Don't give up your control

Don't give up your control

Dear Madam,  

I am a Class 8 student. Although I study well, I feel disappointed as my friends always betray me. I have also contemplated suicide. As a result, I find it difficult to make friends. Could you suggest as to how I can overcome this?  

Prasanna

 

Dear Prasanna,

I feel concerned when you say that you have contemplated suicide because some friends betray you. Why do you want the actions of others to control and determine the path of your life? There will always be people and circumstances in the world that we don't like or don't feel comfortable with. We cannot control those, and to expect that we should be able to control them may be unrealistic. The only person we can control is ourselves – our behaviours, thoughts and responses to a particular situation. You are in control of your life and what you make of it.

Don't give up that control to anyone. They don't deserve it. I sincerely urge you to take the help of a counsellor who will help you feel better about yourself and your circumstances. You will be able to gain a new perspective and understanding of the world.

You will be able to go full-steam ahead, whether you study well or not. You are worthy and you deserve to be able to carve a life for yourself that you like and want.

Don't let anyone else's behaviour abort that for you. It is best if you see a counsellor face to face, but if for some reason that is not possible or practical, you can in the meantime call the Parivarthan Counselling Helpline at +91 7676602602.

 

Dear Madam,

Earlier, my son used to show interest in many outdoor activities and used to attend cultural programmes as well. Of late, he has developed interest in online projects and does short videos. I am a bit worried that there is no balance between outdoor and indoor time as except for school time, he spends very little time outside. But he is well-informed. Teachers too appreciate him for his active participation in the class. Please guide.

Aditi

 

Dear Aditi,

It is normal for parents to feel anxious about their children. We want them to be perfect people in a perfect world. We also want to do whatever we can to help them become perfect people, and make the world as perfect for them as possible. So the fact that you are feeling anxious about a certain aspect of his life getting neglected by other aspects is normal.

Please understand that as children grow and develop, their interests also change and develop along different dimensions. From everything you have said, it does not seem that your child is using technology in a negative way.

I agree with you that it is nice to have actual face to face interactions with people and spend time in the outdoors. Unfortunately, in this generation, technology seems to have replaced the playground and that is a problem not only for your son but for a large part of his generation. Do you know who his peer group is and what they are doing? If his friends are indoors, then it is harder for him to be outdoors.

Is the technology interfering with his friendships? Does he have friends, or is he using technology to 'hide' and get away from social interactions? Is he able to interact socially in a so called normal way, carry on meaningful conversations, maintain eye contact while talking, etc? Is he using the technology as an 'escape' from something? These are some questions you may want to answer for yourself and discuss with him.

I guess you could impress upon him the need for exercise, and then let him decide what form of exercise he likes. The thing to remember is that if you become too repetitive about something he will push back because this is also his age to create his own identity, create space between him and his parents, rebel and become his own person. So have conversations around this once in a while, but remember to be non-judgemental and accepting, giving him choices that you could facilitate, if he likes. And no matter what your anxieties are, deal
with them outside of the parent-child relationship.

 

Dear Madam,

I often find it difficult to stand my ground and defend myself when needed, whether it is among my friends or my family. Although I do try to defend myself, it often fails as I am not heard. As a result, I am often seen as someone who is weak. How can I speak up for myself in a more assertive manner? Please guide.  

Priyanka

 

Dear Priyanka,

The world often reflects to us what we think of ourselves. If we think of ourselves as weak, powerless and under attack, then those are the messages we pick from the world. That is what we think the world is telling us. The reality is that those are the only messages from the world that we pay attention to! You see you are unable to defend yourself. Why do you feel the need to defend yourself all the time? Why are you feeling like a victim? You do not need to keep proving yourself and justifying what you say and do to anyone, other than yourself. You are a valid and worthy person entitled to your own opinions and points of view and capable of taking your own actions and taking care of yourself.

You don't need to keep justifying yourself to anyone or proving yourself to anyone. You may find the two links below helpful in understanding this concept further: www.bit.ly/2B3YzZb and www.bit.ly/2zV2ysG. Also, please see if you can access a counsellor in your college, or elsewhere, to get some help work through this for yourself. It can be a life-changing experience for you. All the best.

 

Dear Madam,

Though I have many friends and like spending time with them, I often find myself to be lonely. I have discussed this with my friends and family, but they have dismissed it and say that it is a phase and it will get over. While it may be true, I think otherwise. How can I work towards eliminating this feeling of loneliness?

Meena

 

Dear Meena,

You are blessed to have friends and family with whom you have been able to discuss your feelings. If you have a continuous feeling of being lonely, it may be because of how you are processing your thoughts and relationships.

I think it will be very helpful for you to seek out a counsellor and discuss your thoughts and feelings in the security of a confidential relationship. Without speaking to you, it would be difficult for me to give you more insight other than discuss this in more detail and explore further what is going on for you. All the best!

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