Rigidity – Not a Recipe for Happy Living


How many of us are rigid in our lives? Not sure about it? Read further..

Rigidity comes because we believe that doing a thing in one particular way is right while there is ‘N’ number of ways to do things. It is just that people aren’t able to get out of their beliefs and be open to accepting certain other behaviors around. There is nothing called RIGHT and WRONG. What is right and what is wrong is relative.

Examples of rigidity:

  • This is how you should keep your house. Keep these things in this place, that place.
  • I am beautiful is also a rigid way of thinking.. Be ok with accepting when someone says you aren’t beautiful.
  • Instructing your kid to study daily and asking him/her to be more planned in life – Haven’t you seen your kid getting frustrated when you do this? (Will you study for your office related things or your business related things every day in a planned manner? Why don’t you do that? Oh might be you are tired after coming from office. Yes the kid is as well tired after going to school and playing for some time after that. Understand the kid’s expectations and strike a deal with the kid as to when it can study and help it out rather than posing a rigid constraint “you have to study daily”. You would love to read but the RIGID factor of doing it every day would make you feel irritated to do it. Anything when done in a rigid way bears no fruit. If there is flexibility and if you tell your kid “You haven’t studied today. It is ok. Have fun today but do study tomorrow..” This way kid will feel motivated to do things.)
  • Not willing to try/experience something because we THINK it wouldn’t be useful. (Here thought process is rigid because it isn’t being flexible to try out different things in life)
  • If something is said, you should do it immediately (Why so? Are your priorities and my priorities the same? Rigid beliefs/thinking will only strain relationships. This happens especially when elders say something. They are the ones to point out immediately “When elders say, you have to do it immediately”)
  • Rigidity on money aspects – you might be well planned financially and every rupee might count to you. But if your son or daughter loses some money say Rs.5000 or even Rs.5,00,000, be flexible enough to accept it. Don’t be rigid saying “you have done a sin. Money is hard earned. Money is earned out of much struggle in life”. Some situation might have triggered them to lose it. Be it their mind that was preoccupied, or be it their carelessness, or be it their memory that would have failed them at that moment. It was all unintentional. It is just because of the beliefs you have about money, you react like this.
  • ‘N’ number of societal rigidities
    • Woman expects her man to be very informative. (Knowing something is again interest based. One might be too much inclined towards technology that he will not care about politics. Other might be inclined towards something else. Other might be inclined towards knowing everything that is happening in this world.)
    • Living together is a sin (The society in which we are brought up considers it to be a sin. Hence we think that way. If in case our kids end up that way, we have two options – either to be flexible and accept or to be rigid and suffer.)
    • Caste –> Traditions –>Firm Believers or Believers in some traditions (They wouldn’t be able to accept any deviations from the norms defined in the traditions)
    • You shouldn’t sit cross legged in front of elders (It is purely ones comfort to sit that way)
    • The horoscope says this and so you must follow it. Eg: Horoscope says that you must avoid driving for next 6 months. (Many of us don’t understand that our mind is more powerful than the planetary motions. Even if the planetary motions decide certain things in life, our mind is more powerful to overcome it. By believing in the horoscope, I feel that the capabilities of our mind are restricted to a larger extent)
    • I will have to make my Kid study hard so that it can compete in today’s world. (The flaw is in the education system. Why do you really want to screw your kid’s life by doing that?)
    • Buy something while visiting a relative’s home (In many places, what you buy is directly proportional to the lasting of your good relationship)
    • Buy Horlicks while someone is in hospital irrespective of whatever their illness is. (Horlicks gives strength is what they say. Fine. It is useful when someone is dehydrated or is lacking energy. But why do you buy Horlicks when someone has a fractured hand or when someone has an asthma attack or when someone has an injured shoulder)
    • Buying/Wearing gold is a sign of prestige             

And many more societal rigidities……………………

By being rigid, you lose your flexibility and thereby your peace of mind. Rigidity in any form is not a recipe for happy living

Have we really introspected on what we are rigid about? When someone says we are rigid, we immediately say “I am not rigid”. By saying that immediately, we safeguard our image from getting spoilt and our mind from thinking deeply. Instead, when we listen when people say that we are rigid and when we tell them “I will introspect on this”, it gives us a better realization.

Steps to overcome rigidity:

1)      The first most important thing in changing ones behavioral traits is ACCEPTANCE of what you have already. Accept that you are being rigid towards certain things

2)      Have a conscious check on whenever you do your rigid activities or whenever you stress upon others to follow the activities in the same rigid way

3)      Have a small board at home or black chart or diary and note down all the things you are rigid about

4)      See that diary or board and tell yourself “It’s ok if these activities are done in a different way or if these activities are done a little later.” If you see someone doing a set of activities in a different way, just ignore them and tell yourself “What if they do it that way. It doesn’t matter”

By doing these, you are just conditioning your mind. By conditioning your mind, you can change the way you live.

Reiterating the crux of this post – Being Rigid in any form is definitely not a Recipe for Happy living

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2 Responses

  1. Acceptance is the key to harmony. Well said.

  2. First welcome back! After 2 years you have got some space in that sprawling head to blog.

    You have launched a tirade against almost everything we are asked to hold as values in this “society”. I happily second it and join your movement. But in my life I had to give-in at most of times to some of the above.

    Rigidity might not be the recipe but discipline is.

    Horlicks..Lol. For every hospital admit Horlicks earns something!

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