Agony Aunt helps you to deal with challenges of managing change in personal life

The lonely mother

I am a 53 year old mother of two children. Most recently my youngest child moved to another country to pursue her education further and I am unsure how to cope with the change. I am a stay at home mother, and hence with my youngest leaving, there is a void in my life that I want to fill. I constantly feel sad and lonely. Hence, I don’t have anyone to talk to as my husband isn’t going through the same thing as I am, what should I do?

Ans: I understand that the last couple of years with kids growing up you would have been immensely busy with various responsibilities. Now since the responsibilities have become less and the time in hand is still the same, trying to cultivate some productive activities to occupy your time is essential. This opportunity could be used to learn a new skill, pursue your hobbies and all those things that were put in the box of ‘I will do this later’. Once you keep yourself mentally and physically engaged, the chances of feeling sad would also reduce.

Challenges of a change

Most recently, my family and I moved to a bigger city for my father’s job and I started a new school. I am 13 years old and adjusting to a new environment that has taken a toll on me. I am suddenly experiencing a lot of anxiety, and have had trouble making new friends which makes me unmotivated to go to school every morning. My mother constantly tells me that I am unable to adjust because I am too shy, and need to put myself out there more, but that becomes more difficult as the days go by, what should I do?

Ans: A new environment often brings in overwhelming feelings especially the one you mentioned of anxiety. Since the move is recent and you are getting accustomed to the environment, taking baby steps here is essential. Since you spend a lot of time at school, rather than looking at it as a space where you have to be friends with everyone, try initiating conversations with few classmates to begin with. Here the conversations are merely for the sake of getting to know each other rather than an agenda that you have to make friends, once you are comfortable with this process the anxiety would have gone down and you can then decide who you can be friends with.

Unsupportive parents & partner

I am a 25 year old male, who recently quit my job at a bank, because I wanted something more out of my career. My parents and girlfriend are both extremely upset that I made this move. I haven’t been able to find the “perfect job.” As the months pass, my relationship with my parents is becoming more strained, as they are pressurising me to take up any job I can get and my girlfriend is slowly drifting away, because she thinks I am becoming unmotivated and lazy I am getting increasingly more stressed, and am undergoing severe anxiety because of the changes, what should I do?

Ans: Often there comes a phase in life where there are difficult decisions to be made which might be costly to certain degree. In your case you are finding it difficult to embrace the changes that are going to be made if you chose to stick to what you are currently doing in order to find something you like. Until you reflect that assurance within yourself to work with these changes, the conflict will exist. In order to reduce the stress and anxiety, take some time off and make your mind clear about what you want at the moment.

Troubles in convincing

I am a 27-year-old female, who has been in a relationship for the past 3 years. I have met my boyfriend’s family multiple times, and have a great relationship with them. However, my mother refuses to acknowledge our relationship. I have tried several times to have a conversation with her about her reasoning behind her disdain towards my relationship, however, the conversation always ends up becoming in a huge fight. My boyfriend wants to take the next step in our relationship and is getting frustrated that he is unable to do so. He also thinks that I am not trying hard enough to convince my parents, and this is putting a strain on me. What should I do?

Ans: You and your boyfriend both need to discuss the practical realities with existing at each household. Since there are differences in approach between parents there is only so much you can do individually. Invite him over your place for meeting your parents where he can put across his seriousness towards you and relationship. This process need both of you equally being a participant and thus his presence might make a huge difference.


Not the good old friend

I and my best friend got a job in the same company. We have been friends since childhood, we basically grew up together. We have always been very competitive. But it has always been like a healthy competition. She has been performing very well at the job and is due to get a promotion soon. Since she has gotten this news she has been behaving extremely cocky towards me. This behaviour of hers is becoming too much for me to handle. I am very happy for her and hope that she keeps doing great at work, but I also miss my old friend. I don’t want to lose her. What should I do?

Ans: You and your best friend would have had multiple conversations over the years that are important or simply mundane or very inconsequential. This is the time where you use that skill to communicate anything and everything so that the relationship isn’t hurt due to the change in attitude. Her behaviour has to be brought into notice in a way that it doesn’t lead to you pointing out that it’s due to promotion. This might lead to an argument which could turn ugly. Thus, focus on telling her how you feel and which behaviour of hers makes you feel that way rather than why the change might have occurred.

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