Mind Matters


By: Paonam Thobi
1. Madam, I am just curious, why do some people tend to repeat what they say, especially during conversation. Is it a sign of lack of self-confidence? Or is it because of lack of trust with the person he/she is speaking? Is this a personality problem? Birdharja, Akampat.
Ans: Dear Birdhaja, people repeat themselves because of many things which I may not even know all about. I have always known of children with autism repeating what one person says or during a conversation and that’s often called ‘echolalia’.
Also every human has a need to need to be heard which often leads to repeating what they said. Once you assured them that they are heard, they stop too. Also it helps in assuring if you can repeat certain lines or points they would say and they believe you heard them and is really listening to them. Sometimes when they don’t do, it’d be better to understand if they are having any anxieties and urgency on the matter they are bringing up or repeating.
Most of the time older people with a failing memory repeat themselves and this should not be a worry. We should also understand that they are anxious to pass down information, knowledge and wisdom which could otherwise get lost if they don’t do it.
Like you said, some people who stutter also practice what they are to say and often times repeat it when they get confused it with the practice he/she had done.
Also some people repeat when they want to make a strong point and overemphasize on some points, like teachers and tutors do.
So to say, there can be multiple reasons and not necessarily a personality problem.

2. It is hurtful to know that some people can be so cruel to children. The recent news report of a woman police thrashing down two small children who were supposedly working as a helper in her house. The bruise marks on the child’s body shown on TV suggests how badly she was beaten up. I think the woman need immediate psycho-therapy or treatment. Name withheld.
Ans: You are right. It was disheartening to learn about such kinds of incidents that happens and is prevalent. You are also right in saying the woman may need help in the form of psychotherapy. That understands the fact that people who commits such kind of crimes and misdeeds may often times be suffering from vulnerabilities of the mind and consciousness. Many a times they lose control over their self and goes about hurting people around them. I may sound like sympathizing with the woman who thrashed the kids, but in reality the woman may be someone trying to reach out for help and may have vented out in the most unhealthy and cruel manner.

3. Madam, I do agree with your comments regarding the vulnerability of girls especially after their elopement. The kind of stigma girl/woman face in our present Manipuri society is very questionable. On the other hand, any man who has eloped will lead a happy life, as if riding on the belief that “nupadi taragi mapuni”. The male brigade has to change their sickening mindset first. Anita Ch, Imphal West.
Ans: Dear Anita, I understand the distinction between males and females that you just drew upon. It is unjust to subject women to ill treatments for having undergone a situation where she alone wasn’t responsible. It is natural to be angry to the men folk when they are often left unaccountable.
But to do away with it, we have to start from ourselves, on how we see things could change. As much as possible, we should avoid the gendered remark or question just the men/males in our society. Otherwise, it will be like encouraging the stereotype which is already too wrong. It should rather be a concern for the humanity as a whole and expect more reasoning from all- men and women alike.
I hope you would agree with me on this and I would be glad to join you and the rest for this huge change we all are looking forward to.

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