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A personality is a collection of traits, behaviours and attitudes that define a person. The word personality comes from the Latin word persona which refers to a theatrical mask worn by performers for different roles. Every individual has a unique skill set. Everyone’s potential is multi-faceted, and investing in personality development enables one to harness one’s inner strengths. Focusing on individual personality development adds to your capabilities and helps your dreams and aspirations turn into a reality. To be a more charismatic person, you have to develop your inner self as well as your outer self. The importance of personality development is undisputed in personal and professional life. Personality also influences what we think, our beliefs, values and expectations. 

Following are the factors which help in shaping one’s personality:

  1. Heredity – Heredity refers to factors that are determined once an individual is born. An individual’s physique, attractiveness, body type, complexion, body weight depends on his/her parents’ biological makeup.
  2. Environment – The environment to which an individual is subjected to during his growing years plays an important role in determining his/her personality. The varied cultures in which we are brought up and our family backgrounds have a crucial role in shaping our personalities.
  3. Situation – An individual’s personality also changes with current circumstances and situations. An individual would behave in a different way when he has enough savings with him and his behaviour would automatically change when he is bankrupt.
  4. Positive outlook

“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” Is a saying that has been around for centuries. It means that we should focus on the good part in any given situation and come up with something positive. This is called the act of being sanguine. Having an optimistic outlook goes a long way in developing your personality.  In terms of career, decisions, relationships, and much more, positivity stands out as a notable characteristic of a good personality from the fact that it makes it easier to cope with changes like ups and downs in life. Some attributes of being a positive thinker are-

  • Optimism– By maintaining an optimistic outlook, you can handle difficult situations more effectively. Optimism manifests itself as a willingness to make an effort and take a chance, rather than assuming that your efforts will be unsuccessful or that your circumstances will never improve.
  • Acceptance- It is not always possible to control the outcomes of circumstances. For those situations, acceptance can help you learn from your mistakes. Acceptance can also help you maintain perspective, rather than exaggerating the situation. It helps you move on for better rather than keep sulking over a failure.
  • Resilience– Having resilience means you have the ability to bounce back when faced with adversity without relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms. It is the ability to handle major setbacks while maintaining daily routines.
  • Gratitude– it is the quality of being thankful and readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. To be grateful implies a state of self-contentment and acceptance of life as it flows. This helps to feel satisfied with whatever you already have.
  • Be a conversationalist-

A conversationalist is a person who is good at or fond of engaging in conversation. As ironic as it is, being a good conversationalist does not only mean being a good speaker but also a good listener. Be it in one’s personal life or professional life, the ability to engage in a good conversation is always impressive. When you participate in a sincere conversation it feels like you are genuinely interested in the person or the topic and leaves a great impression. It makes the other party feel you are not only imposing your own opinions on them but are also willing to listen to their part. Discussing your ideas and thoughts openly is a great way to hold the conversation. Having a humorous side always helps.

  • Dress well-

It is rightly said that “a man is known by his dress and address”.  An individual’s dressing sense speaks volumes of his character and personality. A person’s dressing sense reflects their character, body language, character, and style. Dressing well can help you to build self–confidence and it perceives to others that how confident you feel about yourself. Your attires should change according to the occasion. For an interview, it is better to wear classy formals. For an outing one can wear casuals. It can make one look more outgoing and approachable. Thus, dressing well plays an important role in personality development.

  • Be yourself-

You need to know all about your own personality before trying to develop it. One of the simplest ways to improve your personality is to maintain honesty. Each one of us is different, we have our own sets of skills and flaws and trying to be somebody else gets you nowhere and just simply backfires. Honesty is the best policy at all times. Therefore, being honest to our self and to our surroundings is imperative to live a blissful lifestyle. 

What is your Personality Type?

Are you a person who often wonders about what their personality is like? If the answer to this question is yes, then the MBTI would be a good starting point.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, popularly known as MBTI, is a psychometric test devised to give people a brief overview of their cognitive functions. Its structure is based on four major functions and is divided into 16 types. But, if we delve deeper, there are 8 functions in total. Most people won’t recognise the MMPI but would have some knowledge about the MBTI.

It is the most widely taken test with over 2 billion people taking it every year. This is the go-to test for schools, colleges and human resource departments for evaluating their candidates. The company that markets the test makes around 20 million dollars each year off the instrument.


The test was originally constructed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myer. Briggs started her research of human behaviour quite early on in her life. In some accounts, the year has been documented as 1917, when she officially began her exploration of personalities.

Isabel, Briggs’ daughter also joined her in this investigation and it soon became her lifelong fascination as well. During the First World War, the test’s goal was to provide a measure for people’s personalities and help them find suitable careers. Job satisfaction was widely absent from many people’s life at that point. 

Construction of the test

The test is based on the mostly untested theories of Jungian personality theory. Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist, who extensively studied personality archetypes and founded the field of analytical psychology. In present times, his work is renowned all over the world.

The Briggs’ mother-daughter duo expanded on his theories and came up with the MBTI.


Jung divided humans into two broad groups – perceivers and judgers. Further, the former group was subdivided into individuals who prefer using their intuitions and the others who prefer the senses, and the latter, into feelers and thinkers. The resulting four types were classified based on people’s attitudes i.e introverts and extroverts.


Myers propounded that humans use all four cognitive functions. However, one function is used more prominently than the others. This constitutes the dominant function. This function is supplemented by the secondary/auxiliary function. The tertiary function is used to an even lesser extent. , while the fourth, is the least consciously used function. Myers referred to this function as the shadow function as it is diametrically opposed to the dominant one.


In spite of the popularity of the test, many psychologists continue to criticize it, demanding that the test pass certain criteria to be called reliable and scientific. The validity of the instrument is dubious as the same person can get different results upon subsequent retakes. However, the MBTI instrument isn’t entirely useless as many people are drawn to the test. The desire to understand oneself is strong among many and in many cases, the MBTI can be a driving force behind personality development.


Presently, the test has become a big part of popular culture apart from being relevant in professional realms. It’s being used even on dating sites to find out the character traits of potential matches. Fictional characters, ranging from Harry Potter to Disney princesses, all have been assigned an MBTI type. It is not uncommon to find a mention of MBTI on people’s social media descriptions. 


Having a personality that is unique and reflects your inner self is really important as it helps you stand out in a crowd. Here are ways in which you can develop a strong personality .

SELF ESTEEM – Having low self esteem can have adverse affects on your personality and life in general . Believing in yourself and having high self esteem makes you a confident individual. Tolerating something that hurts you or doing letting others disrespect you can lower your self esteem . But once you start building you esteem by travelling alone , being intolerant towards unacceptable behaviour , you surely can gain high self esteem .

TAKING ACCOUNTABILITY – Taking accountability for your own actions in stead of blaming others or blaming the situation can really help you build your self esteem . Blaming others for your problems is a sign of weakness and low self esteem . Acknowledging your mistakes , in stead of ignoring it can help you grow and develop as a person and develop a strong personality .

DISCIPLINE – Self discipline is one of the key factors to having a strong personality . Being disciplined is difficult but once you have trained your self to be disciplined it can do wonders to your life . People with strong personalities know how to not give into temptations .

POSITIVITY – Life is always uncertain and can be difficult to deal with sometimes , and it is easy for people to give up and make space for pessimism and hopelessness , but people with a strong personality always hope for the best and know how to be optimistic . Being optimistic has a great deal of benefits and should be practiced .

Improve Your Personal Development Skills – Tips to help you!

Nowadays, merely having a qualification isn’t enough in the job market. To land that dream job, it’s vital that you have specific skills, especially soft skills, for example, being able to communicate well or to work in a team.

Generally speaking, you don’t acquire these skills at university, but you do acquire them in daily working life. But how? Let’s take a look at some useful methods, tips, and examples.

What are skills?

Skill – an ability to perform a specific task or activity to a high level of proficiency

It’s possible to acquire and hone skills to perfection (or near‑perfection) through practice and dedication. Learning and mastering a skill involves far more than just a theoretical understanding of facts or concepts.

Personal development skills can be traits or qualities you already have or ones you can gain through education and training. Individuals will value different personal development skills depending on their goals, but here are some examples of skills people commonly practice to facilitate personal growth.

  • Communication
  • Interpersonal
  • Organization
  • Problem-solving
  • Self-confidence
  • Adaptability
  • Integrity
  • Work ethic
  • Leadership


Communication includes your ability to speak, write and listen. With these skills, you can understand what others are saying and feeling and also convey your own ideas and feelings. Good communicators can speak clearly and confidently, using a tone that is positive and appropriate for the situation.


Also called people skills or social skills, interpersonal skills are the verbal and nonverbal behaviors and reactions to interactions with other people. They affect your ability to build relationships and make impressions on others in social situations.


Organization skills include the tidiness of your physical and digital spaces as well as your ability to plan, schedule and prioritize. Good organization can help save time, prevent miscommunications and improve efficiency.


Problem-solving is your ability to handle challenging or surprising situations. Good problem-solvers can stay calm when they encounter obstacles and assess all their options to find the best solution.


Self-confidence is the belief in your abilities, actions and decisions. If you have confidence in yourself, you might be more likely to pursue ambitious goals, try new things and believe you can succeed.


Adaptability is your ability to adjust quickly and easily to new things. People who handle change well often get along with a variety of personalities and thrive in any environment. They can also remain calm in surprising situations.


People tend to trust those who are honest and stand by their values. Integrity means doing what is right and telling the truth, even if doing so presents challenges. Having integrity can lead to a good reputation and opportunities for advancement.

Work ethic

Work ethic includes not only hard work but also reliability, responsibility, quality, determination and discipline. People with good work ethic tend to be productive and have a positive attitude.


Leadership is the ability to guide people. Good leaders can motivate others and help them reach a shared goal. They build confidence and improve morale.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

Viktor Frankl



Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (A.P.J. Abdul Kalam), an Indian aerospace scientist who also served as the 11th President of India, came to be known as the Missile Man of India for his work on the development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology. He was a great source of learning and the most humble person of that stature.

His life teaches many lessons as to what an individual should possess and practice in order to lead a successful and happy life. Following are the life lessons we can learn from him:

  • Being Optimistic

Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, in his journey from being son of a boat owner to becoming the President of India faced lots of challenges posed by life, yet by staying positive and working hard with dedication and sincerity, he achieved great heights. He believes that an individual should have a positive outlook towards life. No doubt that life brings challenges, troubles and hardships, but by being positive during difficulties one can overcome it and enjoy the fruits of their labour.

  • Never Give Up

“We should not give up and we should not allow the problem to defeat us” – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

When one encounters failures in life, Kalam advises not to give up, but to work even harder to transform this failure into a success. He believes that failure and success go hand in hand. And without facing failures, one cannot gain success. He was of the view that if we learn to treat our failures in the same way we treat success then we will never lose hope after a defeat, but moving forward to overcome the defeat.

  • Being Visionary

You have to dream before your dreams can come true”- A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Kalam strongly believed that one should have a clear vision or idea in order to prosper and flourish in life. One with clear vision in mind will eventually adopt the right strategy to accomplish it. But for a person without a vision any strategy will fail to work. Kalam inspired millions of young hearts to dream and to believe in their dreams. He wanted people to dream and to convert their dreams into thoughts that can result into actions. He said, after defining a dream it should be nurtured, worked upon and then patiently wait to reap its fruits.

  • Being Courageous

“…have courage to think differently, to invent, and to travel the unexplored path, to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed”. – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Kalam encouraged individuals to think creatively and identify techniques that may be different from the rest. He motivated all to be daring enough to choose a path which is unknown to many and to solve problems with innovative ideas. He believed that one should be courageous enough to take risks and achieve the impossible. Thus, anyone with courage and confidence can attain great height and complete any difficult task.

  • Being Devoted towards Goals

“To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal”. – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Kalam advocated the mantra of single-minded devotion towards the goal in order to be successful in every mission. He believed that complete dedication towards the targets helps to complete the task effectively as it gathers all the energy onto one single point. Hence, devotion is necessary in every field of work in order to make it a success.

  • Being Hardworking

“If you want to shine like a sun, first burn like a sun”. – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Kalam advocated the idea that, ‘God helps those who help themselves’, laying emphasis on hard work and dedication in every tasks. He advised to overcome laziness and work towards achieving goals. He proposed that if one wants to be prosperous in life, they must give their hundred percent by working with complete dedication and sacrificing their other worldly desires in order to achieve the desired goal and gain success.

  • Being Humble

Abdul Kalam was noted for his integrity and simple lifestyle. Even after gaining power and position he never glorified his superiority, rather, he stayed humble at every point of time. He always made sure that the people he met do not feel inferior, but equally important. Kalam always emphasized that we should never lose our humble self even if we are at the peak of success. It is essential to remain grounded and maintain humility at all times.

  • Sharing with Transparency

Kalam was an intellectual leader who did not keep the knowledge to himself alone, but shared it with transparency and sincerity to each and every one through his writings, speeches, and lectures and through dialogues with all those he encountered throughout his life. Similarly, we should also practice this idea of sharing with transparency by being self-less, hence contributing towards the development of other individuals, and at a long run, towards the development of the nation.


Dr. Kalam did not only preach these principles, but also practiced them in his day to day life. He always made statements based on his life experiences because a person with experience can teach many significant things about life and one can really rely on his teachings. Anyone who understand these lessons and put it into practice, will see and discover good and great things throughout the journey of life. Also, as Dr. Kalam, they will be able to share their knowledge and experiences to others, leading towards building a powerful nation.

I would like to end this article by quoting Dr. Kalam, “learning gives creativity, creativity leads to thinking. Thinking provides knowledge and knowledge makes you great”.



Change is evolution by every person on the universe. It is the law of the universe to change. Physical change or personality change, we change for the better or the worse. Sometimes we change for the betterment of others or ourselves but mostly change is noticed by others than ourselves. Every time we change there is a different outlook on life, love and friends. We acquire a new perspective on the same things around us. Every time we change we don’t notice that we have upgraded to a new personality. There are hard sides to change, some people will leave you or you can outgrow each other. We notice only when we are acquainted about it when someone says that we have become different or something has changed about us. Change happens over time, over a series of situations. There isn’t a certain event to trigger a change or you will decide to change. Change can be confusing or threatening to what you were once but it’s inevitable. It’s different for everybody. It isn’t easy for everyone either. Change isn’t necessarily accepted by everyone because we always fall in love with a person when our vibes flow in one direction and when we change so does our vibe. When the vibes don’t sync, people end up on different terms with each other on life, that’s why we grow distant Change also makes sure that you are staying on top of your game. You become the person who you want to be when you change because of your own motivation. It’s integrating yourself to change that will make it an easier process. Change more importantly helps you move on. You find different coping mechanisms to get better and become a better version of yourself. Change means progress in your life. It’s the only way you will leave your comfort zone and move on. Change is what humanity has always done best. It is a huge part of our life. Change documents our journey. It makes you realize that you are worthy because you are more evolved than your previous version. It is an important and undeniable part of life regardless of time. All you can do is to embrace change.
Your friends, family and main people fell in love with the old you. Your friends made friends with the old you not the new you. Change doesn’t always end like this, maybe with enough trust and love. You turn into a better person than before. The older you get the more you understand that change is life. That’s the gamble everyone takes in life, a gamble we make using ourselves to be a better person, to end up successful in life, to have the life that we have envisioned to be as a kid or rich or just perfect to according to our standards, to have dreams, hopes, happiness or love but more importantly, we will change for yourselves or for the people you love but ultimately everything will change with time.

Cultivating Self-Love


Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do. Be proud of who you are, and not ashamed of how someone else sees you.

The process of loving yourself can be extremely difficult. Especially if you don’t know what steps to take. So, it is quintessential to discern what self love constitutes and what it doesn’t.

Self-love is having time for your own beautiful ideas, memories and dreams. It is honouring yourself enough to believe in those passions and see that you need them, that you need to pursue them to be the person you were born to develop into. Self love is allowing yourself to mature and change, to grow into new perspectives and be comfortable enough in your own skin to allow your creativity to have the chaos it needs to be strong and the focus it needs to move in a positive direction. It is a state of being that respects these rights in others, that takes to heart that only they can see their path as only we can see ours, and that this sort of respect is a fundamental key to being human and living together. That this is part of liberty, that order comes from divine chaos, and all that requires self respect. Thus, self-love is genuine and complete acceptance of oneself.

However, what self-love discards is the egoistical self-centred sense of being whereby you only “love” yourself when you’ve “won” versus others, or when you consider yourself “better” than others. This is unsustainable and not authentic love for self, as when you truly love and accept yourself you don’t need to compare yourself to others. True self-love is not selfish pleasure, but rather the origin of discipline and willpower.

When you are conscious of that, that’s fantastic, you have made the first step- pat yourself on the back as it takes a lot of strength to admit that to yourself. Self-love is the most efficient route to everything from true self-discipline to pursuing your dreams, living out your full potential, and living an authentic and fulfilling life. It’s not easy, I am still on this path but it’s gradual and when you see yourself progressing on it, it truly is amazing. So how do we do it?

When you make choices or decisions ask yourself- ‘What would I do if I truly loved and accepted myself?”. Even if you haven’t accepted yourself yet, it puts you in the right mind-set and your decisions will reinforce the love for self. Aim to free yourself of any attachment. You are not your things, you are not your job, you are not your partner, you are not your friends, you are not your money. You are you. We cling on to them because they help us define ourselves – all because we don’t love ourselves. Stay true to yourself and if that means some people won’t accept you because of it – that’s fine because you are accepting yourself. Doesn’t it feel amazing when you acted naturally and did what was true to you ?
Do more of things that bring you true joy and not just pleasure. For example, think about what activities make you most happy or brought you most joy when you were a kid or teenager. It could be drawing, reading a book, helping someone, playing an instrument, etc. It must be true joy and not just superficial pleasure from activities as they might not help you cultivate that real self love.

Then, try focusing more of your attention to the present. Don’t get stuck with an image of you in the past or future. You need to realise that there is only now and no other time is real. The past was gone and the future is yet to come. Now is the only real setting there is- so bring your attention to it and cherish it. Look around you, focus on what your senses are feeling and even act surprised as if you just found out you exist. I personally found meditation to be incredibly powerful in cultivating this as a daily mind-set.

Those were the five things that helped me, I hope you will find something useful in them. Remember – let your ego fall and let unconditional love rise – for yourself and for others. You cannot truly love others unless you’ve learned to love yourself first. You must put oxygen mask on yourself first before putting it on others.

Self-love is looking out for yourself, not in a selfish way, but in a healthy way. Once we develop this discipline, we can use it in all sorts of life areas, like going to bed early, keeping up with physical activities, saying no to junk food, dedicating time to read and learn, and so much more. Quell the spoiled toddler, become the correct parent of your own mind. All the best with your beautiful journey !

Mental Health: Are We Doing Enough?


“No one wishes to have dark days, sleepless nights, grumpy mornings and this endless dark tunnel with no sign that it ever ends. Mental illnesses aren’t a choice.”

Mental illnesses are the unseen, unheard, silent killers. It’s the pain that’s too much to cope with, too hard to deal with and so misunderstood. You can’t escape it no matter how hard you try, because it follows you around like a black shadow that’s on the inside, eating you.

There isn’t anything tragically beautiful about them, it’s just tragic. It’s not sad songs and poetry, shy glances or drowning in the bath. It’s not ghostly white skin tainted by charcoal circles under sad eyes and large purple bruises stretching viciously up your arms. It isn’t lonely walks, vacant coffee shops or smoking dusty cigarettes.

Depression is unwashed clothes and flaking skin. It’s over eating and the inability to even get out of bed. It’s giving up on yourself and not taking pride in your appearance anymore. It’s empty inboxes, bursts of anger and late night tears. It’s a feeling of disgust within yourself that makes you want to tear off your own skin just so you can feel clean. It’s uncertainty and confusion. It’s losing weight, long showers and greasy hair. It’s constantly wishing you could be somewhere or someone else. It’s losing the will to even live.

Similarly, anxiety isn’t just sweating and shaking and shortness of breath. It’s also feeling like you have no control over your life and there is a knot in your stomach and you feel like your world is crashing down completely and you have to sit there and act like you’re fine.

Being bipolar is like being on a roller coaster ride. Sometimes you can predict drop offs and others you just have to hang on because the next turn sends you into an unexpected spiral. Sometimes you are laughing and throwing your hands in the air and then other times you are clinging, simply holding on for dear life screaming it the top of your lungs.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorders are like unpredictable demons of your own mind, where the soul is a puppet of your own fears, where a line between right and wrong gets blurred, where your true identity disappears only in you, where you get accosted for thousands of pointless known questions, where you get beaten every single second by your own self, where everyone seems fine except you, where regret is smaller word for ‘reassurance’, where mind goes dead and breathing continues, where you stuck in a small box full of nightmares.

So, are we doing enough about mental health? Long answer short, no.

The first and foremost reason for India to lose its mental health is the lack of awareness and sensitivity about the issue. There is a big stigma around people suffering from any kind of mental health issues. They are often tagged as ‘lunatics’ by the society. This leads to a vicious cycle of shame, suffering and isolation of the patients. Also, there is a serious shortage of mental healthcare workforce in India.

One of the biggest hurdles in addressing mental health is the measurement of objective information. With other illnesses, there are lab reports, X-rays, CT scan, MRI, etc. which are used for identification of illnesses. In case of mental health, such objective parameters aren’t available. Secondly, despite it’s enormous social burden, mental health remains a taboo subject that is susceptible to age-old stigmas, prejudices and fears. Because people can’t see a physical deformity they think there’s no substance to your illness. People often associate it with pretending and take it lightly in less developed states. Even highly educated people react the same way and lack empathy. They’ll belittle mental illnesses and blame it on the sufferer’s personality. Thus, in our country, the discovery of a mental illness is often followed by denial and hesitation to seek help. Thirdly, the output of the same disease or problem varies significantly from person to person, making it very subjective. Thus, needless to say, the path towards addressing and normalizing discussions about mental health is indeed a rocky one.

Mental health stigma is not only a culturally learned aversion to discussing mental illness, it is also the subsequent ignorance in the general population about how to recognize stigma in everyday life or an institutional level. And this stigma is can be soul damaging. It’s also personal and unique to the individual, yet it encourages society to treat the ones suffering from it as: Dangerous. Expendable. Useless. Invisible. To dismantle stigma we have to look much deeper at the specific problems and manifestations of it. How does stigma penetrate into the scientific publications and research? What type of education are we given on mental health in public education? All of these more nuanced questions give us routes to comparison and action. I believe it is in these details that stigma exists and where it must be sought if we are to dismantle it.

We, as a society, need to learn to treat people with mental illnesses with compassion rather than telling them that their brain is defective.
To build a better world we need to consciously design a better environment for all of humanity, one in which all the choices we have are good options. What we have now is a dynamic that makes people sick and then blames them for being sick. This world of fear and coercion can be swapped for one of love and cooperation, a world that brings us all health and happiness in all our different and wonderful cultures.

Self Improvement

Self-improvement is a deep rooted process. It is a path for individuals to evaluate their aptitudes and characteristics, consider their points throughout everyday life and set objectives so as to acknowledge and boost their latent capacity.

Plan to make applicable, constructive and compelling life decisions and choices for your future to empower individual strengthening. The greater part of us, notwithstanding, think that its simpler to inspire ourselves to learn and improve on the off chance that we have a reason in doing as such. Building up your own vision – an away from of where you need to be in a couple of months or years, and why – is a urgent piece of building up this reason.

A few people keep away from personal development since they accept that giving chance to turning out to be better is characteristically narrow minded. The world has such huge numbers of issues and the individuals around us have such huge numbers of requirements that it’s egotistical to dedicate vitality to self-care and self-awareness. All things considered, whenever invested helping yourself is energy not spent helping other people. In this view, things like contemplation and yoga are liberal, silly extravagances, climbing ought to be supplanted with planting trees, and a few days of calm perusing ought to be supplanted with an effective change,

Personal growth isn’t egotistical. The difficult work of battling for what’s privilege incorporates the difficult work of acing yourself and taking great consideration of yourself. It’s not childish to invest energy developing yourself, even as the world shouts for help. So as to be there for one another, we need to initially be there for ourselves.

Addressing Toxic Masculinity


“Sometimes people hear “toxic masculinity” and think the term is anti-men. It isn’t. It’s anti-telling- men -they-have-to-repress-emotions- and – be-dominant-alphas-to- be- considered – real-guys. It’s pro-men. Thinking, feeling, resilient, strong, awesome men.”

– Amanda Jette Knox

I am sure that if you’re an international K-pop fan, then you are no stranger to the knee-jerk reaction people have after they have begged you to show them the images and/or music videos or any K-Pop group. Most reactions generally revolve around “They look like women” or “They are too feminine” or “Why are they wearing make-up?” or the infamous “Are they gay?”.

This made me wonder, what exactly is it that causes such a reaction? What does it mean to be ‘man’ or to be something lesser than that? Are we, as a society, missing out on addressing the toxic masculinity that plagues the young minds?

Although, there have been some colloquies on it, most of them leave out the dialogue that Asian men are particularly hyper-emasculated in western culture (and also by minorities in western culture) which could also be a reason why people automatically react in this manner, besides already having discrimination towards appearances that don’t fit the extremes of femininity and masculinity. As for the people mouthing off about K-pop looking too “feminine”, it ends up bringing up the connotation that femininity is a bad thing somehow. It’s essential to understand that feminine and masculine traits are social constructs, so they change according to each culture.

What is toxic masculinity?

Toxic masculinity is those elements of our social definition of masculinity that have concrete negative impacts on men by promoting behaviours such as refusing medical treatment to appear strong, suppressing emotions that show vulnerability, and idolizing violence as a solution to problems.

These behaviours are enforced by other men (and society as a whole), by challenging the manhood of those who deviate from this behavior, while also teaching each other that manhood is something to be valued above all else. In addition, most of them wrestle with the perception of masculinity, which, in a feudal society like ours, is very conditional. Of course, women perpetrate violence too: they can be aggressive and brutal, particularly to other women. But undoubtedly, the culture that stokes such violence smacks of machismo. Manhood is not naturally given, but is a goal to be achieved. To be born a boy is a privilege but one that can be lost if one is not properly initiated into masculine practices.

What are the core features of this model of manhood?

First, aggression is natural and desirable in men. A ‘real’ man is eager to pick up a fight. If he does not, he is told to wear bangles on his wrist. Even the slightest intrusion in his physical, mental or social space is unacceptable. Second, men must be tough — muscular and unemotional; they must not be easily perturbed, must not grieve and cry. Part of what it means to be tough is to suppress empathy towards others, to be embarrassed by fear or any other vulnerability. Third, men must be ambitious and ruthless. Once they set a goal, it must be achieved regardless of consequences to others. Since winning is all-important, other men striving to achieve the same goal are rivals to be eliminated. Extreme competitiveness, on this model, is a classical male characteristic. Fourth, it does not behove men to consult others, negotiate with the weak, or settle for anything less than what they want. They take independent decisions that brook no questioning. As famously put by Amitabh Bachchan in one of his films, ‘Bas… keh diya na (Enough, I have said so).’

And if you don’ fill in these roles, then too bad, you’re deemed to be not ‘man enough’.

In most discourses, however, what isn’t properly addressed is that women perpetuate toxic masculinity too. There is an institutionalized aspect of masculine toxicity as culture that we recognize as true for men in general, but ignore being equally true among women, even many feminist women. Most people and groups do this to some extent, it’s hard to be fully self aware and self critical. We don’t always see the flaws in ourselves as readily as we see them in others. Part of feminism is recognizing the invisible structures that pull societal norms to be what they are. This is just an aspect of that and speaks to the idea that we really have to be the change we want to see in the world and it’s pretty naive to consider yourself or your group as “clean hands” in the matter just because you are aware of one piece of the puzzle.

So, what can be done to overcome this?

The first step would be, abandoning ‘just for men’ attitudes, and not doing it for the sake of getting women to like you. ‘Woke’ bros are just as problematic, so just live honestly and act respectfully towards everyone. Stand up for what’s right even when it’s hard and you’re a minority voice.

Just like we “make room” or “hold space” for voices that are actually impacted by the problems we see in our society it makes sense we should do the same to at least include men as valuable voices to addressing the “male toxicity” problem. Only they can speak their own truth.

Violence, misogyny, and no accountability are pillars of toxic masculinity. So, knock down those pillars daily. Embracing who you are and standing up for those who need it, you start to realize gender doesn’t have a place to shape our lives as rigidly as society tells us. Call it inner peace and confidence! You can embrace your personhood, just not things. You can embrace your own idea of a ‘masculine’ identity, just don’t be attached to the external.

“All of us have to recognize that being a man is first and foremost being a good human. That means being responsible, working hard, being kind, respectful, compassionate. If you’re confident about your strength, you don’t need to show me by putting somebody else down.”

Why do people get so easily offended these days?

People are so easily offended these days and to imagine where the mind-set of a person was few decades ago and where they are now, one must say it is difficult to understand. Few centuries ago people from Africa were sold as slaves in America. In 2009 Barack Obama became the first African-American President of the United States. India has had both a female Prime Minister (Indira Gandhi) and a President (Pratibha Patil), even Islamic nations like Pakistan and Bangladesh have had a female Head of State, but the United States has never had a female Head of State.

Real life is not like that depicted in movies. In movies when the protagonist has to kill his old friend because he’s the villain says, “You know that I have to do this right?”, then they both hug each other, then the hero kills him. This does not happen in real life. When your friend even says something to you that you do not like, you will be fuming with anger. 

What was offensive a few years ago is not offensive now. What is offensive now was not offensive a few years ago. Punishing children at school was not offensive until recently. Being a member of the LGBT community was not offensive until recently (only in a few countries). People even get offended if you honk, as they show their frustration by honking back at you, for whatever reason it is. Proverbs 19:11 says, “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offence”.

Why do people get offended, let us have a look as some of the reasons?

  • People are too sensitive: According to a research by Stony Brook University, about 20 per cent of the population are genetically predisposed to empathy that is, they respond intensely to both positive and negative stimuli.
  • Ego: This is very powerful three letter word. A silly argument breaks out between two people, because both of them think they are right, and they do not want to compromise. Friendship, relationships are often split by their own ego. A healthy argument is always good, but it is never healthy if you get offended. Holding grudges just to prove a point or just to display one’s power over a subordinate are all traits of ego. Both parties feel that one is more offended than the other. 
  • Work Place: Stress at work place can cause a lot of behavioural changes. Not loving the work that you do can also lead to stress. This can cause a person to offend others and also get offended easily. This tends to become the permanent character of a person within a few months, and he/she become insufferable. One can develop anxiety with such stress induced behaviour.
  • Insecurities : Not having anyone to depend on, developing the thought that  “No one is there for me”, can create a sense of not being happy or even put you in a state of depression, which makes you care less about others. This makes you prone to offend others or get offended easily.
  • Diet: The type of food that we eat today reduces the life span of a person considerably, mainly due to processed foods (even junk food) which are easily accessible and takes almost no time to prepare. These contain preservatives and MSG’s to give that taste which you do not get from food prepared at home. These chemical are not good over the long haul. Most of the ingredients are also synthetic, artificial or adulterated. These can be allergic or different than what your body can process. Scientifically it is said that these substances do not allow you to produce hormones like serotonin or GABA which are produced as brain calming hormones, so this makes you more prone to anger, hence get offended.

Value of Discipline in life

Imagine being in a society where there is no discipline, just think for a mere second, what would happen to this world if there is no discipline. The only word that comes up instantly is disaster. If there is no discipline among the people of a society then there is just chaos. Discipline bridges the gap between our aims and achievements. In every sphere of life this is a very essential factor. To quote Roy Smith, discipline is the refining power which transforms talent into ability. If soldiers disobey the orders of higher officials and perform their duties as they like, then terrorists can easily enter our country and ruin everything. In the same way disciplined soldiers are more efficient to work. In a battle fought between the Englishmen and Frenchmen, the English won the battle even though the French had a bigger army, this was because of their discipline and morale. Imagine that you are a pedestrian, and the drivers on the road are not following the traffic rules, scary? This is what lack of discipline can do to a peaceful society. Countries like Japan and Israel have a higher economic growth compared to a lot of countries, this is because of the discipline shown by the common public. 

Advantages of being disciplined:- 

● Being disciplined will help a person focus more on their goals and day to day activities. They perform their activities in a more efficient manner. 

● Being disciplined has its own perks as well, people start respecting you as discipline commands respect. Since being disciplined takes a lot of effort, people respect your determination. 

● Being disciplined helps you finish your job smoothly and on time. You will not be distracted by anything else and will be focused on your work. 

● Being disciplined includes having a balanced life with habits like healthy food, exercise, walking and sleeping at the right time. Hence you have a better and healthy life. 

● Being disciplined helps a person have a very good self control over himself/herself, avoiding silly problems, not indulging in trivial things and having a healthy relationship with everyone around them. 

● Being disciplined will also help a person avoid unnecessary stress or tension and be happy in all their activities. 

● Being disciplined will make a person more organized, they will have a time schedule allotted for every activity, and this will help them find a lot of extra time to relax. 

● Being disciplined will also make a person value time the most, and make use of every second possible. They have better time management skills than others. 


Discipline should be omnipresent. Every small activity taking place around us happens in discipline, be it the sun rising on time or the birds chirping blissfully in the early morning or the blood flowing in our veins or the heart that beats continuously. They all happen to continuously do their work without any help or a clock. Initially we might feel it’s excruciating but with time it will always get better soon. Imagine how beautiful and happy will all of our life be if it’s disciplined. This will help all of us resist evil and enjoy life’s true fruits in a real sense.