A movie shows a very interesting personality that is rare but definitely found in every society. The lady is very rich and she owns a very successful business. She is herself very competent in her work and understands every minute detail related to her work. She has two secretaries who are supposed to stay with her all the times. Factors such as wealth, success in career, impressive personality, command in her field and others have resulted in a mental condition when she regards herself to be perfect. With repeated experience she has developed a perception about herself that her words are final, her ideas are flawless and her every act is perfect and free of any mistake. With this perspective when she observes others, she finds incompetency in their works and shortcomings in their ideas and thoughts. As she is always in the same condition of mind so she is repeatedly disturbed by what people around her say or do. When this condition persists for a long time, she develops a personality that is rude, harsh, discontented and always ready to ridicule others. Her mere view alarms the people around her and they have their worst times with her. As the employees are her inferiors and not in position to challenge her words so they always try to avoid her.
The above case may be fictional and the production of the mind of the writer but I have witnessed a person who was also in the same habit. He was called ‘Haji Sahib’ by all, even his family members were afraid of calling his name without any proper salutation. He was also a successful businessman and was a man of his field. In the external world, he was a person respected a lot for his successful career. Outside the house, he possessed a strange and deceiving artificial personality. Most of the time, he used to wear a mask of seriousness on his face and gave out a smile whenever needed but always avoided to show himself as angry or violent. A person who was his personal assistant and who used to be with him most of the times observed him with all the minute details of his personality and came up with some strange habits about him. In his office, with his assistant and all other staff, he used to be a very harsh and rude person. He always insisted that he was right and the other person was wrong.
Till here, it is anyhow acceptable as it might be his style or strategy to keep a strong control on his employees but it was frightening to discover that he had the same habit and style with his friends and family members. Whenever a person at home did any mistake, he would stare him/ her with all the anger and contempt in his eyes. He was never pleased with whatever the members of family did. Even he thought it to be his right to give his advice about cooking in kitchen or doing similar chores that had no link with his business or expertise. He would often make a person stand in front of him and would start criticizing for a mistake.
Every member of the family was really fed up of his behavior but they were not in position to say anything to him as he was the head of the family and the bread-winner whom no one wanted to annoy.
One of his friends told me that he was very unpopular among his friends and all his sincere friends had left him and now he was left with people who agreed with whatever he said. They tolerated his disgusting behavior to have some material or monetary benefit from him.
This harmful habit gives birth to another habit. The person is left with people who show him a picture the way he wants to see. They would always praise him, his ideas and his decisions. The person remains no more to understand the flattering tone and comments of his so-called friends. He falls in habit of talking about his qualities, achievements, his personal qualities and anything that has any kind of link with him like his car or his employees etc. He likes the people who praise him too much and term his every act to be correct and feels a bit uneasy with those who try to show him the true picture or who want to talk about matters other than his personality. As a result, he is left with a bunch of flatterers who dug and bury all his noble qualities under the sweetness of flattery and hypocrisy.
This habit turns the lives of people living with him very difficult. It is against the nature of noble personalities having good qualities to either praise or see this disgusting process being conducted. Such people become the target of the contempt of the person who is in habit of listening ‘YES’ from all and they feel very difficult to utter even a false compliment. When these things are not done, the other person considers them to be one of his enemies or at least not one of his friends. Now, if they are living under the same roof, the life is turned into a continuous situation of strain and depression.
Usually, every one of us come to a position when we can fall victim to this psychological trap. If you make any achievement in your career like being the CEO of an organization or owner of a big business, people around you give you much importance which in turn makes you feel better than others. Then this perception of your perfection stretches to each and everything related to your life and thus you think your words and thoughts to be final in all these regards. As people around you are dependent on you and not in position to resist your stupidity, so you are left with two kinds of people; those who become silent and those wicked ones who try to achieve certain objectives by praising you and making you appear and your abilities as bombastic.
There can be many solutions to this; first, never credit your success and achievements to yourself and regard them as bounties of Allah being gifted to you. In this way, you will always be humble and never feel proud and arrogant on your achievements. Secondly, always keep high targets and never think yourself to be absolutely successful. In this way, you will always be striving to work more and more. Then, time and again recall your past days when you had nothing and try to be modest. And the last but not the least, daily or at most weekly, do an assessment of your personality and habits and bring corrections wherever found necessary.
Mahmood Hasan Quraishi is a permanent writer of the Afghanistan Express Daily.