Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Say No To Hitler Style Relationships

If anybody had to get a hindsight of who Hitler was as a leader and as a person, then learning about him through his sayings would be a flashback of terror. Most of his quotes on waging a war, leadership and governance, revolutions, and struggle are passionate, but also pugnacious. Hitler seemed to be a man defined by extremism and belligerence, which may have been a boon to the Nazi rule. As a leader, Hitler would be always remembered as a great warrior and an authoritarian for whom victory was a battle of conquest. However, most of us may know little about him as a person. Walter S. Zapotoczny’s Hitler’s Leadership style: The undoing of Germany mentions, ‘‘Hitler combined his insistence on personal control with a leadership style that often consisted of equal parts stubbornness and indecisiveness.’’ Hitler’s such mental state and emotional behavior is a subtle revelation of his psyche and selfdom, which also forms a contour to his relationship style. 

Not surprisingly enough, but leadership is an offshoot of relationships. In addition to the domain of traits and skills, leadership is a pilotage of emotions that navigates feelings to purpose. A positive leadership builds, strengthens, and defines relationships through exchange of ideas, fair participation, and welcoming change to adapt to newer styles. Such facet is an important dimension in relationships, which helps sustain a healthy and open minded lifestyle. In my view, hearty living starts with wholesome relationships where nourishment of feelings is generated through independence and providing space to people so that love flows naturally and not superficially. Feelings of control, superiority, and spurious means to provocation have no seat in a proactive relationship. Moreover, respect being a predominant aspect in relationships is not demanded, but earned through love and giving way to trust so that any relationship that starts fresh should not end while it’s still in its cocoon. Such principle is universally applicable, whether in love, or marital relationships, between parents and children, with in-laws, among friends and co-workers, or acquaintances. 

Also, nurturing relationships is a long drawn process that should begin on a leveled surface. When we enter into new relationships, thoughtful and careful dealings lessen our emotional stress of adjusting to a new way of life. For instance, a new bride hopes to enter her groom’s family with aspirations of affinity and not abomination. In parent-child relationships, clogging a child’s autonomy through excessive control hurts a child’s psychological development and emotional expression. Being a watchdog as a parent is certainly fair, but exceeding our relationship beyond limits where a child’s expression is controlled, or manipulated seems inappropriate. In marital relationships, sharing of equitable status among the couple goes miles in building the character of their marriage as an institution of love and faith. Giving dent to feelings periodically, carefully listening to each other, providing breathing space and scope to operate autonomously are some ways to sustain a healthy relationship.

It is important to note that keeping our emotions in check when in a relationship is more productive than controlling the relationship itself. Control freaks do not last forever. Their aggression ends relationships in a sour taste. A participative style of dealings is always better than harsh motives of conquering the relationship. Such preventive measures make a relationship more receptive and meaningful.  Healthy relationships infuse us with positive energy and give a humanitarian face to our feelings and not an egoistic visage. Hence, learning a lesson from a bygone era is to begin refinement of old habits and practices to set ourselves in motion for change.  History is reminiscent of Hitler’s relationships being disturbed since early childhood years with his liking for giving orders. His eccentric behavior and his additiction to creating emotional extremism through his eloquent speeches would put his audiences into a near state of hysteria besides emotions of anger and hate that often resulted in acts of violence. Hitler, however, would be remembered as a powerful personality and an impressionist, but his relationships shall always remain a predicament. For all of us, nonetheless it is time we extirpate the hidden Hitler in us, so that healthy relationships today ascend us to a state of fruition tomorrow. 

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  1. as usual, a good post
    had recently watched a rerun of the movie 'The Boy in Striped Pajamas' & was so moved.
    How could he (Hitler) inflect such pain & suffering on others?

  2. Thank you Sujatha. If I have the time, I am going to watch this movie. Thanks for sharing. Hitler was a great warrior and for times to come he may be remembered for his skills as a soldier. But Hitler would also be remembered always for his tyrannical dictatorship. Guess some people are like that. They like to abuse power.

  3. Wonderful piece of writing. You've noticed a relationship from very close quarters and your conclusions are up to the point. Keep up the good work.


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