Tantrums the adult way

It is common knowledge that infants cry for their meals, sleep and for attention. Adults run to their bid for they know that the babies have no other means of making themselves heard.  These very same children start crying and throwing tantrums once they realize that these fetch them pretty much what they want. The smarter ones learn that the possibility of their demands being met is directly proportional to the more public the display of tantrum for it is easier for parents to shut them up rather than bargain with them. I have also found that the child who is more manageable, malleable and flexible is often asked to sacrifice more for the sake of its boisterous sibling, cousins and friends with words that are merely a ‘placebo’ for the child.

I was always under the impression that this wonderful tactic of fulfilling one’s demands is generally short lived and people do outgrow the same. I have been wrong.  The tantrums remain in many of them and surprisingly they still get their way. These smart people learn that there are other ways to get their way besides shouting and crying. Sulking, non- cooperation, rudeness, ignoring and the glorified silence are some of the strategies they adopt on the naive.

Take the example of a supermarket. You the gullible, will be waiting patiently in the queue at the checkout counter. There comes a smartly dressed person who sports a glazed look and conveniently bypasses all those waiting to hand over just one small item or few small items to the person in charge of billing and lo and behold the person has his/her bills made out unless of course you make a hue and cry. Most of the times, you don’t for you are too flabbergasted by the sheer temerity that you are still groping for the right words and the deed is done!

Be it a bank counter or the parking space, the muscle power er….the power of this inner strength works. The more courteous you are, the more you are taken for granted.  Even remuneration is commensurate to bargaining power and this phenomenon cuts across classes, right from maids to Managers!  The more stoic and demanding your demeanour, people are afraid to cross you and they lean towards pacification rather than confrontation.

Non-cooperation is another tool that the knowledgeable adopts. If they don’t like working in a particular team, the lesser they work.  They continue this Gandhian principle till they get their way mostly to the position of their choice.   Happy are the lot who use these kinds of strategies for they have learnt over time that you are rewarded for your adroitness. The other not so smart ones are taken as pliable, meek, cooperative, flexible and patient and most often than not their wishes and demands are overlooked. These so- called virtues become your undoing.

The examples are many and needs more research. To conclude, the more noise you make, you tend to be noticed more and subtlety no longer works.   Or does it?


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