• 13 Aug
    Sanjna Verma

    Would you mind a Female Boss?

     

    female boss

    Gender stereotypes are quite common, but in the recent times, the notion of the male being the breadwinner and the housewife being the homemaker has undergone a change. Women have begun to contribute towards the financial aspects of their households. All thanks to modernization where women are getting educated and are gaining awareness about how the world works. And now, we see that women are not just leading companies but also their respective nations. A question arises, which is also the intent of this article. Have the office employees imbibed the spirit of modernization well enough, so much so that they accept a woman heading them? Or are they stuck with the notion that women cannot be at par with their male counterparts? Are women ideal for such jobs?

    Characteristics of a Female Boss

    Confidence: Confidence does not come from pretty or a smart dressing sense but it comes from a demeanour. This demeanour comes as they fear no one. They have seen gender bias all around them but they don’t care. For them, it is they and their viewpoints that matter. After years of suppression, when they are leading a group the urge to change it acts as a positive influence in bringing confidence in work.

    Outspoken: They believe in speaking their mind whether it is a flowery praise or a harsh truth, no matter what their colleagues think of their personality. Every human has a right to assert their viewpoint but the problem is their colleagues do not realise the importance of their thought. Rather, they begin to think of their leader as someone who has an aggressive and dominant approach which is obviously not right.

    Assertive: They know how to express their concerns. It is that, in the past, they were never provided with an opportunity to exhibit their potentials. Whenever they try to make their group members do certain jobs they are assigned to, they are termed as excessively dominant, rather than understanding that they are performing their roles just as is expected of a leader.

    Sense of self: They know who they are and what they should be doing instead of people reminding them. Again, it is misunderstood by people as arrogance and excessive pride. It is pathetic to see how the stereotype is still stuck in people’s heads for their female boss- be it a man or a woman.

    Hard-working: Women leaders have a sense of passion in them which drives them to make people do their job ensuring that there is no delay or procrastination in the employees towards performing their duties. They have a set of goals which they are driven to accomplish and have similar expectations from their co-workers.

    Aggressiveness: Women leaders have constructive and emotional components in them which they use it for persuading their employees to do well in their duties thereby doggedly working towards the ultimate goal. Also, they know it well to defend themselves and ensure that no one takes advantage of their gender and work against them.

    It can be seen that the qualities for a female leader are those which can be expected of any leader be irrespective of gender - having confidence in oneself, having a set goal and working hard towards pursuing the goals.

     

    Pros of having a female leader

    Women are empathetic: Women understand what a person might be going through at that particular state. For instance, in the case of providing with maternity leave or some situation related to family or life-related situations, women understand these problems patiently and are more likely to grant leave under such circumstances.

    Women are Good Communicators: Women have been seen as better communicators than men as they are more understanding and cooperative towards their employees which perhaps comes from their own experience of being excessively controlled. Due to their empathetic nature and their good listening skills, they are able to understand their employees’ concerns better.

    Women are Good Collaborators: Women are seen as better in terms of developing networking abilities thereby helping towards collaborating well with different departments in the office. It is because of the fact that women know their ability better than men do and this leads to a better understanding of others.

    Women are Good Mentors: Women have that nurturing spirit in them. This has led to an observation that women are good in guiding their subordinates towards doing the job at the best level and gain satisfaction with their work. It is also because women themselves do not get mentors easily so they have that understanding of a mentor’s importance. 

     

    Cons of having a Woman Leader

    “Queen Bee” Myth: It is a belief that when women become leaders they may begin to see themselves as superior and have critical outlook about others in the office. Research shows it depends more upon the personality trait of that particular individual.

    Jealousy and Backbiting: women are initially seen as being friendly with them but as the counterparts become successful they show hostile feelings towards them. Also, it has been observed by studies that women also resort to actions which lead to the growth of their position in the company.

    Emotional Disturbances: It has been a popular stereotype that women undergo mood swings due to hormonal imbalances and stressors, however, it has been proven true for both the sexes. But from an overall perspective, it has been found out that women are more likely to undergo more emotional disturbances than men. This can hamper their work performance of self and others.

    Self-Branding: It has been observed that women remain modest and silent about their achievement as compared to men who are quite better in doing so because they are very much aware of their strengths. This also helps towards building a rapport with the employees and working towards accomplishing the targets of the company.

     

    Male Boss or Female: Employees’ Perspective

    It is true that most employees whether male or female, they prefer a male to be their head. After having analysed the various pros and cons of having a boss of both the genders, there are two factors justifying this preference - one is the approach towards working with the employees and the other is gender stereotyping. 

    According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the approach towards management by a female consists more of “mentoring and coaching” but in the case of a male it is more of “command and control.” APA claims that the former’s style may help the organisation in the long run. However, there is a contradiction- this very tendency of women to be caring and mentoring is only towards the female employees, as per the male employees. Even their male ego comes at threat when they see a woman holding a position of power.

    Moreover, the existence of stereotyping is undeniable. The belief that males are better than females somewhere resides in the subconscious. For instance, If a male boss takes his time for reaching to a decision he is believed as being thoughtful whereas if a woman indulges in such thought, they will term it as over-thinking or over-analysing on their part. When the male head tries to be approachable to every employee, he has the quality of a good leader but if a female does so, she has no other work and if she does not do so, she is bossy.

     

    The patriarchal notions and the misogyny operant in the society should be kept outside the workplace. Every employee is here to do their duty and gain money for their living. A female boss is in no way a step above or below a male counterpart. Break the old thoughts and get your views straight! It is 2017 for all that you know!

  • 17 Aug
    Sanjna Verma

    Are Introverts more prone to Anxiety, Depression and other mental illness than Extroverts ?

    Human beings are said to be social animals. The form of interaction, involvement and communication is different for all living beings. The classification based on the same was first given by psychologist Carl Jung, as introversion and extraversion:

    • Introversion: People high on this trait prefer spending time by themselves and this energises them. Sounds weird but true. They do not feel comfortable being around many people. For them, a happy time will be when they spend time binge-watching a web-series.
    • Extraversion:  People high on this trait prefer being around people to energise themselves to find their mental energy intact. To them, a happy day will be being around people and having a hearty laugh over their professor's accent.Another category has been developed which is known as that of Ambiverts. These people have a mix of both, introversion and extraversion personalities. For them social interaction is necessary but till a certain extent, they get discomforted in the presence of people.

    Extroverts are social and communicative, they are said to be stimulus hungry, which means that they need to interact with other people on a regular basis to maintain their energy levels and to be active. Introverts are quiet and reserved, they like to live in their confined space. This does not mean that they are boring or isolated, they tend to avoid crowds because they think that they have been over-stimulated. That's the reason why the society thinks that introverts are more prone to depression and other mental problems.


    Our society favours extroverts because they are outgoing, which becomes an appealing and ideal form of behaviour. People view the actions of an introvert through the lens of an extrovert that's why they think that being alone for an extended period of time is a symptom of depression. When extroverts are stressed or depressed they want their personal space and a bit of isolation, that's why they misunderstand the solitude of an introvert with depression because that's what they do when they are stressed.


    Depression can happen to anyone. If you see the behaviour pattern of an extrovert, they want others attention because regular interactions are basic to their nature. They do not hesitate to share their feelings and emotions with others. Consequently, if they are not able to fulfil their need of optimal interaction they may feel stressed and low. As they are high in the need for affiliation they may also develop feelings of unwantedness.

    Introverts may also feel depressed because they find it difficult to interact with others but this isolation cannot hamper them as much as it affects the extroverts. Introverts have a unique way of living and it should not be considered similar to isolation and aloofness. Introverts are less active however their interactions with people are more meaningful. They believe in real friendship and do not trust people easily. I agree that they interact and involve in fewer things but they put their heart and soul in doing that particular thing.
    Introverts are Awesome

    Life is full of challenges and people with different personality traits can develop depression when these challenges become difficult to cope up with. If we say and prove that introverts are prone to depression, then introverts may think that there is something wrong with them. Anyone can be a victim of depression and what matters is how effectively they deal with it.

    Coming to Anxiety, it is a general feeling of apprehension about any future event or danger. It is an emotional state that occurs when the threatening event comes closer. Such a feeling cannot be generalised to introversion or extroversion. Anxiety does not occur just because a person has a particular ability to mingle with their surroundings. When you have to submit a particular article in 2 days and you have not researched anything about it. How can this be dependent on the fact that we have a particular way of dealing with other people? It depends on our ability to cope with the situation and also, the amount of time we have for the task at hand. Now let us see what are the research evidence for the above-mentioned fact.

    Research and other Evidence

    Some studies have suggested a strong link between introversion and depression. This can be due to the fact that introverts are perfectionists by nature and more critical of their abilities. Despite performing to their best of abilities, they are not satisfied with their performance. This leads to mental and physical exhaustion. They worry a lot about what other people think about them which can become a causal factor for anxiety and stress. This can also develop into depression.

    In social situations as well, introverts undergo discomfort due to which they go through social anxiety. This also comes from the fact that introverts do not easily adapt to a different social environment. This also results in socially awkward behaviour. It is not that they are not comfortable with interacting but being around with people for a long period of time stresses them out.

    According to an article in Psychology Today, it has been found by scientists that introverts process more amount of information than others in a situation. This can help them in seeking an effective cure for mental health problems such as depression.

     

    This was about how introversion or extroversion can influence disorders but can your gender also play a role in it?

    A study published online in American Psychological Association's (APA) Journal of Abnormal Psychology stated that women are more likely to be diagnosed with mental disorders. They have found out that women are more likely to internalise or keep brooding over their emotions, thereby making them more vulnerable to anxiety and depressive disorders. The behaviour observed in women includes withdrawal, loneliness and depression. Past researches conducted on this theme indicate that women report more stressful life events than men do.

    Men are more likely to externalise or vent out their emotions. This leads to behaviour such as aggression, impulsive, coercive and noncompliant behaviour, according to the study. Thereby, making them more vulnerable towards mental problems such as substance abuse or antisocial disorder.

    Anxiety, Depression or take any other mental illness or disorder. I believe these cannot just be restricted to any one personality trait or any gender. It depends on what kind of life changes an individual is going through, how much they can cope with along with the social support available to the person. One should not let any mental problem develop till it reaches the severity level. One should talk it out and seek effective treatment if required. 

  • 08 Aug
    Shruti Gupta Delhi

    Love, hate, and 'Bigg Boss'

     

    Bigg Boss - the name rings a bell, right?

    The show where celebrities live a life like our own, in a house that’s far far away from the world, metaphorically. Based on the Dutch show Big Brother, a number of chosen contestants are made to live in a house (as housemates) where they are isolated from the rest of the world. Since the use of technology and gadgets are not allowed, the contestants, are completely on their own. Each week the participants are commanded certain tasks by a voice addressed as ‘Bigg Boss’. The housemates are usually divided into teams and are required to finish the tasks in a given time. Their performances decide their budget for the week, and certain merits and demerits for those who win and lose, respectively.  Each in-house nominated member is evicted from the house through public votes. The contestants are therefore required to impress us, the mass audience, in order to survive and/or win the show.

    Needless to say, the urge to impress people brings with it various complexities which often leave us having a love-hate relationship with the show.

     

    bigg boss tamil

     

    The mass audience, people like you and I, love the idea of celebrities living our kind of lifestyle. We believe we are exposed to the ‘real’ life of our ‘reel’ celebrities, but is it really so? The curiosity to know how our stars would react in a normal lifestyle leaves us wanting for more gossips.

    The show has become immensely popular over time, mostly because of the controversies and scandals it has come to create. The situations are created in a manner that the contestants are often seen losing their temper in an instant. Speaking foul language and ridiculing others, now seems to be a part of the show, which is why it is also believed to be scripted. However, every task raises a controversy or gossip to be a conversation starter in people's life.

    One such incident took place in the first and the latest season of Bigg Boss (Tamil). Recently in an episode of the show, the contestants had been asked to act like those who are mentally ill. While half the housemates were to behave as doctors, the other half portrayed the mentally ill in a very offensive manner. Psychiatrists slammed the show, saying that the show sold harmful cliches on mental health through its contestants.

    One of the contestants, Oviya, an absolute favorite of the audience, is believed to be bipolar, and this episode only ignited people’s beliefs. Even though Oviya appears to be emotionally disturbed, there is no reason whatsoever to stigmatize her behavior. Television is considered to be a source of information which tends to influence people’s perception strongly. The show, therefore, must aim to remain neutral or at least normalize the stigmas and myths related to mental health. If this was an attempt to promote or normalize people seeking treatment for mental health, it went wrong in various ways because such a portrayal of mental illnesses can severely distort and damage the perception of the viewers.

    "We always think of mental illness in the extreme. We believe that these patients are dangerous or we make fun of them. This is how they are portrayed in the mainstream. We've been talking about mental health for the last 200 years. Nobody is immune to mental illnesses" - Dr. Sivabalan, psychiatrist

    The way the show portrayed mental health can make people create wrong ideas about the issue, further inflicting the stigma. This can lead to people refraining from seeking help, even if they wish to. Such insensitivity by the participants has largely been criticized by the audience, especially the psychiatrists and psychologists. When one is constantly being watched under surveillance, one must think about the influence their behavior can inflict on the masses.

    Then again, the more controversies it raises the more attention the channel gets. They say, there is nothing called as bad publicity. Even though some believe it is scripted, 'Bigg boss' has always become a topic of conversation for all age groups. The games test the control of the stars and break them open to find them react like a layman. Participants begin to lose their patience and end up showing who they really are, which often disgusts the audience and causes them to react emotionally. However, only the celebrities are not to blame.

    The last season of Bigg Boss (Hindi) had commoners as participants and it was exciting to watch because people wished to see how the celebrities behaved with the common people living under the same roof. Sadly, the audience of the show was not only let down but also disgusted to the very core due to the way a selected few portrayed us, the common people, in front of the celebrities. Priyanka Jagga and Swami Om stole the show but put the audience in utter dismay. They led us, and others to believe that the show is not worth watching, especially with people like them in it.

    Despite the controversies related to the show, its popularity has only grown. People share a love-hate relationship with ‘Bigg Boss’ across all culture and languages. That’s how it has always been, and that’s how it always will be. After all, fans will be fans!

     

  • 06 Aug
    Sanjna Verma

    Why is it mandatory to have Counselors in school?

     

    school counsellor

    Counselling is not about giving advice with 'Shoulds' and 'Musts', but rather a communication between the client and the therapist/counsellor bringing out the best qualities in the client to enable him/hers lead a stress-free life. In that case, everyone needs counselling and of course, ‘everyone’ includes school children too. You might wonder if children are stressed to an extent that they need to be referred to a counsellor. Even though counselling is an emerging concept in today’s time, there are a few things to look at.

    One, parents may not recognize that their child is suffering from a mental disorder. This happens because of lack of awareness about disorders or mental issues like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autism, dyslexia, depression, anxiety disorders etc.  Also, the concept of counselling is still at an emerging stage, one cannot forget the ‘stigma’ associated with counselling or mental illness in general. 

    Two, the child having a mental problem may be mocked by his peers, classmates or even by relatives. These people do not understand whether the individual is either born with the disorder or certain environmental and/or situational factors has led to this condition. For instance, when a student was being referred to the counsellor in school his classmates made fun of him. Such things can affect the child psychologically, knowingly or unknowingly.

    A professor shared why she feels pity for today’s generation. She said that children are so engrossed with social media- Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat that they hardly get even two hours for revising the topics covered. Moreover, these children are burdened with getting good marks to meet expectations on them. Now that every 13 to 16-year-old teenager has a smartphone and all these applications are easily accessible, distractions due to notifications and messages received leads to less concentration on studying. Also, the social comparison can disturb a child's productivity to a great extent. “He is touring Switzerland and look at me, sitting on my couch scrolling my feed.” Sounds familiar?

    Added to this, is the expectations from parents to ace the Board Exams and make it into a reputed college. These stressors, many a time lead the children wrongly towards drugs, alcohol or smoking which can be harmful in the long run; both physically and psychologically. We have heard enough stories on the suicides that follow exam results.

    Beyond the academic worries, teenagers face a series of changes that they find hard to cope with. Dealing with puberty, handling new relationships, the importance of peers, change in preferences, rebellion to parents, facing an identity crisis, etc. can mess with the psychological well-being of the adolescent. When he/she seeks help and support away from parents, counsellors have a huge role to play.

    Are these not enough reasons why we the need counsellors in schools?

    What do these Counsellors do?

    1. Counsellors are present so that children can freely discuss matters which they would not able to discuss with their parents and they can ensure a strict confidentiality of information. For instance, many students may feel hesitant towards discussing their relationship issues with their parents or they may feel hesitant towards discussing their anxiety due to exams with their parents otherwise it may happen that the parents get tensed about their child's future. In such situations counsellors guide them so as to ward off those feelings and replace them with positive thoughts.

    2. The guidance provided by counsellor helps in the shaping the personality of the child. They shape the behaviour of the child in such a way that they maintain peace amongst their classmates, peers, parents, teachers and everyone surrounding him/her. There are cases in which the child does not behave appropriately with anyone or throws temper tantrums. A counsellor may acts as a saviour here. He/she can ascertain the cause of the defiant behaviour by talking to the child and his/her parents towards understanding the nature of the problem.

    3. Issues like drug abuse, alcohol or emotional abuse can be discussed openly with them. Proper guidance and counselling can help the child get out of it and effective recovery from the condition. As they are allowed to recognise their problems and think about it.

    4. Counsellors are brought in for discussion of issues like sex education, bullying, stress management etc. through seminars, workshops and individual counselling. For instance, in the case of stress management, they educate the children about various conditions that lead to stress and various ways to overcome them. This helps them be aware of and monitor their own behaviour.

    5. Counsellors help students having special needs to mingle with their classmates. They also provide referrals and recommendations to the parents about the mental concerns of their child. They may suggest them through different methods of parenting or if the child needs to be referred to someone like an occupational therapist, speech therapist etc.

    6. Counsellors also serve the function of providing vocational guidance to students about the career options for the child according to his/her aptitude and interests. This can be done through conduction of various aptitude, intelligence or personality tests. At the end of it, they will be able to elaborate on the child's ability and interest and guide him or her for choosing a career that would best suit the child.

     

    Students need to be given awareness about the availability of the counsellors in their institutions and how they can resolve the above mentioned mental conflicts with their help. Even parents should be encouraged by the institution to use the services of counselling not just for students but for how they can take care of their child’s psychological needs. Everyone needs to remain stress-free so as to enjoy this roller-coaster ride called Life.

  • 06 Aug
    Shubhanshi Singh

    Who is the best person to keep your secret?

    You run to your friend to tell her something that you expect her to keep confidential, as a 'secret'. Later that day, this secret of yours comes flying back to you through someone else. How does it feel? Sucks, right? Even family members betray us, sometimes. Ever told your mom a secret and she shares it with your dad? Ever told your brother a secret and he revealed it to your parents behind your back out of revenge over some stupid fight? We expect a guarantee of privacy and respect of confidentiality from people who we trust. We feel emotionally betrayed and upset when people don't stand up to our expectation. We start distrusting others as well and eventually become way too private. We become hesitant or uncomfortable when we have to disclose some of our secrets because of this history. Research has shown that self-disclosing to people you trust has a better impact on life, therefore, it is evident that inculcating this habit can lead to a healthier lifestyle.

     

    Why do people reveal secrets?


    1. Sometimes people reveal your secrets to others because they don't see any harm in doing so. They might unveil your secrets to people who don't know you (would it still be considered betraying?). It might help if your friend keeps your name anonymous while sharing your secret to the other person. But then, what's the need to talk about your secret at all, right? 

    2. Few people get carried away in conversations and before they know it, they have spilled the beans just to be a part of the conversation. It happens unconsciously, and it takes time for that person to realize that they made a mistake.

    3. There are people whom you call friends, but it's not the same from the other side. People are really good at pretending after all. It often happens that you share your secrets with people who hold a special place in your life but you don't mean as much to them. They don't mind revealing your secrets to others because they don't bother to care about your space and privacy.

    4. Sometimes, the problem is with us. We never learn from our mistakes. Many of us repeat the same mistake of trusting the person who had earlier leaked our secret. We give them the benefit of the doubt and dive into numerous leaps of faith on them. We hope that maybe this time they won't betray us. Never ends well, does it?

    5. Well, most people don't have a lot of people to share their secrets and feelings with. Therefore, they are left with no choice other than to go to this one friend again and again.

    6. Few others commit the mistake of trusting the wrong person because they are too excited to talk about this 'secret' that they forget to recall how much they suffered the previous time because of the betrayal.

    How to know if we should trust someone?

    Experience. Don't just blindly trust whoever comes your way. A new friend is less likely to understand the level trust that has to be placed so early. They don't know how friendship with you works, and they aren't even that close to you right now. Take time to build friendship and then after the foundation is strong, start by sharing little things and build your trust.
    The balance between revealing too much and revealing too less must be taken care of, as it varies from one person to person. There should be mutual self-disclosure for a healthy friendship. The theory of self-disclosure proposes that you tend to reciprocate because you assume that someone who discloses to you likes and trusts you. The more you self-disclose in turn, the more the partner likes and trusts you, and then self-discloses even more. This is the social attraction-trust hypothesis of self-disclosure reciprocity. The second hypothesis is based on the social exchange theory, which proposes that we reciprocate self-disclosure in order to keep a balance in the relationship: You disclose, therefore I disclose.

    Another way of knowing if the person is trustworthy or not is by observing if this person spills the secrets of other people to you or not. You might enjoy when this friend of yours leaks some other friends' secret to you but just pause for a second to think, what if he reveals your secrets to others as well? If he/she can do this his/her friends then why not you?

    I understand that it is difficult to evaluate who earns your trust and who doesn't. No one can guarantee 100% loyalty to you. Once or twice we all fail to keep things to ourselves, either intentionally or intentionally.

    How to get rid of this problem once and for all? 

    Trust yourself. Be your own friend. Who else can keep your secrets better than you? We all talk to ourselves all the time. Besides, when you are your own friend, you don't have to care about being judged. You can't lie to yourself, after all. It's very important that you exercise control over yourself when it comes to sharing information with others. Don't forget whom to trust and whom to not, just because you are too upset or too excited to share things. If you really need to express yourself, you can always write down your feelings on a piece of paper as your journal. This process of venting bottled up emotions is known as catharsis and helps in releasing feelings without having to depend on someone else.

    Responses 1

    • Sanjna Verma
      Sanjna Verma   Sep 06, 2017 06:36 PM

      This piece is very well written and you have very well brought out the fact that not everyone has that ability to keep the secrets to themselves. But yeah, it is also true that what is a secret there when you begin to share with various other people. We have a tendency to expess themselves and knowingly or unknowingly, we spill the beans which is not good. But finding people like them whom you can trust with or someone who can keep your secret previously is a task. If you confide into someone who betrayed you by telling your secret to everyone, there is you who are at fault. You cannot go on blaming others. I believe, a true confident is someone who does not interact with many people and who understands or I should say, empathise with your secret.