One of the greatest dichotomies in recent sociology is the way we approach the others, especially when there’s a master-apprentice relationship, when one must educate the other or just when one element has to take the initiative for no matter what weird reasons. The two options are diametrically opposite, since one is based in strengh, authority and powerful represion of non-allowed attitudes, and the other tries to convince rather than defeat, to act softly and win adepts for the cause.
It’s difficult to choose one. One may even think that he is being tough and the others consider that as tender as a feather thrust. Or just the other way round: an apparently self-confessed loving man will appear a complete devil in the eyes of the cattle.
Take boss-employee relationship. For no matter which reason, the former is always a bloody bastard with no possibility of redeem; the latter, on the contrary, turns out to be the ultimate lazy unless unskilled worker, even though he has two degrees and a master by the university of life. When the employer adopts a brother-like, gently manner with the laborer, he will systematically try to escape his duties, reaching the point of laughing at the face of the dumb boss, insulting of nicknaming him if his kindness permits the situation. We mankind are like this, biting the hand that feeds us, abusing good people and crawling before real sonofabitches. Because the evil boss, bad-tempered without reason, always molesting and humilliating his subordinates is much more typical, and it’s difficult to say if he went cruel because circumstances and abusers led him to be or just because one get rotten having the single chance and no reason.
In the family field the same can be found. Relationships are generally built over a strong and a weak counterpart among adults, and around a despotic parent and a kind one against the kid when educating underagers. But sometimes parents fall into excessive connivence and children then become real monsters, tyrannical brats with no sense of right or wrong, only whims, shouts and cries.
From my point of view, I have always defended the necessity of being nice, although firm, but from some time on I prefer, on increasing occasions, to settle conflicts with youngsters with a terrifying shout. And, educative or not, it works much better that good words and an infinite patience with them. Of course you cannot be all the time yelling, but once in a blue moon it makes them remember who is the alpha male here, because in a classroom we are not the same. The master orders, and the apprentices try not to obey. It’s a fact of life.
For the rest of human relations, I’m still finding a way. The best I have found up to now is “Yes, darling, a crawling worm and I don’t deserve to live”. It works too. J