Monday, October 10, 2011

Difference in demeanour

When we were discussing about the criticism and appreciation some of our friends were not comfortable with the concept of the criticism but did not say so openly. Many of them were not really sure about the role played by appreciation and criticism. I advised them to write their views if they found it difficult to express in front of all. When they were at ease the original thoughts were expressed which gave a fair idea about what do they feel about appreciation or criticism and how are they affected by them. I am mentioning here two extreme responses. One teacher writes that criticism is absolutely negative and should never be used while the other says that criticism is much better than appreciation. The first says that criticism will kill the enthusiasm of the person and the other says that appreciation will not let a person grow. They both seem to be right in their approach and the thinking but the third response appears to be balanced where the teacher writes that appreciation is the medicine which anybody can prescribe and administer but criticism cannot be prescribed or administered by everybody and an expert is needed for that who knows the best about the medicine and the person who is to be given this. After talking to all, the conclusion drawn was that the balance of the two will always be helpful the everyone.
While discussing this, one more point came to my mind and that was,how do the teachers and the parents act while dealing with their children? We thought and discussed about it and realized that yes, we do this but not always. All of us who work at home or outside come across many situations which make us happy or sometimes unhappy as well. All of us are involved not only in physical and mental labour but also emotional labour as well. Emotional labour is when we control our emotions deliberately to confirm to the society or the organizational norms. For example, a mother who had worked very hard all through the day and managed the house so well for the evening party and all of a sudden her son spoils the whole scene. As there are some guests already at her home so she controls her emotions of anger and still smile. Take the case of the airhostess and the waitress in a restaurant. They may not be happy with the behavior of some of their customers but will have to smile and say all good words because these are the norms of the company and they have to abide by that. Take the case of a teacher who has been working very hard with a child and even then he is not able to do well. The parents have been witness to the efforts made by the teacher but when the child does not do well they blame the teacher which makes the teacher feel bad but she still smiles and says that let us work hard with the child. Though the reaction of the parents was not appropriate but she being a teacher is expected not to react in the similar manner. These are some example I have taken but if seen critically it will be found that we have to control our emotions a number of times during a day. We also see emotional labour when a nurse has to smile even while tackling a difficult patient. There can be many more examples and we all experience them everyday. Emotional labour requires self control and self regulation. We have to act in a manner just opposite to what the feelings are, at that time. Is this not a sort of acting and do not we act so many times in a day? Is this acting good or bad? Emotional labour can be divided into two parts- surface acting and deep acting. The following examples will make them clear to us. In 1976 a film named "Small Change" was released which was based on the resilient children of a provincial school in France. In the end of the film, a reporter asks a question to a veteran teacher who worked very hard with the children that she must have enjoyed working with the children. Her prompt reply was no. When she was further asked that her behavior all through was so nice and good towards all kids she says that it was her duty to teach them and she was paid for that but that does not mean she liked working with them. This is an example of surface acting. In the other film titled "Not One Less", a young girl of age around thirteen was given the responsibility to act as the substitute teacher in a school. The children were almost of her age and she found it very difficult to handle them and was frustrated initially. Slowly and gradually, she started acting in a manner as she liked all the children and wanted to do everything possible so that they become better. After sometime she realized that this acting had become a passion for her and she would not react negatively in any situation. She was very comfortable with every child and when one of the child had runaway to work without completing his education she ensured that his return to the school is fruitful. This is the example of deep acting. The parents and the teachers who have surface acting are mostly stressed and frustrated. The other group of the parents and the teachers who have deep acting sense are happier and this acting becomes their habit which makes them to enjoy what they do or act.
So, it is important for all of us to understand that though we act so many times in a day but if the deep acting which initially is used to control emotions should become the habit and that will be helpful to us as well as others. The surface acting will always be a problem particularly for the self, so deep acting does not make you succeed in your task/profession but also cause minimum stress in the process.  

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