Sunday, 19th November, 2017

The case of an underachiever - a science paper to hit Indian political scene

23, Apr 2014 By Mahesh Jagga

After UPA government and Congress were ravaged by two political books in as many weeks, a medical paper could suddenly raise a storm in the political atmosphere of India.

This document, titled “What went wrong – the case of an underachiever”  is a research paper, by Dr. Muf Tkhor, a well known psycho-analyst of Spain who is likely to present it in the International Congress of Applied Psychology (Icap).

Informed sources told us that the subject of this paper owns a leading political party of India. Faking News reporters interviewed the authors of the paper to get more information.

“The subject is male, in mid forties, belongs to a political family from Asia, comes from a long lineage of Prime Ministers, probably third or fourth generation. When he came to us with the symptoms of inattentiveness, immaturity, lack of confidence, looking west talking east etc., he was immediately identified as an adult underachiever. This paper is the journey of our experiences (or rather failures) in his case.” The professor explained.

Sharing the information about underachievers, Dr Muf Tkhor said, “The dependency pattern of the under achievers is often masked as insecurity, immaturity, passivity, or learning disabilities. Also, underachievers create a defence mechanism which continuously protects their sensibilities by blaming all their actions & subsequent outcomes on system, environment or others, never taking responsibility.

Subject of the paper?
Subject of the paper?

Their lack of confidence forces them to insist on having elders sit with them even when doing seemingly easier tasks. They seek continuous motivational boosts by getting positive acknowledgements from elders even after small, insignificant achievements like answering a simple question or successfully handling a fork.

They have the unique distinction in living in two parallel universes simultaneously. One is the real one, which they are forced to live in as it actually exists & cannot be avoided or wished away. The second universe is an imaginary one where real life problems, struggles can be pooh-poohed away like they don’t actually exist, like they are just a state of mind. In this preferred, parallel universe, other people are indeed, a state of mind.

When a subject lives in second universe for too long & shifts to the real one, he is not aware of the events which occurred when he was inhabiting the second universe, is unable to fit into the context of the present and finds himself unable to cope. However the defence mechanism jumps up and begins blaming everyone else, calling names like nonsense or some other thing.

The focus of the paper is the failure of the parental support system around the patient which did not support as per medical recommendations. Associate Professor Dr. Frie Kamaal explained.

“You see, anyone suffering from this condition is equipped to use a  simple vocabulary having actionable words & phrases like do it, eat it, clean it etc. Similarly, it is also important that the subject is given a limited amount of responsibility e.g. post letters every day, make your bed twice a day, serve water to all visitors, etc. The feedback too is to be measured & calibrated as per not only the performance but also expectation of the subject. Parents should never use ‘very good’ where only an ‘okay’ would suffice. But on all counts our advice went unheeded.

We learnt that the subject was given words like system, empowerment etc. to comprehend. On top of that the subject was given a responsibility which in our view was a million times bigger than what he could handle and lastly the feedback system was cruel, to say the least. At the drop of the hat (literally), people would exclaim, “Visionary, born leader or game changer!” Unconfirmed reports tell us that the elders also believed that making him Prime Minister of the country could cure him of the condition of underachievement!”

The subject, faced with these unkind, nay, brutal conditions was unable to decipher whether the appreciation &  admiration were real as he was unable to match it with outcome of his efforts and thought people were being sarcastic. Also he could not decide whether the bigger responsibility was a trust imposed on him or a conspiracy hatched against him. This real life uncertainty dented his confidence further thus accentuating the problem of dependence underachievement, forcing him to live in the second, imaginary universe most of the time.

The good news, however, is that the guardians of the subject have contacted us to restart the treatment around 20th May. We hope the results this time would be as per expectations.” Dr. Frie Kamaal concluded.