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Friday, December 13, 2013

CUTTING YOUR COAT


Edwin looked into his wallet, he only had ten thousand naira left, resolved, he took it out and paid the cashier. He knew he was going to drink garri for a while and pay lots of visits to people to see food to eat but this was the event of the year and he couldn’t show up in the black blazers he wore to church last week. He had a reputation to protect.
  Linda hasn’t paid her school fees. Her parents were broke and gave her just one thousand naira to use as pocket allowance for the semester until they could get more money. Her boyfriend asked her what she wanted for her birthday and she mentioned the latest Ipad and a Brazilian weave. The cost of the two was near four hundred thousand naira and she was so happy. Everyone would see her as an it girl. A very expensive one at that. It never occurred to her to gather this money, pay her fees and give the rest to her parents. She was a campus big girl and everyone must know that she was in town.
  Ade wanted to please Ruth. He knew that the Blackberry she said she wanted he didn’t have the money anywhere. He was a student like her and his parents were not rich. He withdrew all his life savings, borrowed money from his friends, sold his gold chain and his laptop and bought the phone for her. He just wanted to see her smile. After all as her boyfriend he should be able to take care of her and provide her with whatever she wants. That was what real men did and he was one.  He wanted her to be the envy of her friends. He didn’t want to lose her.
  Tina loved to sport her natural hair. She loved being quirky. She loved the huge glasses and the sneakers. She loved herself. She met Dammy and gave up the natural hair for Brazilian weaves, got the clingy dresses going, gave up her sneakers for heels. She knew he loved women with class. He’d commented once or twice about her hair and her style. She’d seen his eyes glow appreciatively at the girly girls that all looked alike and she changed to get him to stay. She wanted his love and if making that sacrifice to make him think her gorgeous and beautiful was it then it was worth it.
   Lisa’s new friends were organising a girl trip to Dubai. Lisa ran and borrowed money with a promise to pay back so she could fit in and not be looked down on by them.
  Insecurities make people cut a cloth to sew a dress that isn’t their size. You have to learn to accept yourself as you are and your situation. Love yourself. If you do then you’d know you don’t have to change what makes you happy because you don’t want to lose someone. You’d say hey if they don’t accept the fact that I’m not as rich as they are, as travelled as they are then maybe we shouldn’t be friends. If you are comfortable in your skin, you wouldn’t care that what you wore is different from others. You wouldn’t let trivial unimportant things get to you. There’s always someone out there that would accept your eccentricities. If that girl wants to leave you because you can’t afford the new expensive phone that she likes then let her go. There’s a girl out there that would sit down and chew kulikuli with you. If he tells you he’d leave you if you don’t sleep with him, raise your chin up and show him the door. It’s not by force to do. If you did all that under duress, became who you are not for someone else, they will never respect you and in time you will hate yourself because you are unhappy and you begin to resent them. You will find acceptance as you are with the right people. Someone will love you as you are. Creating illusions with what you are not, you only destroy yourself, the people you are trying to impress only talk about you for five minutes in a twenty four hours day.
  Confidence and true beauty comes from within when you let yourself shine free of restriction and fear. What you have and put on will only give you a minute false confidence. Your inner confidence stays on the outside for much longer even if you have rags on. It shows in your speech, the way you carry yourself, your smile, your eyes and your laughter. If you like wear the most expensive dress in the world. Your confidence span would last for just ten minutes.
  If your material is big, small, medium, it is yours and yours alone. Learn to cut your coat according to your cloth material. Be yourself. Cheers!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

BENDING THE TRUTH DIPLOMATICALLY


Everyone loves to feel good. Everyone loves to be agreed with.  If you are the kind of person that is always honest, says things straight up without any sugar coating on your words then you are headed for a whole lot of trouble with people.
  Max hated lies. He was a devout Christian and believed in saying the truth at all times. He felt the world should go that way. He was getting ready for a gala, his girlfriend came around. She wore a tight orange dress that did her figure and complexion no good. She looked like a drag queen but he said nothing. She walks up to him and asks,
‘How do I look dear?’
  And he let it rip. He said it as it was. She left his house in tears and they never went for the gala. He was perplexed. If she didn’t want to know the truth why had she bothered to ask?
  Max goes to work and his boss asks him what he thinks about a contract they were going after. He got into trouble. Everyone, the boss inclusive knew that Max had stated the obvious truth to them but they didn’t want it to be said out loud. They preferred it stayed in the recess of their minds.  Max’s friend asks a mutual friend of theirs if he thinks he has lost some weight and the friend says yes, Max’s eyes almost bulge out. This friend hadn’t lost an ounce of weight but had gained a thousand more. He looks around and asks Max if he agrees and Max tells him the truth. He gets angry and refuses to talk to Max, saying Max insulted him by calling him fat. He knew deep down that Max was right. Max kept wondering why people took an offence at everything he said. He was the recipient of people’s angry remarks and silence treatment just for telling them the truth, tired of it, he decides to try a new style.
  Max goes out months later and sees his friend who asks him how he looks and Max knowing that he looked like a lard of butter replies
‘You look fabulous. Have you been working out?’
   His friend preened happily and narrated his steps to perfection with Max. Eureka! It had hit Max. No one wanted to hear the truth especially when it stares them in the face and they are in self denial. So he became an expert in telling people exactly what they wanted to hear and keeping his thoughts to himself. He became the most sought after guy. His friends increased from ten to a thousand.
  Emily saw herself as a straight person. If she was sad, everyone knew it, happy, angry, she showed it no holds barred. If you did something and she didn’t like it she wouldn’t mince words but tell you as she felt it. If she doesn’t like you oh you’d know, pretence wasn’t her thing. You always knew where you were with her .She realised that in a week she had left fifty people she had interacted with that week angry. She didn’t understand why she had to hide her feelings and thoughts. After she got into it with a colleague, a senior colleague calls her to his office and gives her the golden rule,
‘Ass lick and be diplomatic. Act!’
Everyone noticed a change and was pleased. Here’s an example. Emily’s colleague has always tried to undermine Emily before their boss. Emily gets to work in the morning, sees her and smiles outwardly,
‘Hi Treesh! Wow! You look gorgeous today. You need to teach me how to apply makeup the way you do. I love it.’
Her colleague smiles happily. Two things have happened here; Emily has lied and she has made this colleague feel better by thinking she knows something more than she Emily does. Emily turns away from the colleague and her smile fades
‘Die bitch! I hate you! Your makeup looks like that of a village masquerade.’
Emily thinks to herself.  Emily’s bitchy superior that she quarrels with every time, makes a mistake and places it on Emily. Emily knows two things would happen; 1) if she goes to the boss to complain she’d get an enemy for life through her superior and 2) she will get sacked. She goes to this same superior and says,
 ‘Thank you ma, for pointing my error out, I never would have seen it without your help. I promise it will never happen again. I hope you don’t mind taking me under your tutelage. I would consider it an honour to learn from you.’
  Emily has struck gold here. She has saved her ass, made this superior feel good about herself and gained a friend. Oh don’t think Emily wants to be friends. She’d wait for the right moment and the right info to get back at the bitchy superior.
  If there’s one thing Ade had learnt, it was to agree with everything his bosses say. Hey and he moved up the ranks pretty fast. They saw him as their guy. Well, truthfully he wasn’t. He only told them what they wanted to hear to get to where he wanted.  The opportunity presented itself and he sold their secrets and jumped ships to their enemy, a bigger and more lucrative party.
  Haven’t you ever wondered why politicians tell you only what you want to hear to get what they want? Telling you what you want makes you shut up and leave them the hell alone. You even like them for it. Lol! They say politics is a dirty game but it’s a life game. The big mistake you make is to see another one in the same game or rather business with you as a friend because you agree, they compliment you, and you hang out together and all. You then let your guard down and give them info they need, when the time is right, they use that info and you call them dirty. Business is business and friendship is friendship doesn’t only happen in politics. It’s a general life rule; you miss out when you mix the two up by seeing your colleague as a friend and so many more. God help you if their outward speech and inward speech aren’t the same.  It’s like seeing your boss as a friend and getting carried away by it. When it comes to his money that Boss would show you he wasn’t your friend as you thought.
  Even men are experts at telling girls what the girls want to hear to get them to do what they want, sorry if you bought it sucker. You cry in the end, they go. Prostitutes, whether you call them aristos know this too. They give you a good time and make you believe they had one too but believe me you don’t want to hear their inner thoughts. Lol!
  The truth is half the smiles you got today weren’t real, half the compliments were lies and the list goes on. Being able to discern that’s where the battle comes in. Sometimes people tell you what you want for their own purposes, it’s not about you.  When people tell you ‘hiiiiiiii’ in high pitched tones that stretch instead of ‘hi’ you smile inside and wonder why say hi to me at all but they will and do to make themselves feel good and make you like them even if they don’t like you.   It’s called social etiquette.
  Agree even when you don’t agree for peace’s sake. Smile even when you don’t feel like it. Compliment even if you don’t want to. Tell people what they want to hear even if you know it’s a lie and save yourself the agony of an argument or to get what you want. Be diplomatic always!  Personally, I think it’s erroneous to believe people don’t want to hear the truth and keep lying to them. If you want sex and not a relationship, say it. If she’s game you roll. You tired of the relationship, tell him and don’t make him the stupid fool that held on to nothing thinking it’s his fault. If it doesn’t suit her tell her but modulate the way you say it. She’d prefer knowing than going out looking like a tent. You can say the truth in a diplomatic way too and not lie about it because you want the person to like you.  Or what do you think about it all? I leave you with a classic example.
“Smile and wave boys, smile and wave”- The Penguins of Madagascar.

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