Insecurity? Possessiveness? or Complexity? – a Dangerous Fall Out

Whats up?
Where are you these days?
Let us meet some time this week and discuss your progress!

Yes Sir, I am here only, most of the times in the Office. We should meet some time tomorrow!

Ya, thats fine. Lets discuss tomorrow.

That was the post tea conversation of Manoj with his boss. Other colleagues of Manoj could not understand any thing from that conversation. They could not understand, how come the boss is showing so much of interest in meeting Manoj? That very morning boss had cited his busy schedule and politely said no to Manoj’s request for the meeting! Hard to digest though 🙂 . Biswajit, a trusted friend of Manoj could not control himself and asked, “what did that mean? Morning he appeared ultra busy and afternoon he wants to meet you!” … “Nothing”, Manoj answered with a mischievous smile…“I knew the question before hand (questions of his boss). He is not interested to meet me to know the status of our project, rather, he wants to know some thing else. He saw me 2/3 times with Sreenath, the new project leader of the new group in the last couple of days, (who happens to be a friend of mine). Interestingly he followed us to Santosh’s tea stall to know with whom am I discussing? and whats going on. He hardly goes for a smoke/tea to that stall”.

Next day morning, the meeting took place as per the schedule. Though the meeting did not last for more than three minutes and without any substantial discussion on the project status, his boss did not forget to ask (warn) him about his interaction with Sreenath. He was curious to know about the chemistry between Sreenath and Manoj. He advised (warned!) Manoj not to discuss with any one else on “our” project and asked him not to spend too much time at the chai stall ;). Ironically, Manoj was his most trusted subordinate for the last seven years. He knew Manoj’s commitment and dedication towards his job. Even then… as a human being he has insecurities to such great heights. Does not have faith on himself or others.

This is a story of any aamjunta, in any part of the world. It is there in academics: between the advisor and the student, in home: between the husband and the wife, in relationship: between the boy friend/boyfriend (BF) and the girl friend/girlfriend (GF). It has the power to nullify the trust between two human beings. Some times it becomes really problematic and creates differences of opinion, life style and at the worst case a separation at last. Think of a boy, talking to some other girl (not his GF of course!) and his GF sees that. I can bet on this – his GF will not take that lightly and will definitely fight till she extracts everything from him regarding his “possible affair” with the “other” girl. Same thing applies when the case is reversed. BF also does not take it lightly, if his GF talks with many people. You can say that is possessiveness, but is not his insecurities? or can you say this is a breach of trust?

Some times insecurities, possessiveness, inquisitiveness, lack of self confidence get mixed up in such a manner that negative complexity results in controlling the emotion and other activities. The negative complexity is not only harmful for the person concerned, but also harmful for the society at large. People start comparing themselves with others for every small thing in their life, like, getting a new dress to buy a new phone, getting a research paper acceptance to get a conference funding, changing a life style with a (new) BF/GF to comparing the salaries of husbands, etc. Comparison is good, but excessive comparison is bad. It creates enmity, insecurities, complexities resulting in a sense of jealousy in the society.

A state of excessive comparison some times creates havoc in terms of psychological disorder, suicides, mental imbalances, etc. Thought of mentioning here one of the incidents that happened with a female colleague at the lunch table some time back. It was a late Saturday afternoon, we were on our way to the wash basin area after lunch (I was the guest at that place). Suddenly, a lady in her late twenties came towards us and asked my colleague, “Do you mind, if I ask you your age?, how can you keep yourself slim and fair at this age and at this stage of your PhD? and how do you manage to keep smiling all the time? … Before my colleague could say anything to her, she asked again, “have any one rejected you ever? how can you manage to talk to boys like this? We were mum and speechless at her queries. She paused a little and asked again!, “what is wrong with me? why am I being rejected? no one talks to me…” The situation was too difficult to handle for my colleague, she patted her shoulder and said with a smile, nothing is wrong with you. It is just a matter of time. Be happy with what you have. And do not compare with others…. it is a mirage“.

Another incident that happened with a friend of mine in my college days. Though it is diametrically opposite from the previous one, it has some similarities and worth mentioning here. Sirish was a down to earth student and was committed towards his project work and academics. He used to meet his adviser regularly and used to discuss too. But, one fine night at about 10.30pm, he got an email from his adviser. It was just a one liner only with the subject: “Meet me tomorrow at 9.15am at my office“, there was nothing in the “body” of the mail. He could not understand the real intention behind the mail, and met his adviser next day on time. Interestingly, they did not have any technical discussion, and it was just like any casual meeting. At tea time, Sirish was casually mentioning before us about the mail and the meeting. He was wondering, what was the meeting aimed at? He still couldn’t figure out the reason behind an urgent appointment with supervisor. He came to me in the evening and narrated the incident of the mail, the meeting and no discussion during the meeting. I asked Sirish, “where were you last night? and the day before?” “At the new market complex”, he answered. “You were alone?”, I asked again. “No, was with a friend of mine and his GF”.Ok, so that was about 10pm in the night?” I asked again. “Yes, but what is the relation of my being with friends and the meeting with my supervisor?” Sirish asked with curosity. I replied, “Yes, that is the point! Your adviser must have seen you with the young girl at 10pm and immediately after sent a mail regarding the meeting. He was just insecure that his student should not spend time on this” 🙂 Every one including Sirish exclaimed! And later on it was repeated with some one or other in the same lab.

On a different note, while we were having dinner last night a friend of mine (Shib) narrated his story in his lab. It happened two years back when one of his lab colleagues got engaged and informed about his engagement to his adviser. His adviser took that news very positively, encouraged him (my friend’s colleague) and wished for a successful life in both personal and professional front. Just before concluding the discussion, he called the person and told him, “look, do not tell this (what we discussed now) to Shib. You can tell this to other lab members though, but not to Shib”. His friend could not understand the reason behind this statement and of course came back puzzled and told the statement of his adviser to Shib. With a smile, Shib told him… “hmmm.. he does not want me to get married it seems. He has seen me with many girls in the campus. But, fortunately or unfortunately at wrong time at right (wrong) places with different girls. He might be thinking that, if I get married, I will be unmindful and lazy in my research“.

There are many such stories, told, untold, discussed etc… One can name these stories as possessiveness, insecurities, lack of self confidence, lack of trust and faith or complexities. Some time we understand, some time we do not. Some times we react; react badly and break the relationship. Hardly people want to know the real reason behind this emotional outburst…., instead they too respond in an emotional manner. This happens with me, you, him, her … the aamjunta, irrespective of the age, gender or class; quite dangerous and destructive in nature though…

Aamjunta! Be careful…You should not be a victim of too much insecurities or complexities.

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