The story is told of an old Cherokee who told his grandson, ‘My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It characteristics are anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego. The other is good. And its hallmarks are joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth.’ The boy thought about it, and asked, ‘Grandfather, which wolf wins?” The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”
A major misconception about etiquette is that it consists of a rigid set of annoying rules that infringe on the liberty of the individual. Little wonder it is largely misconstrued. In reality etiquette according to its definition provides a perfect guide on how to succeed in life by building lifelong relationships. The interpersonal skill is guided by our words, appearance and action.
The Holy Book warns that by our words we are either justified or condemned. By implication nobody wants to be around foul-mouthed fellows because their words are injurious to our sensibilities. Same thing applies to our appearance; looking good is good business. Action, we are told speaks, louder than words. Therefore, what we do outweighs our utterance.
In recent years, success has been redefined to embrace issues which were hitherto considered sapless. Prior to now, it was generally assumed that professional success was predicated on hard issues, competence and technical skills. The millennium with its accompanying globalization has ushered in a revolution in human interaction. Social skills which were hitherto underrated have taken unimaginable preeminence. The supremacy contest between technical and people skills has stimulated unprecedented complexity leading to a re-evaluation of seemingly primordial principles.
The secret behind extraordinary results is increasingly traceable to social skills and self-management. Emotional intelligence teaches us to constantly appraise our inner feelings to enable us manage and subdue the inner turmoil while exhibiting on the outside the appropriate behavior.
Ancient Greek mythology recognizes hubris as the behavior that defies the norms of behaviour, which leads to the downfall of the perpetrator. Admittedly, anything outside of standard, in the form of an untamed weakness consumes the individual. This is where self-awareness, which processes the impact or potential consequence, is imperative.
The evil wolf seemed to have gained the upper hand in the year 2017, having been generously fed with huge doses of spousal murders, suicides, flagrant disregard for ethical practices, rules of engagement by the police and paramilitary forces aside several instances where our revered lawmakers contributed a large chunk to the unpalatable menu, in the hallowed chambers. All these are pointers to a gross deficiency in social graces borne out of yawning gaps in essential life skills. The predator blossomed under the harsh economic circumstances taking captive victims of emotional hijack.
The ingredients of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, and self-control, empathy and respect for others. Socially smart people are conscious of the tipping point in any given situation, recognize their strength and weaknesses with a positive ambience for feedback.
Etiquette rides on the good wolf in us, teaching us to value everyone. Social awareness appreciates how others in our environment feel, being mindful of the impact of actions carried out. This must be understood cognitively and where there are divergent views, the ability to respect others and place them on high value ensures we remain socially tolerant.
Etiquette thrives on self-efficacy, consistently building up the sunny side of our existence while managing the blind spots.
Social graces help you feed the good wolf. As the year draws to a close, you can purpose to roll back the gains of the evil wolf raging within, irrespective of what the future holds and craft a personal policy of self-mastery and continuous improvement. A deliberate check on emotional impulses ensures the desired outcome is achieved without inhibition. Bolster your social skills by nourishing the good manners and making a good impression. Fortify your confidence to help the good wolf trample upon the low self-esteem plaguing many people around. A smile is a good supplement, diffuses tension even when it is fake as the body does not recognize if it is real or cosmetic.
Feed the good wolf and let’s kick out evil