The Problem with Many Relationships in Life: We’re Nicer to The Strangers Rather than The Loved Ones

The problem with many relationships in life: we’re oftentimes nicer to the strangers rather than the loved ones.

Need some examples?

We are hesitate to tell the hard truth to colleagues, but we feel like we can tell whatever we want (with no filter) to our families.

We try so hard to be a good employee but we are careless to be a good daughter/son.

We make times for our random cool friends, but we don’t bother to make times (a real good quality times) with our old best friends.

And this is one final example that I often find in married couples: they tried so hard to be a good husband/wife material before they get married, but then they stop trying to become ones after they truly get married.

A friend used to tell me, “Many marriage fails because they both stop trying to impress each other after they get married.” And I find it so true in many other relationships in life too! Not to mention, the closer we are with someone, the less efforts we put to not hurting their feelings too. We don’t hesitate to reveal the worst part of us to the loved ones without considering how it will break their hearts.

Can’t you imagine how awful it might feel? No more good things to celebrate, only boredom and problems to solve. In this kind of relationship, being with them ends up feeling like a burden. It doesn’t feel like home, it’s not comforting and it doesn’t make us a happy person anymore. Until finally, we end up feeling depressed with our own relationships. We either want to run away or we’ve got to hold on and bear all the pains for some things that we deem as “the good reasons”.

I know that if feels good to be surrounded by the people who manage to love us unconditionally. We want them to love and accept us just the way we are. It’s actually human… but then we forget that they are too only a human. And what’s even more concerning is that we forget how love is also a work and love has to be earned not just in the beginning, but also in every single day of our life. A happy relationship is a never ending works and it might be the hardest work we should ever do in our entire life. We only need to work on it unless if we find that it’s okay just to be alone, and lonely.

Life is all about a balance, and so is a relationship. A balance between the comfort of being ourselves and the hard work to be the very best of us for the loved ones. I know for a fact that unfortunately, reaching this “balance” is always the hardest one.

Everytime it feels hard for me to deal with the loved ones, I told myself, “I don’t owe anything to any random people in the office nor any people who only text me a couple times in a year, but I owe a lot of things to my families and best friends.” And then I prioritize my resources (times, energy, and wealth) from there.

From now on, let’s try to do better for our loved ones. If we’re willing to listen to the strangers, listen to our loved ones too. Hear them out! And if we’re willing to work hard just to be “employee of the year”, why don’t we work as hard to be son/daughter or husband/wife of the year too? When we keep trying to be the very best version of us in anything in life, we do it not only for ourselves, but also for the people we care about.

This Is One Example How Life Always Has Enough Lemons to Throw

I am that kind of person who is trying so hard to always stay happy no matter how rough things get in my life. Just like this proverb says, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

It’s always easier said than done though. There is always that unpredictable event, happening over and over, that eventually makes happiness seems impossible. And here is one good example how hard it is to have just one happy day when life throws you a lot of lemonades in a row.

A few weeks ago, I was so excited to finally have a few days off from work. It’s not that I hate my job, it’s just that I’ve been working very hard in the past 6 months. Not to mention it was my first vacation after starting my new job with my current employer. I was hoping that upcoming long weekend would be able to recharge my energy.

The day before my vacation went smoothly in the beginning. I woke up early, almost finished packing my clothes to my luggage, I had a great morning laughing with my colleagues, and I also had a very delicious lunch at Fish & Co with some of them. And then after that decent lunch, something annoying happened to me.

My colleagues and I left Senayan City heading back to the office after having that delicious lunch at Fish & Co. We took a taxi; just one taxi for 5 of us. It was wrong, I know, but I thought it should be fine as long as we paid more to the driver (I already planned to pay him two times the meter). I just wanted all of us to go back to the office immediately and that one taxi was the only option we had that noon.

Apparently, the driver was not happy having 5 passengers in his cab. He could just say it out loud and clear, but he decided to harass us with inappropriate jokes instead! He asked one of us to sit on his lap, repeatedly. I was so angry I decided not to say a word. I really wanted to pullover and left that cab but then it would make the situation even more awkward for my team. So I could only stay silent in that cab and apparently, that driver was not happy with my silence (I sat on the front seat, right next to him). That impolite driver asked me over and over why I stayed quiet but of course, I stayed quiet anyway. When we arrived, I handed over the money, I slammed the door, and I walked away.

I told myself, “This should NOT ruin my good day!”

I spent the next few hours in the office hoping that I could go home early that day (by early, I meant 6 PM sharp instead of a long night like I usually had). Right at 6 PM, I packed my bag and I went home… still feeling excited for my upcoming trip!

But then another lemon was thrown at me. Just a few seconds after I sat on the cab that was taking me home, I received a phone call that made me realize that I was just trapped in a very difficult position between two groups of people who were equally important to me. I spent the next two hours on the phone, I let the food I ordered online got cold, and all that I could do that night was just escalating their problems to some other people whom I know for sure could handle that problem better than I did.

I felt a bit relieved and I continued eating my cold noodle quickly so that I could finish packing my clothes to my luggage. I was still very excited to go on with my family trip, imagining that I was gonna meet my nephew and niece very soon, but then again, life threw me another lemon that night.

Someone texted me and I instantly knew another bad thing just happened to me. Just like before, I was trapped in another difficult position that night. I tried to help, but then this person who texted me ended up scolding me just because I stood up for the person he hated. He asked me through his texts to take side and I just couldn’t take his side because the way I saw it, he was the bad guy in that office war. He was upset and he told me all the things he should never say to me in the first place. I started to get angry, he started to get panic knowing that I was upset to him, he called me over the phone, and he said he was sorry for saying all those things to me in his texts.

After that phone call, I told myself, “Life threw me a lot of lemons just in a day!” Just three horrible events in a day, but they were way more than enough to kill all the joy and excitement I felt inside. The phone calls have stopped but I just knew that all those problems had not been totally resolved that night. Soon after coming back from my trip, I would be coming back to all those uncomfortable situations. It was such a buzz killer, wasn’t it?

With that being said, no matter how angry and upset I was, it was totally wrong if I let my bad mood ruin the whole trip. I didn’t want to make my families felt uncomfortable with my bad mood. It was none of their fault anyway. So there I chose to ignore all those problems for a while and I’m so glad that I did that! It was definitely one of the greatest trips I’ve ever had! Nice hotel, great foods, decent pictures to come home with, and not to mention, I got to spend a great time with my big families all over that long weekend! It was that kind of trip that made me feel even more grateful for all I have.

Life will always give us reasons to be upset and sometimes, we don’t even have any control over it. Troubles could just happened out of nowhere and even a total stranger can ruin our good days too. No matter how well we’ve been doing, s**t happens anyway. But well, no matter what happens, stay happy anyway. If the options are between having problem and get depressed or having problem and stay happy, I will always be more than happy to choose the latter one. Always.

If I Were Born Rich…

All these hypes about Crazy Rich Asian leads me to wonder… what if I were born rich? What if my parents could afford a fancy school abroad? What if I had a family business to inherit? And what if I grew up with many crazy rich Indonesians all my life?

When I was kid, I was a very lazy kid. I often got bad scores at school and I secretly hid my test results underneath the clothes in my closet. What even worse, I often went early to school just to copy my smart friends’ homeworks! No wonder if my parents were very upset with me back then. Not to mention I was also very lazy at home too. I hated doing dishes, cleaning up my room and all those domestic stuffs at home. My Mom often told me when she was angry, “You should grow up as a rich person, you know! Otherwise, you won’t be able to hire a helper to clean your room!”

It all changed little by little when I entered high school. I started to make a solid plan for my future (otherwise, as my Mom said, I would not survive my own miserable life!). And then in the college, I studied very hard and I managed to graduate with a very decent GPA. I started my career a few months before graduation and it went so well I couldn’t be more thankful for all achievements I’ve earned by far. Life has been great in the past one decade and I can tell that I’m one of the happiest persons I know.

Question now: would I be as accomplished and happy as I am right now if only I were born rich many years ago?

I honestly doubt that I could be the same person as I am right now if my parents were crazy rich. Why? It’s simply because I was born lazy!

Wanting to have a decent life, comfort bed to sleep, see the world, and wear a nice outfit was my greatest motivation in the first place. The only reason why I started to fight my laziness was to get myself the comfortable life I always wanted. That would never be the same if I already had all those privileges since I was a baby! I wonder what would be my life motivation after all.

It’s a lie if I tell you that I don’t envy what I saw in Crazy Rich Asian movie, but still, that movie doesn’t change the fact that I am grateful for not being born in a rich family. Telling people how I started my career from the scratch has always been my most favorite stories to tell! I’m not ashamed to tell people how poor I once was and how I worked day and night to turn my life to be a better place to live in. All those prides and satisfactions would never exist if only I were born rich 31 years ago.

Be thankful of who we are. We are who we are for a reason, and we are the only person who can make the most of out life path. It doesn’t matter to me how I was born, but it’s very important to me how I live my life, right now, as a grown up.

I hope… I really really hope… I can keep making myself feel proud of myself until the day I die, someday.

If You Ever Have a Self Doubt…

So many years ago, I met one guy who completely changed the way I live my life. My self acceptance, life direction, and even the way I perceive anything fundamental that surrounds me in life has completely changed. With that being said, all the hard works to transform myself was definitely just on me.

It was me who pushed myself to work harder, faster, and smarter. It was me who endured all the pains just to make all may dreams happen. And most importantly, it was me who worked so hard to fight my self doubts. I made peace with myself and I found my way to deal with my very own insecurities.

All these years I’ve been trying so hard to make many people I know to believe in themselves. Oftentimes, they fail to see how good they are somehow. I want them to see what I see but it was never easy to convince people to have some faith on themselves. Until at some point I realize… there’s nobody can change them but themselves.

That boy I met was just a beginning, and the long road I took to be where I am was merely my decision that lead me to “the ending”. I chose to be better and that was only because I chose to believe that I could be better. From all decisions I’ve ever made in life, that was the best of the best decisions of mine and not a second I regret that I decided to take that hard and long road in my life journey.

Hence if you ever have a great doubt on yourself, never ever wait and hope that somebody will come along to change you. Even if that somebody comes into your life, at the end of the day, there is nothing they can do to change you. The decision and the hard works after that decision should be made and done by yourself. Having that kind of person can even be such a burden if it ends up feeling like you fail them for believing in you.

What if you are totally unsure if you can do it? Oh well, fake it util you make it, remember? As shown in a Nike ad; “It’s only impossible until it’s done. Just do it!”

It’s NOT My Job to Be a Likable Boss at Work

A few days ago, I read an article about tips and tricks to be liked by subordinates at work and I asked myself, “Is it really important to be liked by everyone in my team?”

The way I see it, I was not hired to be their friends and to be liked or loved by each and everyone of them. It’s never been my job to be a likable boss in the office.

My job is to train them, to pass them the knowledge I’ve learned in the past 10 years.

My job is to develop the next generation of leaders at work, to build a solid and strong legacy in the Company.

My job is to support them and to stand up for them when they are wronged. They should never feel alone in their battles at work.

My job is to coach them and to let them know the mistakes they did so that they will be able to learn from those mistakes (it might make them hate me, but again, it’s not my job to make them like me).

And finally, my job is to make sure that they are well appreciated for their hard works and contributions. It’s not their job to ask for promotion, bonus, or salary adjustment that they deserve, it’s mine.

If somebody in my team hates me for doing the right thing, if they forget all the good things I’ve done for them just because I fail to entertain them, then it’s not me, it’s them. It might not come out pretty in the hard times, but sometimes, desperate times call for desperate measures. Even with all those pressures and angers I throw, I’m just doing my job. And that is exactly my main job as a leader: lead my team to get the job done. And that’s that.

If He‘s Really that Into You…

Many girls are often in denial everytime the boys they like seem to give them a (false) hope. In case you’re wondering if you are one of those girls, read the points below and score yourself!

  1. If he’s really that into you, you won’t feel like you’ve got to make the first move. You don’t have to figure out how to let him know how you feel about him. Forget that voice in your head telling you that “he’s just shy”. Chances are, he’s not that shy, he’s just not that into you;
  2. If he’s really that into you, you won’t have to spend that much times just to stalk his social medias. He will be more than happy to tell you where he is and what he is up to. What’s even better, if he really likes you, you’ll be that girl he shows off in his social medias!
  3. If he’s really that into you, you won’t need to do all the efforts just to be right where he is. You don’t need to spend so much times to track him down hoping that you will bump into him along the way. If he has that feeling for you, he will find you! He will definitely take you out, he will want to have you right by his side;
  4. If he’s really that into you, you won’t need to get through all the hassles just to give him “the signs”. He doesn’t need you to push him to give all those signs right back to you. He will do his own things not only to give you his signs, but also to make it clear between you and him;
  5. If he’s really that into you, you don’t have to do some random things with some random guys just to see if he gets jealous. You won’t need that kind of assurance on how he truly feels about you, and that’s only because he clearly let you know where you both are standing; and
  6. If he’s really that into you, he won’t do anything that risks him of losing you. He won’t wait until he’s ready, he won’t wait until the right time comes, because for him, the right time is NOW!

The right man wouldn’t want to make you have any doubt about him. He won’t make you have to guess and to wonder. He wants to make you his. He won’t come and go anytime he likes to; he would love to be exactly where you are. He won’t need you to convince him, and he will pursue you on his own!

Love yourself enough to only love the man who loves you right. Real love is not supposed to be that complicated to begin with. If he can’t seem to make up his mind, then believe me, he’s not the one.

In Every Tragedy in Life, We Will ALWAYS Have These Two Options

One of my colleagues told me this one interesting insight. She said, “It’s amazing how 2 people with the same condition can have 2 very different outcomes. One fails, one succeeds.”

She also gave me one good example of her two friends whose parents suddenly broke until they had to sell their houses and started from the scratch. Her first friend spent the rest of his life wondering why it happened to him, blamed the universe for being terrible to him, and pretty much did nothing to make it right. The other one decided to move on and work hard to pursue his lifelong dreams.

I can always see my colleague’s point of view in so many other events in life.

Children from a broken home have 2 options: making their past baggages as an excuse to ruin their future or using it as a strength to pursue their own happy ending.

Employees who got fired have 2 options: letting their failures become their identities or learning from their mistakes and doing better in the coming opportunities.

Lovers who got cheated also have 2 options: feeling sorry for themselves or healing the pain and trying to believe and to love again.

What about my own life?

Oh well, I’ve actually had many rejections in my life too. In romance, friendship, and even rejections at work (one thing that I’m actually very good at). Horrible bosses who tried to make me feel small just because his own failure as a leader? I’ve been there too! Being called stupid and ugly was also a part of my past. And not to mention, my childhood was definitely not an easy one. I’m far from perfect but I’m glad that everytime this life knocked me down, I always chose to get back up on my feet again. And no matter how bad other people hurt and broke my heart, I always chose to never lose my faith in humanity.

So again, in every miserable condition, you only have two options: you let it make you a loser, or you come out as the winner. The choice is yours, and only yours.