Tag Archives self development

Untangling from Drama

Untangling from Drama

This week’s #TryThisThursday will resonate with a lot of us. This week’s assignment is to “Untangle from drama. No one can ruin your day without your permission.


Who hasn’t had to deal with drama and came out the worst for wear? Who haven’t felt their energy almost completely drained after such a situation. Who hasn’t felt the depression setting in and the self doubt rising?

After such a draining situation, I usually tend to feel so low that it takes me days to recover from those ugly experiences. Not the last time I was dragged into drama; though. I was actually able to recover within minutes. I’ll tell you why.

The market in Bahrain is quite challenging. We continuously have to re-invent ourselves in order for us to create new opportunities that actually create new markets. Or we have to heavily invest in upgrading our skills and knowledge in order for us to maintain our edge and deliver a better product and service to our clients.

Few clients appreciate that, unfortunately, but those who do, we hang on to with all that we’ve got. They’re the ones who allow us to grow together. The clients that don’t are those who believe that in order for them to win, they have to ensure that we lose. Those we tend to let go of quite happily.

Both situations are clear cut and I’ve been in business long enough not to let those negative situations affect me much. In fact, we celebrate when we fire a customer just as hard as when we win a good one.

The issue I was faced with recently was with neither; however. Though someone connected. It was with someone who is neither but finds himself in a position of influence. And he would rather use that position to bad-mouth us – me personally – rather than do the responsible thing of at least bothering to find the facts and base his position on knowledge rather than conjecture.

I have come across his negative “influence” twice before. The first with a project that we took on as part of our CSR initiative at deep discount and has become delinquent due to customer inaction. The other was him raising doubts in the mind of a customer that our pricing was unreasonably high by conveniently neglecting to factor in the level of expertise, skill and intellectual property required to bring such a project to life. His thinking was that if a bolt cost $0.50, why should the installation of an aircraft wing, which the bolt is part of, cost so much more?

How would you deal with such a situation?

I talked to him; and he came out as sweet as honey and as understanding as a best friend. But immediately I turned my back, I felt the dagger dig even deeper in my back.

After the last interaction, I felt myself going into that depressed state once again. I do take things personally in these situations. How I deal with them is that I tend to try to get people to understand the situation more fully by sharing all relevant information and also share methodologies and pricing structure. I suppose this is me going on the defensive in an attempt to justify myself.

This time; however, as I was sliding into that ugly state, I actually stopped myself with a simple but poignant question: what was the silver lining in this situation? I was looking for a thing to be grateful for from this experience. It was the 11th day of my 90 Days of Gratitude commitment and thinking of things to be grateful for was becoming a habit. The answer was nothing short of a watershed moment for me.

My realisation was that his negativity was his persona and his method of living. Not mine. Negativity was engrained in his character. It was not my flaw. I would never be able to change that person’s negativity.

This is the deep realisation that allowed me to immediately move on!

The sense of wonder and peace I felt then were tremendous. I chose to be positive which immediately opened up a horizon that was bigger than myself and allowed me to look into the situation from a macro perspective, and arrive at a conclusion.

I did not give him permission to ruin my day. Rather, I would rather like to thank him for the opportunity he has given me to discover this new way of looking at things. A path that is more grounded and more worthy of treading, than the unconstructive, unwarranted, unneeded and destructive self blame and doubt.

That is how I was able to untangle from drama.

To celebrate that discovery, I recorded this on the 11th day of my 90 Days of Gratitude journey:

grateful for the realisation that rather than justify myself to a perennially negative person, I recognised the fact that their negativity is their inherent trait rather than my character flaw. This allowed me to move on.

I’d love to know your experiences in how you untangled yourself from drama. Please share your experience here.

Wishing you a completely drama-free life!


Swimming with the fishes. PADI Open Water Diver I shall be!

Swimming with the fishes. PADI Open Water Diver I shall be!

Hear this. I don’t much like the sea, generally. Read that as I’m some what afraid of it. Terrified actually; however, embracing the “do something that scares you every day” mantra and at the behest of a nag of a friend who drove our whole EO Bahrain forum to take up the challenge, we dove right in and signed up for the PADI Open Water Diver course. The course being run by another friend’s company, Environment Arabia, didn’t hurt. We knew that we would be taken care of. Little did we know the amount of work we needed to put in!

PADI diving training day 1 with Environment Arabia's Alexandra Pawson

Day One started at 9.30 and immersed us into the PADI Open Water Diver text book and its five modules; theory, charts, calculations, water properties, pressure, underwater behaviour, diving computers and plenty of other concepts – a lot of which were foreign to us – yet expertly explained by our instructor Alexandra Pawson and adequately comprehended by us. My guess is that if we retain 20% of what was delivered, we’d most definitely have much more survival chances than what we started with, and be able to enjoy the underwater environment to boot.

Alexandra Pawson, our PADI certified diving instructor

Alexandra has been diving for most of her life. Her passion was quite evident and contagious, though she definitely is a strict task master and doesn’t take crap from us neophytes. I’m also convinced she’s got webbed feet which I’m sure will come really useful when we actually get out to the open water tomorrow.

Once the PADI certified test was done just before lunch, we got more of the practical on-land instruction, a full briefing of the exercises we were about to do in the pool and the expectations. At this point, my apprehension was actually magnified at least three fold! If I had been terrified of the sea before I started this gig – thank you JAWS! – I was absolutely petrified by now.

The instruction was very clear and specific on the various things that could go wrong in a dive and how those dangers must be mitigated with good habits, the adoption of specific systems and very strict safety measures which must be adhered to at all times. Familiarity with basic diving equipment was required. We had to assemble and then dis-assemble all the gear under the watchful eyes of the instructor and her assistant and we had to do this several times. Once that was done, off to the swimming pool I went to start the practical side of things.

athari spring bahrain - عين عذازي البحرين

The very first thing I needed to do was prove that I was an adequate enough swimmer. I think “adequate” is a good word to describe my swimming acumen. The way I learnt to swim was a dream that I could do so when I was a child, and plunging into the deep end of the Athari natural spring based on that conviction, only to drown, save for the kind gentlemen who recognised my flailing arms and disappearing form underwater was anything but swimming and decided to intervene by dragging me into the shallow end. I couldn’t fail now though! I had to do it! So through a combination of bravado and every combination of swimming style I had, I managed to do the required length to the satisfaction of the instructor. Elegance aside.

The moment I was waiting for had finally come. We were instructed to strap on the BCD (see, I’m even talking the lingo now!) which is the Buoyancy Control Device, put the regulator in our mouths and put our heads into the water and try to breathe. To say that was awkward at first is an understatement. The realisation after a while that one can actually breathe underwater was shocking! Yes, I know that’s what the equipment was supposed to do, but physical experience is a different thing. By the end of the session – and guzzling two full cylinders worth of air – I was getting more comfortable with the breathing apparatus and my continuous presence under water.

We conducted many exercises which will actually be repeated in the open sea. I found a number of those exercises easy enough to do but had considerable difficulty in others. I couldn’t get my balance, for instance, although I strapped on a number of weights and got help adjusting them. I don’t know if people get to be naturally more buoyant one way or the other, but I experienced continuously tipping forward or backwards. By the end of the lesson I felt better about my balance and buoyancy and realise without a doubt that there is considerable room for improvement.

The exercise of removing the re-wearing the BCD on the surface was difficult and I couldn’t do it. Fortunately, Alex was patient enough to demonstrate other methods of achieving the same result which I was able to follow. Having a professional there to demonstrate how those could be done, calmly, was invaluable and reassuring.

Of course, we were required to do those exercises both on the surface and underwater. I found the underwater iterations easier to accomplish and will become easier with experience. It will be very interesting to re-do those exercises in the open water as the buoyancy will be much different at sea than it was in the pool.

By the end of the pool session my confidence grew, and with that confidence the level of terror I had started with has certainly lessened considerably. I’m actually looking forward to experience diving in the open sea to discover a completely new and different world.

The major insight I gained during the training is this simple fact which I absolutely didn’t know before I started: the BCD is key to a safe dive. It can be inflated when at the surface to help you stay afloat, and that inflation quantity can be minutely adjusted to get the level of buoyancy one requires to float in the water, reducing the amount of exertion one needs to enjoy the underwater world.

It’s too early to decide whether I’ll make open water diving a hobby and seek opportunities to go diving whenever I can; what I can tell you is that after only one day of training, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would recommend it to anyone, especially if done with friends and under professional instruction and guidance.