Paper tigers are real, and I will tell you why. In our desire to maintain some sort of sanity as we struggle through our daily activities in our pursuit of health, wealth and happiness, we sometimes create Paper Tigers, Chinese “tsuh lao fu.”
We will use this term loosely to include information, misinformation, disinformation and our personal interpretations of that which we encounter.
Furthermore, when someone wrongfully or unwisely passes information to us that is not accurate or is misleading, they may not realize the consternation that may result. Some folk do realize the damage they are inflicting.
All information is not gospel truth
We suffer unnecessarily when we accept information as gospel truth, when it may be tainted. All information that you don’t like should be mistrusted until you decide which part is factual and pertinent to your situation.
As a young man, I had a trusted older friend. I thought the world of this man and his mother and his wife. One of my teenage buddies told me that this friend had said some unkind things about me. This information tainted my friendship with the older man for the next fifty years. I never went to the dignified and respectable older man with this information. He would have been insulted and I was sure that he would never have said such mean things about me. The damage was already done either way. Was it intended? I don’t know – he is now dead. I didn’t go to his funeral.
Some folks see the world through rose-colored glasses, in which case most insults and slights generally don’t penetrate into their little world. This is akin to the divine providence that protects fools.
The opposite of the Rose-colored-glasses people are the “Eggshells”
We must “walk on eggshells” around some people. They are very sensitive people who are suspicious of your intent when they really have no reason to be. To have am amicable relationship with the Egg Shells, you must be the reconciler. We have to “handle” these Egg Shells carefully. Plan what to say and hope you can get past their misinterpretations. When you see the shadow cross their face, you must back-up and change course. The damage is already done. You might as well pack your tent and sneak off into your desert.
The all-important thing to remember about the Egg Shells is that they are extremely lacking in self-confidence and or self-worth. They feel threatened and vulnerable. These people read wrong thoughts into many of the everyday things that we say; they create their own misinformation. We never intended to convey the information that they decided they heard. They are hurt or insulted and we never know why. Please read the chapter “communications.”
There is no way to confront these people because they would be further offended if we were to fault them on how they misinterpreted our innocent actions. We now come to the group that we all fall into all too often, the careless, tactless, blundering oaf. For this reason, we need to examine our own clumsy and tactless approach to our interpersonal relationships. This is most evident in our boy-girl relationships.
We don’t understand the damage we inflict
Men often don’t understand the damage they inflict on a relationship when they blunder through life with their crude, coarse and “insensitive” approach to the woman’s viewpoints. Additionally, while I believe that men can never truly understand women, they can at least try.
Hillary Clinton made a statement that I thought was enlightening. She said that her and Bill started a conversation when they first met and it has never ended. This might help to explain their clinging together through all their problems.
Today’s multi-cultured world confronts us with many extremes. We need to learn to deal with this stress. We must work, play and live in conjunction with diverse personalities that were shunned, ostracized, or castigated in the past.
Our challenge is to develop an inner sense that will tell us when we are sending or receiving unintended or misinterpreted messages.
These Paper Tigers are real and they cause painful interpersonal damage.
Paper Tigers Are Real
Paper tigers are real
They disturb my sleep
Make my dining uneasy
Cause me uncertainties
These stalking beasts
In the cold clear light of day
Glowing eyes I see
Yet I give credence
To their power