Monday, March 11, 2013

Pygmalion Effect

It is damn hard to listen to voices around telling skyrocketing expectations of you. It's like choosing between the devil or the deep blue sea: live or fail to the expectations. Although I do not call it by name, I, for one, have been in this bittersweet world of pygmalion effect.

PYGMALION EFFECT is a theory in which the greater the expectation is placed upon people, the better they perform. It is a self fulfilling prophecy where people internalize their positive labels to succeed.

Humility aside, I finished college with flying colors - which I later wished I did not. After college, I went on assessing how I honestly perceive myself. Although I was beaming with pride for etching that honor to my family name, I have this nagging feeling of mediocrity and undeserved fate. 

Come to think of these mischievous acts back the days. In a university where life seems so fast paced, it is fairly understandable though if one has his calculus worksheets answered by engineering friends, goes to school early to copy unanswered assignments, and is an active member of a secret friendship society during exams.

Because people thought that I was ideally expected to fend for myself, I needed to prove my given worth in the next phase of my journey: the board exam. My only fault perhaps was I might have overreacted on the expectations by making the review a hobby, a sport and a calling. When the dust settled, I emerged on top.

Until now, although there are no overt pronouncements of expectation, I seem to still live on the pressure. I tend to view lavish heaps of people around as expectations, and the reality of the this phenomenon is, I create my own problem. So amidst my hypocrisies, I always do my best to live to the expectations of the prying eyes around. Turning a lemon into a lemonade, that is, but how long will I be able to sustain it?



There is no doubt on the beauty of pygmalion effect when done properly. While it plays an important role in many aspects of life such as raising a child, motivating a student or inspiring a worker, there are pitfalls to it. Surely we don't expect a cat to look bigger than the usual cat, perhaps like a lion someday.

Do you have share of pygmalion effects in life, too?


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