Stop shitting around! #FridayReflections



We live in a culture where elders are given their due place of respect. No matter what, they are always right. Even if they are wrong, they are still right. Giving respect, allegiance and complete obedience to our elders is a sign of flawless character and parenting as well.

While this is a great rule to abide by for life, there are some serious problems with this divine expectation. I feel these distinct lines should be blurred as time goes by. Imagine a 40 yr old woman or man still being expected to stay subservient to elders. Even when they are being manipulated.

After some point of time in your life, you see through people´s bullshit. And you respect people not because of their age anymore but because of their actions. Respect for me is a tall word. I can be courteous to everyone but respect is reserved for a select few. People need to earn their respect irrespective of their wealth, position, success, gender or age. Different people respect different things – for some it´s money, for some power, for some talent, for some intelligence etc. You can respect the same person for different attributes. The primary factor to earn my respect is character. I cannot get myself to respect manipulative people. Hey! To my defence, they have all my courtesy.

The serious implication is that this psychological arm-twisting is a sure-shot sign of bullying to crush your confidence and reputation at one shot. Well, one thing that I have learnt by now, is to never bow down your head before a bully. Bullies comes in all shapes, sizes, colours and ages.  Always remember to never get intimidated by a bully. Or in some case, bullies.

Let me share this recent episode that I had with an elderly relative in the family. The incident is not an isolated event rather a connected one based on hearsay. Chinese whispers, you see! Anyway, this particular elderly relative (whose ways I can read like the back of my hand by now) calls me to clarify some piece of gossip that I apparently said about her. I immediately knew who the culprits were. There was not one but three mischief makers in this incident and the gun was pointed to my head. I told her very courteously to leave me out of this drama and gossip. I have no time or energy to indulge in this juvenile ´She said, He said´ business. Quite honestly, I meant that. I have no time for stupidity in my life. Anyway, she was taken aback by my firm request. I entertained no such talks. I told her categorically that she can call me anytime to ask about me and my family´s wellbeing. But kindly excuse me! I don´t have the patience for unnecessary drama in my life. She was shocked and couldn´t digest the fact that I had the nerve to take a firm stand. I called the second relative to blast him for the mess. Quite apparently, every one´s in a ´You scratch my arse, I scratch yours!´ deal. Also, people won´t change until their conscience pricks them hard enough to do so. As for the biggest culprit who is the third relative (yet another elderly figure), she is known for being a notorious mischief maker, chronic liar and an airhead. I couldn´t  care any less to clarify anything with her. Why? Because as George Bernard Shaw says –

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.

I´ve stopped hanging out with pigs and hovering around their shit like a fly, a long time ago. And this applies to anyone and everyone, not particularly elders.

Do you feel the way I do? I would love to know your thoughts and experiences.


Friday Reflections is a link up hosted by Shalini at KohlEyed Me  and Corinne at Everyday Gyaan


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Tina Sequeira
Tina Sequeira is a marketer and moonlighting writer. She is passionate about tech, creativity, and social justice—dabbling in and writing about the same.

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  1. Thanks, for this post! Just hit in time. I, too, have someone in my life that is elderly, i love, but is manipulatuve.
    She says one thing, uses me, and because of her age, I have to let it go.
    I am 53. I have feelings too. Yet, why am I forced to allow myself to be manipulated because she is older?
    Just today, I put my foot down. She will be the way she is on her own terms. No more participation from me. I will not be disrespected by any one. I am a grandmother of a 8 month old grandson. You disrespect me, you disrespect him.
    Then bye.

  2. I grew up with this belief that respect has got nothing to do with age but is dependent on someone’s behavior and actions. My father has been instrumental in making me believe this. I am often considered as disobedient or rude for answering back or raising questions with elders. It is indeed such a sad norm that just because someone is elder to us, they are considered to be always right. Very relevant and crisp post Tina.

    • Your father raised you right, Sonia! It is important to stand up for yourself and what is right. Often, it is otherwise. In India especially, I feel this is the way generations were raised. Which is in most cases, is good and how it ought to be. But, when there are manipulative forces within the family, one needs to be vigilant and firm about few things. And playing to the beat of these manipulative forces only because they happen to be elderly makes one submissive all along. That´s now how we want to be as adults. Quoting Rabindranath Tagore, as adults, we want our minds to be without fear and head held. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Sonia and keep writing 🙂

    • Corinne, I think its everywhere you go. You come across all kinds. I took the case of elders and relatives within the family here as a case point. I´m tempted to do another version of the same prompt with online harrassment as the focus. But, I guess the Friday reflections link is closed. Or is it still open for today? If it is, I would love to pen down part 2 of the same prompt..:) Coming to relatives, its tricky because at the end of the day, you´re still family. What I´ve learnt is to safeguard my family´s interests and some lines should not be crossed by manipulative elders or relatives. Its not done. As you rightly said, one needs to be firm about certain things and the message has to be loud and clear. 🙂 Thank you!

  3. Tina you just wrote what I have been feeling lately. Infact, a month before I was so bugged up with people and their manipulation expertise that i googled the article how manipulative people think and work.
    Unbelievably I discovered that I am being manipulated through 10/10 reasons .
    I started playing defensive as well as took firm stand at some places BUT to no avail. They came out clean because they are elder to me and I could not argue beyond a certain point due to their age and relation with me.

    • Hi Joy! It is tricky when you are dealing with manipulative people at an older age group and especially in positions of power. One needs to tread with caution for sure while taking care of one´s interests as well. They are everywhere as I said….its how we draw certain lines and boundaries and recognise the genuine ones from the fake. Thank you so much for writing and sharing your thoughts. Keep stopping by! 🙂

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