misconceptions have become institutionalized and is often spread like wildfire. There is a very pertinent necessity to be wary of their dangers. They overwhelmingly constitute a vital obstruction against constructive human relationships. If it does not feel right, then it is not right.