Thursday, 16 May 2013

Of Women and Self Worth

"Caller: I don't think I should have taken this decision...
Me: Hmmmm... Babes I hate all my decisions at some point or the other but still back them up because they are mine...
Caller: Ye...ah... exactly! You see, think I should not have done this...and now... I wish I could turn back time... "
Usually when a phone call opens like this, I am almost always scared. Not because I believe in the worst, the caller is already doing that, but, because it never fails to worry me that people, even those who are highly intelligent and accomplished, have these dark moments when they totally forget their self-worth.
This is a trait that I have seen mainly among women. Men are mostly like, "It's OK. I screwed up, but, I have this other back-up plan that rocks...." And though I know that there is no Plan B but, I also know that he'll find a way out, as will the women...
But women, the more articulate gender and also the deep (end) thinkers (read worriers), they sell themselves real short.
When I get a call like the above from a woman, I know what to do. It is like working on a template. I just take some time out to remind them how intelligent and accomplished they already are and how I'd put all my money (if I had any) on them. Cliched though it may sound, it is always absolutely true. If it is otherwise, I don't mince words either.
The discussion works mostly because they are already intelligent and accomplished, like I said earlier. They usually go back, kick a few asses and make way for victory. So, I end up getting a lot of credit at the victory celebration. However, this normally embarrasses me to no end because I have done nothing much, not even given a pep talk, since whatever I had said was the truth.
Late last night, after dealing with two such back-to-back calls, I realized how lacking in self worth I myself was!
The heartfelt "thank yous" of both the girls left me deeply embarrassed even when one of them confessed that she had cried on a previous call while discussing the same problem and that, after speaking with me she was already laughing and raring to go. And I know that she'd win too. She just needed reminding how good she is...
But, I mumbled something incoherent at her heartfelt thank you and disconnected over a gruff "goodnight". 
Then, over a cup of late night tea, it suddenly occurred to me that I had actually helped someone feel good and instead of feeling embarrassed should feel a sense of accomplishment. I should rejoice that I am able to help again and again by listening, by making the right noises or even by suggesting the appropriate song list in cases of break-ups or helping with expletives on being handed the pink slip...
It was such a huge discovery that I had to write it down so I don't forget to mention a gracious, "you're welcome or it was a pleasure..." to the next heartfelt thank you.
Despite all my shortcomings and failures, despite my limited understanding of the human psyche and my much-hated whiplash tongue. Despite all the small and big mistakes that make me, I am able to help others by making them believe in them. And I'd say it's a huge accomplishment and I should feel great, not embarrassed. Who am I kidding? Shit! I have self esteem issues too... Ouch!!! 


  1. You know what.. you reminded me of my posts on "Shoulder Bearer" - I used to call myself and others with that name, coz all they did was let someone rest their heads on your shoulder, vent a little and rediscover themselves! Just a word of caution, at some point of time down the line, you will start feeling the weight of all those heads that rested on your shoulder and you might start seeking a shoulder for your silly head! :)


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