“A wonderful day to spend among women in leadership” said Rashmi Karthik an attendee of Women #BreakingBarriers Bangalore. Breaking Barriers is now coming to Pune, Panjim, Kolkata, Coimbatore, Chennai. Register now to attend!
A tough woman with a forbidding exterior can often hide a soft inside – and when she needs them, there are very few people to whom she looks for support.
The tough cookie.
Someone who is always positive, always smiling. But then sometimes she crumbles. After a lot of effort of holding it together, she crumbles.
Maybe on the outside she seems to have it in place. Life is going on. There really seems no reason for the knots to come undone. From the outside. But on the inside she knows she is hollow. One by one her walls are crumbling. Even she wonders why. Because there is no specific one big reason. But lots and lots of small reasons which add up, for her to dissolve.
And no one notices that she is slowly dissolving. Because it is all on the inside. Outside she is one intact dessert. And then she crumbles. After a lot of effort of trying to remain whole, she crumbles. She can’t help it. She has given it her all, not to break down. And she does not understand what is happening to her. Neither does anybody else. One fine day she is just a broken mess.
This happened because her wall crumbled. Her strength, her support, her reason to move forward. It crumbled. And when this happens or before this happens, I just have one request to her wall.
… if she comes to you with her problems, don’t take it personally. You are not to blame, and neither is she. You have taught her to be strong and with self respect. Trust her when she needs you. Trust that she will come to you only when there is no other way to go.
She does not do it to trouble you. Maybe you don’t understand her problems, when you compare it with your own life and relationships. But she needs you without having to feel guilty.
You are her safe space even now just as you were when she was 5 and she came to you for a scraped knee. Don’t demean her troubles. Have faith in her and your upbringing. That when she says she needs you, she really, really does.
… don’t make her feel that it is not her home after marriage. Don’t make her feel that she has no right to interfere in the house’s matters after her marriage. You are her strongest and oldest ally.
Don’t let your ego come in between being there for her. She has always been there for you, just like you have been there for her, ever since you were kids. Just because she is married does not mean she still does not need you to be there. She needs you all the more now. Maybe you are OK with the relationship going sour, and not having spoken for months. But she is not. She needs you. She needs to know that you need her too.
… don’t patronize, don’t advise, don’t doubt, don’t compare your life with hers. She has the entire world to do that for her.
You are her life. Don’t tell her to be positive, and cheerful. To look at the positives in life. She knows all that. And she does all that.
She just needs you to ask, what can I do to help? She needs you to trust her and that her feelings are worthy.
She has the entire world to doubt her feelings. She does not need you to do it. You are the support she looks for the first and till the end. Sometimes just listen, just agree, just nod, just hug. You have faith in her. Have faith even when the world is against her or she is against herself.
That’s all she needs from you. Unconditional, infallible, eternally loyal love .
Love her. Love her with faith, love her with trust, and love her with respect. It is so simple.
She keeps your entire world before hers. She just needs you to keep her as a priority. She is one of your strongest assets. She balances you silently, and spectacularly. Be it on the home front, work front, family front, or financial front. Understand the balance. In return you have to balance her.
Understand the give and take. Understand the debits and credits. Balance her beautifully. Because when that balance topples, she will suffer in a way you cannot even imagine.
Don’t judge her by the stereotypical standards. Don’t judge her by her kitchen genius or how well she can organise the house, or how she can serve you hot food. Look at the things she has done over and above for you as an equal in the relationship. Please accept that those stereotypical standards were unfair.
Its like this scenario: Imagine you putting all your money for a project. All your life savings, everything. You work day and night for that project to be successful. Your entire thoughts are consumed by the project. And at the end you don’t even recover 25 percent of what you put in.
The team says, “But you got 25 percent back, right? The other businessman did not even get 10 percent. Plus the project was yours, so it is nothing out of the ordinary that you put in so much effort or money. Its OK. It was your duty. We may have promised you at least 50 percent but so what? Your duty is to work and put in money without expecting results. Plus we cannot give you our full attention as we have other clients also to work with. Look at the positive. And keep on working for the measly 25 percent!”
Imagine the state you will be in. That is exactly how she feels. She has put in her entire life with you. She needs the balance as much as you do. She needs your faith in her. And when she breaks, it is not for a whim or a sudden small reason. It is not an over reaction. She has been crumbling away bit by bit for a million reasons.
She has a small but a very strong, close wall. The entire world does not matter to her. All that matters is her wall. Her strength is in the faith of the wall.
She is tired right now, and she is crumbled. She will not have the guts to ask for help because at this point she knows that if she gets a judgmental word from her wall, she will be in a place where she won’t be able to get out of. She has been saying this for long. And she is still there.
All the very worst may happen. But she will get up. She will get going. She knows she is strong. She has the most beautiful reason to go forward. Her daughter. She will. She just needs to take a step back. But she will get up. She will go.
Image source: sad woman by Shutterstock.
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