BENGALURU: What would you say if I told you being stuck in Bengaluru traffic can teach you a thing or two about love and relationships? You might find that ridiculous, but let me take just one aspect today and you might see what I mean.
Imagine you are driving quietly along a two-way tree-lined avenues. It is a breezy, balmy 26 degrees, and you are in a place of general happiness. You drive along at an easy pace, happy that you are in Bengaluru and not sweating it out in one of our huge coastal cities or in the smog up in the North. Suddenly, you start hearing a series of beeps, and that rises to insistent honks and a vehicle behind you is wanting to go ahead. There is enough space for them to overtake you and go on without making all that noise, but they do that anyway. You wave them ahead, and they blare their horn as they pass you by.
Do you try and overtake them now, and blare your horn at them to show them what it feels to be at the receiving end of that behaviour? Or better still, do you overtake them quietly, setting an example on how they could have done the same?
Think about it like this: You are sitting in your balcony, enjoying the view with your cup of tea and the newspaper, feeling all cozy and comfortable, and you start hearing a few beeps and honks from your loved one. You let it be and suddenly there is a lot of blaring. Perhaps they come and sit in the other chair and maybe even grab the newspaper out of your hand. What do you do? Do you quietly take out your phone and read something else? Or do you get angry and shout at them for being such bullies? Or do you, in quite the saintly fashion, ask them perhaps they would like your tea as well?
The choices you have in both the situations are really not that different. There is so much traffic in our lives, both in the physical sense and in a more metaphorical sense, in our relationships. Sometimes, we get the unexpected honker, the surprise anger outburst for no known fault of ours. We don’t know what was happening to them – maybe they had an emergency, something urgent they needed, or just pent up emotions. Were they just being a horrible person at that time? Maybe – but if we assume that horribleness always, we may just end up being horrible ourselves.Like with traffic, perhaps it helps in relationships as well to go with the most benign attribution.
(The author is a counsellor at InnerSight).