Friday, December 04, 2009

Scales of comparison

A while back (quite the years back I mean) there was a time when I was disappointed at some incident where the same set of people commended a job that someone else did where I felt I did a lot more but there was no commendation.

Naturally from my perspective I was sour. Why shouldn't I also be commended? If anything I should be commended 3 or 4 times more since I was doing that much. But what I got was zilch.

Subhash had a simple reply : The expectations of you are higher since they know you are more capable. The expectation from that person is much lower.

Still, it was not fair. That didn't soothe me at all.

So he had an analogy (he always does) : Lets assume my niece drew a picture of a hut (niece is all of 4 years old) and you also drew a hut. People will naturally praise the niece all out since she has done an extraordinary job for her known and accepted capability. But if you expect people to praise you because you drew a hut, then it is not going to happen. On the contrary it would sound rather stupid, this expectation of yours.

That totally explained it. At that moment I was soothed. Yet, this was no 4 year old that I was putting myself up against. Outside of this philosophy when I thought about it, I was still sour. But at least I knew that there was some psychological reason to it rather than attributing it to prejudice.

So it is all about who you want to set yourself against. People more accomplished than you or people less accomplished. The former is definitely a better idea :)

Daily, I grapple with such dharam sankats ;)


Kumar said...

One thing we can learn from Bush is to set the expectations so low that you'd be commended at anything you do :)

shilpa said...

Hah I was face to face with this during my current performance appraisal. I 'came to know' that someone was praised for something they did, that I had done as well, but it was only mentioned in passing because I was 'expected' to do that any way. I am still sour :-(

Rupa said...

Performance appraisal around the corner....and wishing I dont encounter this yet again (it happened quite a few times and I just get mad at myself sometimes for this) but reading your post bought me some solace.....

Anonymous said...

Well...Can it also be a case of we thinking too much of ourselves?? And expecting bouquets everytime???!!! It has happened somany times with me, that I'm having to think this way too!!!

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