WHY ARE PEOPLE BEING SO INSENSITIVE ?
Insensitivity according to the oxford dictionary refers to a lack of concern for others' feelings. Pretty simple to understand. Right? We see it all the time around us, on the streets, on social media, in our homes, among our colleagues, etc. Insensitivity and hatred come very easily. Homophobia, animal brutality, body shaming, hate comments on social media are very few examples that we have been seeing on daily basis for past few months. People think it’s cool and trendy to pass shameful comments on anyone or upload a video while beating an animal, but it’s not.
Apart from this we unknowingly tend to be rude and disrespectful towards people who are below us in socioeconomic status or power. We fail to realize that our houses, streets, schools, offices, and basically everything is being made and maintained by them. If these people are not out there working every day and cleaning the mess that we create, soon our surroundings will look like trash. We must be grateful to them and thank them every day. We need to think of them as fellow human beings and respect their work and consider their feelings as well. A simple hello or Namaste with a smile can make their day. We make jokes on topics that may be sensitive to other people for example religion. We as a generation react to events involving violence and death. We tend to overlook the importance of these things because they are so prevalent and that we are growing more and more insensitive. Yes, we live in a country that practices free speech but to limit what people can say would be unethical, and it is not okay to hurt somebody else’s feelings and sentiments in the name of freedom of speech. Some very common factors for these kind of behaviour are lack of empathy, anger, stress, frustration, low self-esteem, loneliness, and different thought patterns. Media plays a very important role here in showing us how things actually are and using proper language to describe it.
The reality is when a person is not happy and satisfied with themselves, when they are full of jealousy and hatred for others how will they be positive on the outside? We are never taught these things in school or at home. Never have these things been emphasized enough in our childhood. Had it been that way, the current situations would have been different. Insensitivity can harm your ability to engage with others and can lead to social isolation and loneliness. In order to become more sensitive one must look within oneself and seek answers to some questions like- “Do I really care?” or “why am I reacting like this?” By evaluating one’s own behaviour from time to time and considering how we behave in certain social situations can be helpful at times. Being more self-aware and empathetic can also help to great lengths. Often, insensitive people are simply not tuned in to the needs and emotions of others. Consider how often we actively try to understand the perspective of another person. If we spend the bulk of our time thinking about our self then we can never understand others perspective. Studies show that such people carry certain traits which are-
- They lack emotional quotient
- They just don’t care
- They observe and learn from their family environment
- They are insecure and jealous
- They are selfish and self-centred
- They learn to become manipulators
The question is are these people unchangeable? It is very difficult to change such people as they consider themselves to be superior, their self-image is far better in their own eyes than what others consider them to be and they don’t want to be directed. They hate being told that they lack something or that they are wrong somewhere. But that doesn’t mean we should not confront them. If we tell them that they need to rethink, that their behaviour is unacceptable, they might introspect and make some efforts to learn be sensitive. We must first learn to be kind and true to our own selves. Each and every person is fighting some or the other battle in their own ways that we don’t know about or is not evident just by looking at them. Every one’s sufferings and struggles are equally important even if it doesn’t match with yours. Do not belittle anybody. We must learn to be kind, empathetic, thoughtful, and compassionate towards everyone. If we all can learn to make peace with each other and ignore the things which are not important to us, teach the same to our children or the next generation. We need to be less self-absorbed and more self-aware, open our eyes, and look around us who needs our help. Look, listen, and help. In order to help someone change their behaviour, the following steps can be taken-
- Nurture sensitivity
- Say enduring words to people
- Appreciate little acts of kindness
- Talk more openly about feelings and emotions and how one can express them
- Love unconditionally
- Encourage self-discipline
Kindness and hatred both come free. One comes easy and the other comes with efforts. It is upon us what we choose and what we become. Remember our children learn what they see and hear from us. So we need to be a responsible and make this world a better place for ourselves and them.