The fear of missing out
I am a 20-year-old college student who has a really fun group of friends. Previously we would have a lot of fun doing random things like talking for hours and watching movies. Recently, I have realised we can’t seem to have a fun time anymore when we are sober. Everyone wants to drink and party and I feel like we do not spend quality time anymore. Though I drink, I have been avoiding meeting them because it feels as if it’s the same routine of getting drunk and going out to party. By doing this, I feel isolated and fear that I am missing out. I love them all a lot and know they are incredible people, but I am frustrated and don’t know what to do. Should I find other friends?
Ans: The fear of missing out on things in life even though they cause certain discomfort to begin with could become a matter of concern when it affects overall functioning. Your social circle is taking a hit as you don’t adhere to their so called norms of getting high and enjoying life and I understand that this could be disturbing. Your reasons for the absence need to be communicated to your friends as true friendship will persist irrespective of whether you accompany for drinking or not. Also remember making personal choices of what kind of lifestyle you wish to lead is not equivalent to offending anyone.
Growing old and gloomy
I am 70-years-old and I feel lonely. Everyone in my family is either studying, working or has other plans. I have been active all my life, but now due to old age and health issues I can’t do much. I pick arguments with my son often and don’t like how I have become. I tried to socialise with other senior citizens in my building, but there is limitation to that as well. I don’t see a lot of purpose in life anymore and feel very sad. How do I get my old self back?
Ans: Aging has its own set of challenges like any other phase of life however, loneliness could be most difficult to deal with. Moving from being an active person to now being able to participate only in limited activities also would add to the dampened mood. The first step towards feeling better is to accept that growing up involves not just physical but also emotional changes and outlook towards certain things in life. Your family members are going through their routine in life and it is essential to develop a routine of your own keeping in mind your limitations so that you feel less helpless and more equipped with your at present strengths.
The marriage misconception
My issue is with the concept of ‘marriageable age’ and the pressure my family is putting on me as I happen to be 30 years and still unmarried. I am working and earning well and also have a decent social circle. However, for the past few months I have been cornered by my family to get married and settle down. I am unsure about the whole concept of marriage and get very irritable when someone mentions it around me. What can I do?
Ans: The societal view could be quite irritating if you don’t adhere to the conventional norms. The uncertainty that revolves around the concept of marriage needs to be addressed first. Unless there is clarity on your part that you do think of marriage as step you personally would like to take rather than being forced to take by family, the purpose of entering a new relationship is lost. The irritability could also be a resultant of the confusion you are finding yourself to be in. A professional could work with you on this issue so as to help you few things about yourself and what would help you decide better.
Heart broken brother
My brother recently went through a bad breakup as the girl he was supposed to get married to called it off one month prior to the wedding. He is visibly affected by it though he doesn’t talk about it. My parents have tried to talk to him but he shuts them off. I am currently in Dubai and unable to come down for another few weeks. I really want to help as I fear he will go further down and not really share with anyone around. How can I help him?
Ans: It is really essential to understand that breakup of any kind will lead to a state of discomfort. Space is an essential component as it will take time to accept the fall apart. However, your concern is very genuine and will be present as he is your brother. Until the time you can’t make it back home you could just stay in touch with him over the phone and instead of you initiating the conversation about the breakup, you could just through your actions to let him know that you’re there. Another thing that can be done is convincing him to seek help of a therapist so that he has someone to vent out his emotions, as in this situation he would also be thinking of the society and the family’s views thus would be refraining from opening up to family members.
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