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Learn to Let Go

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/learn-to-let-go-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

What looks very important, perhaps most urgent and critical today, can one day become only a hazy memory. The anxiety of what may happen often turns out to be completely unfounded worry, and many a time when you feel that there is no solution to a scary situation you are facing now, the solution nds itself. This also applies to situations when things go bad and you do not succeed in whatever you wish to do – the so-called failure becomes a very trivial setback when you look at it after enough time has elapsed.

Priorities in life change, faster than we think. Sometimes what we yearn for very desperately, over a period of time we stop needing or wanting it. Sometimes we even think later that we are better off without it.

Our greatest anxieties are inevitably related in some way or the other to our relationships – the nearest and closest ones. We worry constantly about a loved one, and desperately want things to get better. We feel the pain of a beloved and if there is no way of reducing it, we take upon ourselves the responsibility of brooding, looking for miracles or hoping for changes that we know will not happen.

What we need to do is to learn to let go. Not of the loved one, but about his or her troubles and problems. What we cannot practically solve, or when the loved one does not allow us to solve, we must have the large-heartedness to back off. We can always be there for the person, allow our shoulder to cry upon, our listening ear, our unconditional emotional support – but stop looking all the time for the impossible solution. When you let go of the issues, you develop a strong bond with the person, and even strengthen him to face the challenges of life.

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When You Are Alone

Author: Pooja Jalan

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/when-you-are-alone-by-author-pooja-jalan

Sometimes when you are alone
Sometimes when everything is dark
Sometimes when it's all empty And when you can't feel a thing
That's when you feel unloved, uncared and....
That's when you feel colourless
Like everything is drained out
And you have no emotions left in you
There is a silence then, a silence so deep That's yours and yours only
There is a lot of noise around and people are laughing and talking and cheerful
You can hear it all but feel none of it
There is a silence then, a silence so deep That's yours and yours only
In that silence, in that blankness, in that depth, you swim through your thoughts and you nd someone who is there waiting for you To heal you, to love you, to understand you. You may give him a name, a voice, a face, a story,
You may give him thoughts and feelings
Then reality strikes and there is a lot of noise around and people are laughing and talking and cheerful
You can hear it all but feel none of it
You dive again and again and someday maybe You ask him who he is really and where is he Because you can't see him when reality strikes
And all he does is smile and smile endlessly until he fades away
And you then see a mirror
So clear,
And you see that it was you all along
You say bye to him
With tears dripping down your cheeks
But in your silence you go looking for him always.
And he fades away always.

 

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What a Character!

Author: M N Vishwanath, Sports Counsellor

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/what-a-character-by-author-m-n-vishwanath

The very sight of Vivian Richards walking up to bat chewing a gum and swaying his big square chest – sent a chill down the spine of bowlers all over the world. Dennis Lillee wearing a head band and sporting a drooping moustache was an intimidating sight even for batsman of the likes of Gavaskar, Richards or a Botham. The swagger of the beefy guys like Ian Botham, Mathew Hayden was a sight to behold. These days I like the swagger of Golfer, Dustin Johnson as he strides from one ball to another and one hole to the next. He has condence written all over him as he displays a strong sense of self-belief that helped him to win two majors last year. You won't be surprised if his female followers drool over him saying `what a man! The broad chested Chris Gayle falls in this company.

I would like to add to this list, the names of Andrew Flintoff, Shane Warne, Virat Kohli, Ab De Villiers, Rafa Nadal, Usain Bolt, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer [golf] Michael Jordan & Mohamed Ali. And not to forget the queen of tennis, the Iron willed lady- Serena Williams. What is common in all these guys and why would you put them all in one big golden basket of fame? They are all strong characters and possessed some common qualities like:-

  1. They all have the condent swagger as they move in the sporting arena.
  2. They show off self-condence with lots and lots of self-belief oozing out.
  3. They look aggressive but their aggression is positive and not destructive.
  4. 4. They have the killer instinct that seems to say- `I am the best, I will nish you.'
  5. They are not overawed by their opponents instead they put their opponents under `awe.
  6. They seem to inspire millions on their own and create a huge fan following wherever they go.

Virat Kohli is the heart throb of millions in India and an Indian Idol, for sure. He symbolizes the youth force in India and is an inspiration to them. He is such a true `character that he has already led India to many victories and most of his centuries have come after he has taken over India's captaincy. He has passed the true test of character. Who wouldn't want to emulate, Viraat- the samraat.


 

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You Can Deal With Bullies

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/you-can-deal-with-bullies

There are some people (particularly confused adolescents) who purposely act mean or hurtful to others, try to put them down, even when there is no specic reason. They are basically cowards and insecure persons who are trying to become popular, gain control, show off etc.

They may be facing academic difculties, punishment, behavior issues, and may be having pent-up anger which they try to bring out on the softest target. They may also be unloved at home, and have low-self esteem, which they will never admit.

Such people can make you feel sad, depressed, angry, vengeful, scared, confused, worried, or embarrassed. But if you are strong, these feelings go away and you can bounce back over a period of time.

Here are some practical tips that may help in dealing with such people. You may have to try different ones depending on the situation:

  • Act brave, sometimes just acting brave is enough to stop a bully. A bully may be less likely to give you trouble if you walk by as though you're not afraid and hold your head high. Don't have a deant attitude, have relaxed body language, call out t o s o m e o n e casually.
  • Ignore a bully, simply ignoring a bully's threats and walking away robs the bully of his fun. Bullies w a n t a b i g reaction to their t e a s i n g a n d meanness. Acting as if you don't notice and don't care is like giving no reaction at all, and this just might stop a bully's behavior. Even if you are scared inside, don't show it, just move on or continue what you are doing.
  • Stand up for yourself, be assertive and confront him if bullying is mental and tell him to stop. You can look the bully in the eye (without showing anger or fear) and tell him to stop it, and just walk away. Maybe you can explain how it makes you feel. You can also try if you can get another friend to stand by you, and then walk away together. This is called the “buddy” system, and it helps quite often. You can help your friend when he needs you.
  • Don't bully back, don't hit, kick or push back to deal with someone bullying you or your friends. Fighting back just satises a bully and it is dangerous too because someone could get hurt. Its best to stay with others and stay safe.
  • Make groups, travel to school or social events in groups, don't walk alone. Be involved in group activities.
  • Here is something interesting: See if you can reach out to the bully when he is not bullying, just be nice and normal with him, smile, and show that you are not bothered or scared.
  • As far as possible (and if there is no direct threat to your safety) avoid making complaints to authorities. If you deal with it once, you will be empowered to deal with any bully you come across in life.

Bullies are basically cowards, and if you overcome your fear, you will learn to deal with them. Relax, take a deep breath, give yourself some positive strokes ... and tackle them.


 

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Smiling Man

Author: Dr. Shireen Hussain

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/our-own-garbage-smiling-man-by-author-shireen-hussain

It was a very cold morning, I had set out to do so many things and just could not gure out what to do when. The driver parked the car just outside the gate to shut the gate, when standing on the pavement I saw a man enjoying his morning cup of tea. I looked towards him and got a “million dollar smile” from him. I had the good sense to smile back. When the car drove off he even waved at me, and I waved back. Then kept wondering who this person was? His smile just cheered me up.

He was shabbily but completely well dressed, in the sense that he wore shoes, socks, a shirt pants folded upto his knees, a sweater and a cap, all very dirty. I thought and thought, then nally it dawned on me, “Óh! our garbage man, who I had met just last week”. The door bell rang, since there was nobody else at home I answered, and there was this man telling me something in gestures, guessed it was the garbage man and assumed he was asking for his monthly remuneration, ran up got my purse, when the man tells me "Illaa kaas illaa, beega beega, (No not money, key, key). He meant the key to the bin. He told me the bin was dirty so he would wash it and since we lock the bin as some thief carried it away once before, he wanted the key. He did his job so well with a smile on his face, locked the bin gave me the key and when I reached for my purse, he tells me no no no money, a smile and wave of his hand and he left. It was only a week ago and I had forgotten his face, but the smile ashed back.

Then thoughts just went on in my mind, this man does such an essential job for us, do we appreciate him? Or even show our appreciation at least once in a way? On the other hand he reaches out and gives us such warm smiles and greets and wishes us so warmly, do we wish him back? Thank God I had the good sense to wish him that day.

A thought just occurred to me that if only we reach out to one person who collects our garbage ( EACH ONE REACH ONE) and show our appreciation for what he/she does for us, will it make a difference? Appreciation in the form of a gift on festivals or on our Birthdays, or a hot cup of tea or breakfast when they come in the morning to collect the garbage and sweep our streets, a smile, a thank you, instead of just screaming at them that they do a shoddy job. Wish some of us try this and see if it makes a difference. Have not started yet, but want to do it with our own GARBAGE SMILING MAN.

 

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The Same Species

Author: Radhika Prasad

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/the-same-species-by-author-radhika-prasad

The Same Species

It is the same species

That invented anasthesia
And dropped the atom bomb

 

That raped and killed her
And gave his life for another

 

That terrorised families
And protected the Jew

 

That embraced Adi Sankara
And burnt the Christian child

 

That built the irrigation dam
And stole public money

 

That organised the Olympics
And massacred innocents

 

The same species

The only free willed species
Throwing its free will in opposites

a tug of war of wills

The majority will pull it away

Which way?

Free your will
Don't get pulled away.

 

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Gender Related Jealousy

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/jealousy-in-man-woman-relationships-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

While one cannot generalize human behavior, there are certain aspects of jealousy that are typical of men and women. Men have an innate fear of infidelity of their partner, that the partner will cheat on him. Women, on the other hand, often have fear of abandonment. Either of these feelings can lead to jealousy. In fact, it is said that jealousy in man-woman relationships is the most common reasons for murder or highly violent episodes. It is said that even judges fear the torrent of violence that gets unleashed in divorce cases where jealousy is involved.

There is another interesting aspect of gender related jealousy. Consider this example: A handsome young friend of mine teaches adult girls. One student of his become unduly attached to him, and started showering him with all her love and affection. But at the same time, she started making it clear to him that he should not encourage the other students to get close to him, because she feels jealous. He laughed at her and said, “if at all you want to feel jealous, you should feel jealous of my wife. She is much closer to me, and I love her.” The girl was clear in her views “No, sir”, she said “your wife occupies a different dimension in your life, and I am not competing for it. But I cannot tolerate the other girls getting friendly with you.” Men readers – try to decipher that one!

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Denial of Jealousy

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/denial-of-jealousy-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

Unfortunately many people who succumb to jealousy are often in a state of denial. Since jealousy is mostly hidden, unlike anger or rage, even others may not realize the extent of jealousy a person is suffering from. At times there may be a curious mixture of feelings. When my colleague gets a promotion or recognition, I my feel extremely happy for him, but I may not be able to avoid feeling jealous. Because the happiness is also genuine, I tend to deny the jealousy part. Internalizing the jealousy may lead to restlessness, irritation. It may also go to the extent of raising blood pressure or growing ulcers.

When in a state of denial, there is a tendency to attribute motives to others. Suspicion and hostility increases exponentially. One can create fantasy situations like imagining that our loved one is trapped by the third person who is a villain in disguise. This is sometimes seen in situations where, for example, a mother feels so jealous of the love her son is getting from his wife, that she may start conjuring up horrifying images of the daughter-in-law as a villain-ess who is out to grab the son by witchcraft or other dubious means, and take him away from the mother. The fascinating part of this fantasizing is that the jealous person wants to believe that the object of his love is not only completely innocent, but is trapped by a shrewd and cunning other, and incapable of deciding for himself how he should lead his life.

Jealousy often masquerades as love, or as healthy competitiveness. We may hear statements like “I love him so much, I am doing it for his own good”. This is the defense mechanism, which is a consequence of denial of jealousy. Hence it is absolutely essential that we be aware of how strongly jealous we are at any time. If you are feeling, or have felt in the past, pangs of jealousy regarding anyone dear to you, answer the following test truthfully and evaluate how strong this feeling is in you.

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How Jealous Are You?

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/how-strong-is-your-jealousy-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

If you wish to know how strong is your jealousy with regard to any person (X) or the person’s near and dear, test out by answering the following questions as follows:


3=very often, 2=sometimes, 1=rarely, 0=never
  • Does any news of X make you compare with what is going on in your life?
  • Are you trying to find out about X even when there is no need to do so?
  • Do you feel that X has or is achieving something you have a strong desire for?
  • Do you tend to compare X’s affection to someone else with respect to you?
  • Do you tend to compare X’s attention/time given to someone else compared to you?
  • In the presence of X are you observing his/her interaction with specific person(s)?
  • Do you tend to dislike or find faults with anyone X takes a strong liking to?
  • Do you fear about how life would be without a good relationship with X?
  • Do you get cruel thoughts about anyone X gives lot of attention to?
  • Do you feel threatened if any new person starts taking a lot of interest in X?

Rate yourself:

If your score is below ten, you are safe. Even if you do have a bit of jealousy now and then, it is not serious, and you can manage it as long as you are aware of it. If the score is somewhere around 11 to 15, maybe you need to question yourself why you are allowing jealousy to get the better of you. There are ways and means of overcoming it, in the following pages. Do the introspection listed out and you will be able to help yourself. If your score has been sixteen or higher, then perhaps you need to seek external help in overcoming jealousy, because you have allowed it to get the better of you.

Please note that this is only a qualitative test, and should not be considered as the last word in analysis. It is only to help you introspect.

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Overcoming Jealousy

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/dealing-with-jealousy-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

Now we come to the last and most important part of this treatise – practical steps towards reducing and dealing with jealousy. At the outset let us be clear that there is no such thing as “why” to jealousy. A strong emotion like jealousy does not answer to logic. Hence it is futile to either try to rationalize it or to tell someone “don’t be jealous”. In fact, you can’t even tell yourself that!

Here is a systematic action plan to overcome jealousy:

Acknowledge and accept that you do have jealousy in you, identify particular persons or situations where the jealousy is most prominent. Make sure you have not left out anything. If possible, confess to someone close to you about your jealousy.
Mark out chronologically the history of how this jealousy developed, in short points. Write the factors that aggravated the feeling in your mind.
Compare with any other jealousy phase you may have been through and see how strong it is now. Try to recollect what the outcome of earlier jealousy was, or how you managed to overcome it. Explore your past shortcomings or set- backs in life and ask yourself whether you have been able to resolve them, or whether they are being carried forward as baggage making you feel insecure in today’s relationships.
List out your achievements in any related or unrelated fields, particularly in relationships. Reinforce to yourself that you are capable of “winning” relationships without having to fight for them.

Differentiate between:

  1. Competitiveness
  2. Rivalry
  3. Envy
  4. Jealousy

Select from the following feelings what are applicable to you and which ones you are feeling strongly due to your jealousy: anger, hatred, possessiveness, loss of self esteem, mistrust, suspicion, despair, guilt, helplessness. Monitor each of those you have identified over a period of time and see if they are increasing, decreasing, or are stable.

Try to understand that if your loved one is showing love or attention to someone else, it need not be your failure. You need not compare the two relationships. He may have so many unconnected reasons for his behavior.

Check out what steps you have already taken (if any) to tackle the situation, whether they have helped, or even made matters worse. Become aware of any behavior pattern that you have succumbed to and are finding it difficult to come out of.

Check how jealousy has affected you so far:

  • Improved your relationship with the person you feel jealous about
  • Worsened your relationship with that person
  • Improved/worsened your relationship with others
  • Improved/worsened your own peace of mind.

This itself will give you a clear idea of how much jealousy is damaging you. By being jealous you are in some way acknowledging that you are inferior. Visualize what would happen if you change your attitude. If you are asking yourself “why should I?” then perhaps you need to seek the help of a friend or counselor to answer that question. Get convinced that jealousy is a trap you have fallen into, and only you are suffering because of it.

Start taking these steps at your own pace, but with consistency:

Try to and understand and empathize how the affected person(s) feels because of your jealousy.
Befriend the rival if possible. Get to know him better and try to win him over by your love instead of your hatred.
Think of any win-win alternatives, where you can get what you want and the other person does not suffer any damage. Try to collaborate instead of compromising.
If you do not get cooperation from the other person, go ahead with the collaboration process regardless, reminding yourself that you are doing it for your own peace of mind.

You need to ask yourself at this juncture whether you feel complete without the person due to who you have become jealous. If yes, then your dependency is actually worsening your relationship. Get out of the dependency trap, and learn to love yourself. Be sure to aim for acceptance of the other person’s behavior, not just tolerance.

Monitor progress. Review periodically and check how you will prevent yourself from falling into the trap again later.

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Facing Someone else's Jealousy

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/victim-of-someone-elses-jealousy-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

It is another matter altogether if you are the victim of someone else’s jealousy. If you take it personally, you can be badly hurt by it, and you may keep asking yourself why it is happening to you, and why you should suffer. The first step is to not feel responsible or guilty. The next step is to empathize with the jealous person and look at him with compassion – because he is suffering in his own private hell. If you can directly talk over and reassure the person of your intentions, your role in the relationships, and the fact that he need not feel threatened, that would be the best. If that does not work, or if you are not inclined to try it out, then you will have to seek help through a common friend or neutral person. If the jealousy does not stop, you may then have to insulate yourself and try to focus on other healthier relationships, minimize contact with the jealous person, and hope for the best.

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A Tribute To Raja

Author: Rekha Simha

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/a-tribute-to-raja-by-author-rekha-simha

“Live your life, so at the end, you are the one who is smiling and everyone else is crying”. I was reminded of this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson when I saw Raja Reddy lay lifeless in the glass casket. Raja’s face was calm and smiling – the way he would make people feel after interacting with him. Hundreds of people came to bid goodbye to him - Only this time, there was no one with a smile or dry eyes.

Raja had been a positive influence and touched hundreds of lives as a Counselor. He was an Engineer by profession, but took up counselling in later part of his life. I met Raja for the first time when I was debating whether to sign-up for a counseling course, where he was one of the faculty members. There was a long wait as there was a constant stream of visitors. Finally, I had my chance to meet him: Normally I would have stormed out in frustration, but his unique smile and sense of calmness had soothing effect on me. I spoke to him briefly and eventually enrolled for the diploma. Over the course of next two years, I got to know Raja as an instructor, mentor, guide, counselor, above all as a genuine human being and an unsung hero!

He hailed from a family with agricultural background from Andhra Pradesh and did his early schooling in Telugu medium. During his early days, he was humiliated for lack of English knowledge. However, he took it up as a challenge and learnt English. He studied Engineering and later went to Netherlands and completed his Post Graduation in Engineering. After satisfying his urge and passion for the Engineering, he turned to human relationships for a more gratifying experience. He decided to become a Counselor....His decision rolled up many eyes. Here is a man wanting to do something so different coming from a community (Reddy) that is well known for real estate. Understanding emotions and concept of free certainly does not add up in a competitive real estate world. Nevertheless, Raja fought his battles to pursue his interest. He not only won a battle for himself but also helped several people win their own personal battles. Infact the counselling academy where I had enrolled for classes was an extension of his house.

Raja was not a person who would make that everlasting first impression or was a stereotype ‘hero’ personality. If anything, he was just the opposite. You would never know his existence, nor would he ever make his presence felt. The counselling academy would organize a monthly seminar that was open to all in a public auditorium. Raja would come in early, welcome people with his warm smile and sit in the last row. Once the seminar was over he would quietly walk away and let audience mingle with the speaker or amongst themselves. At times when he could not make it to these seminars, (which was quite rare) there would be a sense that something was amiss. Though an outsider would never know Raja was the soul of the Academy, his absence would certainly be felt. Like a Peepul tree, he was very pious, sturdy and well grounded. His heart was a big as the tree that over flowed with empathy.

In counseling and almost everywhere else, we come across a wide spectrum of people with several challenges- be it personal, medical, emotional or whatever it may be. It is easy for most of us to label them as “abnormal” and worst case pretend we don’t know them. Raja would do just the opposite - he would never label a person because of their situation or their condition. Instead would give more attention and ensured they felt normal and safe. He was a man of unbound compassion and the most non-judgmental person I have met in my life. It felt as though he had time and undivided attention for everyone. Anyone I came across felt Raja is easy to talk to and it seemed like their problems mitigated if they just reach out to him. He told once besides child abusers, he would sympathize with anyone liars, thieves or even people who can hurt him.

Raja would hardly talk or advice. He would listen - listen with the best interests of the person in his heart. His style was non-directive counselling. He would never come up with the solution for someone else’s problem. Instead, he would listen and empower people to come up with their own options and make a decision. This style of counselling is time consuming and challenging. But, Raja never took short cuts on anything, let alone with people’s lives and emotions.

Occasionally, I would talk to Raja on several non-counselling topics such as the quality of students, social media or a book and he was open to any discussion. He would even empower and provide support to take up an initiative. However, one thing I never did was to talk about myself - my fears, problems and pain. I wanted to....

... One day I sat down with Raja. After we exchanged pleasantries, I was quiet. He respected my silence and waited for me to speak. It was not an awkward silence, but a comforting one. Tears just rolled down my eyes. He waited for almost 10 minutes until I composed myself. Finally, I spoke - all I could tell him was “Raja you remind me so much of my grandfather with whom I had a special connection. He was a gem of a person like you and felt people’s pain and success from the bottom of his heart”. He smiled and asked, “was he bald like me?”, I nodded. We both laughed and he said “that’s the reason why you connect us”. He had a unique way of making people comfortable with him and we had a lengthy conversation. Though I never shared what I wanted, I left the place with reassurance that Raja was there for me whenever I needed (just like everyone else).

Raja was a man of commitment – practiced what he preached. As an editor of a newsletter “Live Well and Leave Well”, he would publish articles on how to live a meaningful life, to things to do while dying (financial planning etc) and after death procedures (organ and body donation). Most of us would feel elated for the ‘kind thoughts’ we had and would feel good for being ‘great citizens’. But, Raja did not stop there. As Mother Theresa said ‘Intense love does not measure, it gives’, Raja continued to give all he had...including his body. He had been talking to his family members for over 5 years to get them agreed on his wish to donate his body. Not all of them were comfortable with this idea, but he did not give up. He spent time explaining his wishes while ensuring they were comfortable.

Finally, when his heart was overwhelmed with burden of others (or putting it the other way, when Angels wanted to share their burden), he suffered a cardiac arrest. He remained as cheerful in his death as he lived his life – spreading love to his family, friends, students and just about anyone else. His family respected his wishes and donated his body to research.

Raja made a difference to world while taking care of his passion and people he loved. Infact his definition of happiness was “Peace within yourself and harmony with others “. While many of us struggle to define happiness that we all want, he was able to articulate it and live it to the fullest. Raja Reddy is not with us today, but his legend will live forever....


 

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What is Jealousy?

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/how-to-deal-with-jealousy-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

What is Jealousy?

Surprisingly, there is very little material available to explain jealousy. Psychiatry does not even deal with this topic, perhaps relegating it as a very minor issue that does not require the attention of professionals. Yet we are aware of the fact that jealousy plays an important role in our life. There are times when we are torn with strong jealousy and are at a loss how to deal with it. There are many more occasions when we are victims of others’ jealousy, and however painful or unjustified it may be, find ourselves helpless to deal with the situation. Being on the receiving end of jealousy from someone you like and care for, can be even more painful.

Jealousy has probably existed from the time Satan felt bad about the status that God gave to Adam. Jealousy obviously played a major role in the unfolding of the Mahabharatha. Jealousy has made people instigate wars, has brought down kingdoms and has destroyed civilizations. In the modern world, jealousy exists in strong under-currents not only in offices but in families, among friends, and more so in very close relationships of lovers and spouses.

Despite such a major role played by this basic emotion, very little has actually been done to try and understand why and how it occurs, what are its manifestations, how to identify it early enough, and how to deal with it; and also how to prevent its recurrence. While hardly any life skills are taught in schools and colleges, whatever is taught is also towards “development”. Personality development trains a person to communicate well, be expressive, be assertive, and to be persuasive. Yet it does not teach a person how to deal with the most common but highly destructive emotions such as jealousy, envy, possessiveness, hatred, revengefulness.

The good news is that an emotion like jealousy can certainly be identified, curbed, overcome and conquered. As with any other human trait, it requires an inner desire and motivation from the person concerned. Also, there is no quick-fix solution and the process takes a certain amount of time and effort. A good friend or advisor can guide and encourage the person to work his way out, but cannot do the actual work involved. It is the person himself who has to put in regular, consistent and sustained effort – and keep on introspecting and evaluating how his progress is. This book attempts to help you to deal with jealousy, whether it is your own, or that of another.

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Envy, Rivalry and Jealousy

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/jealousy-a-state-of-anxiety-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

Envy, Rivalry and Jealousy

At the outset let us differentiate between these three emotions, since many of us tend to confuse between them. Let us separate them out and be clear what they indicate and how they are different from each other:

ENVY: When I see that someone else has something that I desire or need, I feel envious of that person. I feel a sense of injustice and inequality by the fact that he is getting a better deal than I am. Often I do not even weigh how deserving I am, but just the fact that HE has what I would have liked to have, can evoke envy in me. This envy is regardless of how well I know the person, how deserving he is, and how significant is his progress compared to mine. It often transcends the fact that I may be far better off than this person in other spheres, but his singular achievement or acquisition is enough to set off pangs of envy that I cannot get out of.

RIVALRY: is comparatively a healthier situation wherein I try to compete with the other person, and make active efforts to get a better deal than him. This may also be in areas where I do not need that particular achievement, but the sense of rivalry spurs me on to action. I develop a strong desire to overcome the other, and his progress becomes my benchmark to determine how much I want. One can even see rivalry in very minute issues such as one person trying to overtake the other in a crowded road, going on to major issues like building a massive bungalow only to show off that mine is bigger and better than that of the neighbours. When rivalry crosses the bounds of rules and norms, or even values, then it can become dangerous and turn into enmity and vengeance.

One of the most common is Sibling Rivalry. What starts off as a healthy competition or fight between siblings can at times degenerate into anger, hatred, revengefulness -- and these feelings, if not checked, can carry on long after the siblings have become independent and separate. Sibling rivalry is fuelled by perceived partiality of the parent. If parents keeps away from sibling rivalry issues, they often get resolved by themselves.

JEALOUSY: on the other hand, is a state of anxiety due to insecurity in affections of a loved one. It is directed towards the rival who seems to be receiving the affection. While in envy, there need not be a loved one, merely a desire for things possessed by the rival. Rivalry is when I am still competing and trying to overcome the other, but jealousy is when I feel I have lost the battle. It is a very distressing situation and can be very harmful to the person who feels jealousy, the person who receives it, and to the person in between who is caught in the cross-fire.

Jealousy can be due to perceived threats also. A man may feel strongly jealous of his wife’s office male colleague just because she spends time with him, and seems to enjoy his company. Neither his wife nor the colleague may have any desire for a deeper relationship than the convenience of office friendship, but the husband may suffer from fierce jealousy – and when he expresses it, it can be distressing to the wife and to the male colleague.

On the other hand, jealousy can also be a state of helplessness wherein the person is trying to win the attention or affection of a person, but is not able to do so. A girl may have a crush on a boy in her college, but she does not have the courage to build a relationship with him. When she sees him enjoying and communicating freely with another girl, she may suffer immensely with jealousy, and may at times even get tempted to harm the other girl by spreading malicious gossip about her, or clandestinely taking away her things. These acts of desperation will probably make the first girl even more miserable, but she is so obsessed with trying to win over the boy, that she does not realize its self-destructive nature.

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