A Beautiful Lie..

Can you tell when people are lying to you?

I can’t always, but some times I know. Its simple! I myself, am not a perfect and glib liar and hence, avoid lying as far as possible. I feel less confident, start fumbling and avoid any kind of eye contact with the person, whom I am lying to. And these same signs, help me identify a liar. Of course, there are some who perfect the art and become an expert to an extent that anyone would believe them.

Apparently, there are psychological experts who use applied psychology, interpret micro-expressions, through the Facial Action Coding System, and body language to identify when criminals are lying. Microexpressions are brief, involuntary facial expressions that reflect on the face as per the emotions experienced. Unlike regular expressions, it is difficult to fake micro-expressions, as they occur as fast as 1/15 to 1/25 of a second. “Lie to me” , an American TV series features complex instances where criminals are caught by analyzing these micro-expressions, explains this kind of lie detection mechanism.

Gita – the sacred text for Hindus – says that any lie told in good will does not amount to a sin. Sometimes the truth can be far more turbulent and disturbing than the lie.

Well, as much as I hate liars, I have to confess that often there is no other way out. There is no better option than to deliberately resort to hiding the truth. Howsoever small the lie may be, the less frequent such situations come up, the better.

And most importantly, as Shakespeare said “To thine own self be true”.

Love the song which was in the top of the charts last year, featuring my favorite Rihanna 🙂 !!

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Constructive Conflict

All the time in our daily lives, we come across people arguing with each other. At times, it just makes you wonder why can’t people agree with each other for a change. Whether its your local groceries store, while traveling in a bus, discussion with friends or a boardroom meeting, arguments and debates are happening everywhere.

In this modern era of knowledge economies and the information revolution going all around us, everyone has access to facts and as they say everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion. As a consequence, the number of opinions are equal to the number of minds inside a room.

But in an argument whenever you say “I am entitled to my opinion”, have you ever tried to give a thought that so is the person at the front. And hence, instead of arguing with one another to prove yourself correct, try giving a lending ear to your opponent. Analyzing your opponent’s thoughts might prove to be quite an educating experience for you as you start viewing the things from other side of the fence. As you put yourself in your opponent’s shoes your empathetic towards your rival and hence, strong negative emotions suddenly start disappearing and you are able think more clearly. Result..a healthy debate or as they term it in management and corporate culture a “Constructive Conflict” ensues.

Unfortunately, not many cultures around the world give much of significance to listening. Japanese for one, have a different style of communicating and place a great deal of attention to what is being communicated to them. They are adept listeners and observe minute details, like body language and tone of the speaker, while the conversation happens.

While a constructive conflict sounds very much like an ideal case scenario, the practical situation as we had learned way back in our science classes, is quite different from the theory. In real world, there are heated debates, aggressive arguments and lot of negative emotions and live drama is involved.

Sadly, none of the solutions discussed in our conflict management classes are utilized in pragmatic situations in life. This is mainly because rarely people have the level of patience and a balanced sense of understanding while they are engrossed in a fiery exchange of words. Clearly, high level of self awareness is an exceptional trait.

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Unconscious Reality

“My unconscious knows more about the consciousness of the psychologist than his consciousness knows about my unconscious” – Karl Kraus quotes

A well framed thought that aptly describes the strength of our unconscious mind. The human unconscious mind is the most powerful creation of nature and can be quite dangerous and destructive too.

Have you ever wondered how your mind can create such clear scenes in your dreams with background, costume, storyline, sequence, actions and sounds everything in place and just the way it should be. I keep wondering all the time. Few days back, I dreamt of a huge aeroplane bursting in flames up in the sky, in front of my eyes in the dream sequence, and bingo..everything was like a sci-fi or star wars movie. At times, I do not even remember my dreams but when I go back to sleep sometimes they start from just where I left them. Its just for a fraction of seconds after I wake up, that I realize what I saw and then the memory starts fading.

Unconscious mind is a huge collection of mental phenomena inside a person’s mind to which the person is unaware of at the time of their occurrence. These can be unconscious feelings, skills, unnoticed perceptions, thoughts, habits, obvious but unnoticed reactions, complexes, hidden phobias and concealed desires. The unconscious mind or brain is also the source of dreams and automatic random thoughts. Its like a repository of memories that might be very well forgotten by the conscious.

Its also a center of all the routine things that we have been taught to do since childhood and still practice without much thought. Routine activities like riding a bicyle, tying shoe lace are kind of stored in unconscious mind as implicit memory.

Having said all of the above, the unconscious mind may also be the biggest enemy of a person. Remember all those times when you wanted to do/try something new in life and some inherent and latent force inside pulled you back. You wanted to badly learn to ride a bicycle when you were young and used to watch the older teenagers speeding in their bikes, only wishing you could be as much faster. However, you were scared because there was a fear of the unknown, of course, till you conquered that. Not quite often do we realize that our subconscious mind may be the biggest hindrance or inhibitor to the greatest of our desires in life..at times the single most reason of our existence.

The subconscious mind might be powerful with unlimited storage space but it is like a lazy school kid who never wants to go to school and learn new things. Its repulsive towards any sort of change. That precisely explains the fear of change in the human nature. And comfort zone, might be an euphemism that we use for this kind of human tendency.

Subconscious brain is classically conditioned to perform activities and store information and any kind of change in the pattern is not acceptable to it. Ever wondered, why old habits die hard!! Now you know. That’s why moving out of comfort zone and taking the road less traveled is a big deal.

What’s ironically sad is the fact that we always blame situations or people for our miseries in life. When the biggest opposition to our capabilities is not the immediate rival at work, instead it rests peacefully inside us.

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