The Enemy We Don’t See


I don’t think the biggest roadblock between us and happiness is stress. Or emotional turmoil. Or even too much work. I think it is simpler and more dangerous than that.

I met a man the other day who started a conversation on this note: “Today is a big day for me. I have crossed 5000 friends on Facebook. Isn’t that cool?” Super cool, I nodded. I felt like setting him a memory test that would need names to be matched to faces. But I refrained. I knew he would fail.

Have our standards of achievement really fallen so much? How is it a success if you have tons of friends and nobody to turn to when you are un-glamorous and poor?

Every now and then, I am quizzed about being quiet. Whether everything is fine with me and exactly why I don’t “mess” or “mix” around more. I don’t see how it is right to expect everyone to be boisterous, breathing down everyone else’s neck and generally having a “blasting good time” all the time. If I like being silent or doing my own thing, why is it so hard to expect that as my personal choice?

The only explanation I see is this – some people are so insecure that they see introversion as arrogance or a judgment on their abilities to “socialize”. This constant insecurity, harping about achievements and narrating glorifying or mock-comic tales to entertain – it stresses out the perpetrator more than they know!

Several people today wear their hearts on their sleeve – or on their social media timelines – and hang around in fun groups during the office lunch hour (and every other hour!). They go around moping about how they had fewer likes on their profile picture than the “bestie” and how the weather has been more depressing than usual. In reality, the sun shone and the winds blew and they could have seen all this from the window had they only been quiet for a second or two.

Sigh! The biggest enemy of our happiness is simply Too Much Noise.



44 thoughts on “The Enemy We Don’t See

  1. I quite like the stuff you write here on ‘paneerandpulao’. Just for the info, I do like paneer and pulao too 🙂 are you from pune? tho’ your name suggests you are more from west bengal 🙂 Good to meet you Debo!

    • Hello and welcome to P&P! Delighted that you like it here 🙂

      I have been in Pune long enough now to be called a Pune-ikar 🙂 Yes, I am Bengali but originally from Delhi. Good to meet you too. Hope to see you around!

  2. So true. You forgot to add What’sapp to the noise. I am so tired of people exchanging jokes and silly tidbits all the time. These days I am almost completely offline (except for the blog), and am perfectly content being the quiet one in the office

    • Oh yes, WhatsApp is another big pain! What’s stranger is how some people get all offended when you don’t participate in these massive groups! 😛
      Cheers to silence and peace and quiet, Nish. 🙂

  3. Perfectly said!! I have faced the similar situation so many times tat I’ve now lost count! People don’t really understand the glory of silence..

  4. It’s so pompous, getting over the top with selfie re and the amount of FB friends we have. It’s quite crazy. It reminds me of a girl a college, someone’s acquaintance, who was selected for MBA telling my friend how she asked her Dad for new laptop, expensive phone and what!! She was like, she will earn crores post studies. We become slaves, without realizing.

  5. haha!! So very true, sometimes,I just prefer to stay behind the screens and have a nice smile to myself when I’m all alone!!That’s when I think I’m happy, yes socializing is good, we are all humans who need t interact but certainly not the extent that your only aim is to have a friend list crossing human socializing abilities!!!I personally don’t spend my precious time on fb !!!I feel there is too much drama in there,especially when a friend of mine, no lets say acquaintance updated her states that she colored 10 strands of her hair purple and whether we will like it?/I was like, your hair, your color, your choice ..just don’t bug my life!!!

    • Haha, couldn’t agree more Brunda. I have “friends” who post pictures of what their husbands gifted them on their birthday, anniversray, Saturday and World Dog Day. It’s funny when it’s not irritating. 😛
      I think your attitude toward the situation is perfect. Keep things in moderation. If only more people would realize how this “socialising” is emptier than they realize!

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment. 🙂

      • WOrld dog day??Oh my,that’s hilarious:) like I always believe ,not everyone needs to know what you wear and tear!!!Balance would be perfect though an impossible task but still doable:)
        Oh I loved your post as always and definitely deserves showers of lovely comments:)

    • Haha…ya….I had a friend who sent smses….whatsapp messages….and constantly updated her FB status….for suggestions for her child’s name. Mind you, both boy and girl name!

  6. first it was excitement, trying to keep in touch with lost friends,then it became an addiction, after sometime, seeing others enjoyment in form of photos, made me think everybody seems to have a great life except me.. it was making me sad.. later I stopped using FB so frequently.. from checking the update every hour to once a week.. now once a month.. 😉

  7. This is why I deactivated my fb account long back. The whole world seems to be living it up on fb…and then…our introverted and subdued life suddenly seems painful. Lets face it…who doesn’t want many many likes and comments on their pics and posts? Very few ask themselves…is it necessary or does it change anything?

    • It doesn’t change a thing except perhaps gives some people a false sense of comfort or “full-ness” – like how you feel after drinking too much Coke. I don’t know if deactivating social media accounts is what many people would choose. Anyhow, it’s great if that brought you peace as I am sure it did. 🙂 I too tire of all the razzmatazz every now and then!

  8. This is so true Debo..These days people do so much to get likes and attention.Do you know how I tackle this noise? I unfollow people..Out of my 1000 friends,I follow just 50 😛
    Trust me it works peace

  9. That was like reading about me! I have always been generally quiet and introverted, and I also do a lot of thinking. Most of the “outgoing” people I have met on my journey have been rather shallow simply because they either do not like to think, or do not want to think. I have no problem with a social mix, and would in fact suggest it is necessary, however, I won’t expect you to change…………….. and I also don’t expect you to expect me to change. Change, if/when it happens will be entirely voluntary! 🙂

    As for “noise”? For me silence is golden but, for others, it is clearly deafening. Such a shame!
    Great Post! 🙂

    • Hola there fellow introvert! 😉
      I absolutely agree with your submission on change. It should be voluntary otherwise it will just not stay! It will be something we do to conform and generally be troubled about the decision. I too respect and accept all the social mixing that extroverts perform – yes, it may even be necessary every now and then. But this group (large group!) shouldn’t expect anyone else to mandatorily be like them.

      You described silence so beautifully. It can be deafening for those who refuse to enjoy it.

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