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Treating ferns and roses as they are

  • Published at 05:10 pm February 18th, 2020
Photo: Dhaka Tribune

It is important to adjust expectations when interacting with different people

This is a tale about a gardener.

The gardener has two plants, one of which is a hibiscus. When he regularly waters it, buds develop and bloom into beautiful colours. The second plant is fern. Despite regular watering, changing of the soil, and adding manure and pesticides, there will be no flowers. 

It is their nature -- one has flowers throughout the year, while the other will never have a single flower in its lifetime. 

Now, don’t you think that the gardener should understand this and make peace with their individual natures? Instead, what if he blindly starts expecting the fern to also provide him with beautiful flowers, just because he is taking equally good care of it? What he will get is only disappointment and sadness.

We, people, are also like these plants.

Every person we meet is different. We need to understand their nature rather than expect them to go against their personalities to make us happy or fulfill our desires. 

Whenever you meet a new person, based on the first few interactions, how about trying to know more about whether the person is a hibiscus, rose, fern, or moss? Slot them into these categories and decide how to treat them accordingly.

Rather than making everyone out to be equal, how about analyzing them a little at first? Give them the expectation they deserve and then choose your relationship with them.

If you have seen that your friend has no sense of gratitude or appreciation, you should neither expect them to do you any favours, nor should you expect them to value your efforts if you do so

If your colleague is selfish and has very little time for others, you should neither expect them to do any favours for you, nor should you prepare wins for them if you want to get something done together

If your spouse is short-tempered, don’t expect them to listen and react calmly in a bad situation

Always line your expectations in regards to their personalities in such a way that reality never falls below your expectations.

It is not always possible or easy to change someone’s behaviour with your love. People change by imitating your behaviour and your actions, not your words. 

So, don’t always expect that the love you show them will bring out wonders from them. The best you can do is, you got it, love them. That is it. People change when they want to change. 

Slot people based on their behaviour and convince yourself that this is how they are. It reduces all the drama, heartbreak, and disappointment. You are also more likely to feel ecstatic when they out-perform your expectations. 

It makes life simpler. And more importantly, there is peace.

Touhid Kamal uses anthropology to learn more on micro-cultures and human behaviour, and is a UX researcher and team culture builder.

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