If they cannot grab you by the neck, then they try to tickle your feet. The funny thing is they get mighty thrilled about their act of ‘bravado’. Usually I chuckle over their chuckle because I know exactly where they come from, and I don’t even want to know where they are going.
They have to lock their cupboards, throw coins on the floor to check the trustworthiness of servants, they have to buy love, or blackmail for it. They exist on the fringes of life.
Waves upon the sand...That is how I see the confidence-busters. I do understand the complexities of insecurity, but that is because I see it as a beacon of hope that I have to follow. For many, it is a bitter pill to swallow and throw up the bile.
The “You look so pale and tired” type is frustrated with life, clinging to everything because they have nothing. Even the natural relationships they desperately cling to are not really theirs because they have got them through sops. They are not free, which is why they resent your freedom and come out with what they think is a clincher: “You look so pale.”
There was one person who did this to me on a regular basis; in the beginning I thought it was a casual comment till I realised she was so obsessed about my presence that the only way to make me feel absent was to diminish me. When I saw through, after five years, I may add, I was already free; she still is not.
Then there is the “You cannot drive/fix a fuse/walk long distances” type. Let me give you an example. Many years ago I had a bad driving experience and that put the fear in me. Then, one day I decided I had to learn; I joined the classes, and just a week before my test, I made the mistake of getting behind the wheel of another’s car. It was a clear bylane and I was going well; instead of encouraging me or giving tips, I could hear a voice hollering, “Do you want to kill someone?”
What was happening here? An attempt was being made to undermine what I had come to accept after years of uncertainty. My new-found confidence was causing consternation, not because it would take away something from anyone but it would make me even more independent.
This manifests itself in other forms too. Like this man who quit a relationship the moment he realised that his lover had come by a lot of money; he derived his self-esteem by hoping to keep her in fine fettle so that she would become used to the good things in life. Her personal wealth made him jittery.
I love the sarcasm. I love the truth in it even more!