Whenever, a decision has to be made in a situation, there are mostly two kinds of people. First are the ones who will take into consideration all the circumstances and options available and quickly decide. Second are the ones who will always dilly dally the decision, try that others take decision on their behalf, discuss a lot about it with everyone and procrastinate.  However, there are a third breed of people whose population is increasing every passing day. These are the people who put their head in the sand and feel that no one can see them. Yes, these are the ostrich people.

The species of “Ostrich people” is not new. They have always existed ever since human race came into existence. It is because of their refusal to accept a problem, a difficulty or a trouble by burying their heads that several wars were fought, people like Hitler arose and severe crises emerged in various parts of the world. Such people not only lack leadership abilities, they just refuse even to be a follower of any ideology, till they are left with no choice. They believe in removing their head from the sand only after the predicament has ended and they simply go in the direction where everyone has already gone long ago. If everyone has travelled on the path, then it must be safe is what they assume. They may have ambitions, they may desire a few things; but they’d prefer someone takes out their magic wand and the things get done that way. They will never spell out what they want, and wish that everyone around them understands it and moves in the direction.


IDENTIFYING THE OSTRICH PERSONALITIES: It’s indeed very difficult to identify the ostrich persons, for they are so silent that their existence is rarely felt. Normally, it’s seen that a child is likely to develop into an ostrich person, if one of the parents or a close person is so dominating that the child is afraid of raising his opinion. Slowly, it becomes a trait. Fear is an inbuilt quality of ostrich people. They are afraid to speak, they are frightened to act and they are fearsome of the results. They are extremely wary of any attention, for it will mean a loss in the calmness of their minds. In the classroom, they will sit somewhere in the middle so that they aren’t noticed. They will be afraid of either passing or failing, and their results will invariably be average, not because they can’t do better, but because they are wary of being observed. They will not participate much in sports or any other extracurricular activity to refrain from being noticed.

In the workplace also, ostrich people will avoid even promotions, for they don’t wish to be at the top. They wouldn’t wish to be at the bottom too, they just wish to carry on with what they have. They won’t participate in any social get-togethers, if they eat in a group, they will hardly speak and won’t even offer to drive someone home in case they are struck up.

At home, they will prefer that their spouse does the major things such as shopping, running errands and attending to Parent-Teacher meetings of their child. In case, their spouse or any near and dear one is going through some difficulties, they will expect them to solve it themselves. They will not contribute in any little way. They will just hope that the difficulty gets resolved on its own.


HOW TO CHANGE THE OSTRICH PEOPLE: It’s but natural that it isn’t really a good thing to have Ostrich-like traits. One is neither doing any good to the society nor to the near and dear ones. He/she is not helping himself/herself either.

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Changing is a bit difficult, but certainly not impossible. There are two ways in which alteration in the personality can be brought about. One is by the person himself/herself by deciding to come out of it and the other way is with the help of close friends and relatives.

If a parent notices ostrich-like traits in a child, they should encourage him/her by participating in various activities that interest the child. Explore the various hobby classes or sports activities going on in your area and let him join that. Try to speak to the child to know his opinions. You can give your views on a subject so that he/she is also encouraged to disclose his/her feelings. Encourage your child to read, for that will take him/her into a different world and he/she will get to know the opinions of different people under different circumstances. Make him/her understand how he/she can positively contribute to society.

If an ostrich person happens to be your girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse, then let him/her take a little burden of the chores. If you keep doing everything, he/she will be in a comfort zone and it is from there that you wish to take him/her out. If a subordinate is exhibiting ostrich like traits, motivate him/her with rewards whenever he/she comes up and speaks out. After all, these persons do have all the intelligence and they are not coming up only because they don’t want to be noticed.

The best thing to happen certainly is that the ostrich person understands that his/her characteristics are not only harming him/her, but also his/her near and dear ones. Once he/she understands and acknowledges the problem, change is certainly very easy to bring out. A positive thought is a work well begun and the probability of it getting accomplished increases.


About the Author


Neelam Saxena Chandra is an Engineering graduate from VNIT and has done her Post Graduation Diploma in IM&HRD and also in Finance. She has completed a summer course in Finance from London School of read more...

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