Confidence is key

Confidence is key

Ask Our Counsellor

Confidence is key

Dear Madam,

I did my post graduation from a college in North Kanara. I am looking for a job. I have always been a quiet person and never had any close friends. However, during my PG course I found a very good friend. She has joined the same college as a lecturer. She wants me to apply for a lecturer’s job in her college. The problem is I am insecure. I am afraid if I don’t heed her advice, I may lose her friendship. The truth is I am not interested in becoming a lecturer. I hope to work in the R&D wing of a reputed firm. I value my friendship and fear I will become lonely and depressed if I refuse my friend’s advice. Please help.


Dear S,

How are you so sure that you will get a job as a lecturer in the same college as your friend? Once you understand that it is not a certainty, then you will begin to think straight. You say you are quiet, insecure about friendships and therefore unable to make friends and this in turn makes you lonely, which causes depression.

You need to analyse your insecurity. Can you trace it to an incident/s in your younger days, which made you feel rejected or unloved? Or could it be that you are only ‘taking’ from the friendship and not ‘giving’ anything in return? Friendships are reciprocal — they involve plenty of give and take. If others feel ‘used’ in your company, then they will stay away from you. I am afraid you are making the same mistake with this friend. You are only thinking of your needs. From your description, she comes across as a friendly person. Confront your fears about losing her friendship or being replaced by others in her circle. Let me tell you something: whether you are with her or far away from her, she will make new friends. You need to stop being possessive. Possessiveness stifles relationships. Friends need to grow as persons in freedom. As for your future, you must choose a career that is best suited to your personality for only then will you be happy.

Dear Madam,

I am an 18-year-old student of Engineering and an introvert. I hesitate to speak up at public gatherings, especially in the presence of men. When asked to deliver a speech, I tremble with fear. I want to participate in dance competitions and other events in college but my fear holds me back. I worry about the fact that I will fail to do well in the campus interviews and placements because of my nature. I am very good in studies. Please tell me how to become bold and outspoken.


Dear SS,

It is a good thing that you are thinking as far ahead as placements. It is also good that you are aware that while studies are important it is equally important that you have good inter-personal and communication skills.

Let’s try to understand why you hesitate to speak up in front of many people, especially men:

* Fear of being judged for what you know/ do not know.

* Inability to separate the message from the messenger.

* Fear that the audience/ panel is there to find fault with you and not to appreciate you.

* Undue worry about end result rather than enjoying the process.

* Negative thoughts.

To overcome your fear:

* Read, read and read some more. This will give you the confidence in your ability to think on your feet in any situation. Knowledge also gives you the ability to be sure of the depth of your opinions.

* Stop thinking about the outcome and what people will think about you. It is very important that you enjoy the process — the end result will take care of itself if you look forward to what you are doing and do it to the best of your ability.

* Meet interesting people and hold conversations with them. You will soon realise that everyone is not out to judge you.

* You seem to like dancing, so just dance — either in a group or alone. Enjoy the music and lose yourself in it.

* Try this simple strategy: Put two glove puppets on your hands. Give them both names and identities. Gradually, turn one puppet into yourself and the other into an interviewer. Let the interviewer ask tough questions. Answer the questions spontaneously.

* Think positive thoughts.

* Do not treat placements/ campus interviews with dread. Try to think of it not as a ‘bogey man’ but as a ‘balloon man’ who can bring colour and excitement into your life.