Being big sister
I am 14-years-old. I have a sister who is six years old. She was born when I was eight years old. Since then I had to grow up pretty fast. My parents were always busy with their work and taking care of her that I had to look out for myself. I love my sister, but I can’t help, but feel overly pressurised at times. I had to recently give up on going for a trip with my friends as she was going to be all alone as my parents were travelling due to work. I got very upset and angry and spoke rudely to my parents. What can I do in this situation?
Ans: The onus of your younger sister onto you is quite a demanding task, and I can understand that the argument you had with your parents is the result of that very demand. There needs to be an intervention from your parents end in this situation as there needs to be an understanding on their part as well. Having a conversation with them doesn’t have to be you complaining, but simply letting them know that you are being affected by all the family scenario and its creating an impact on the other areas in your life. Express your feelings however, refrain from letting them dictate your behaviour.
Victim of rat race
Growing up I have always been an overachiever in academics due to my parents pushing me to study. I never really enjoyed it and did it only for their happiness. I am not a competitive person, so ranking first is not my priority. Now, as a 17-year-old I am sick of running the rat race of ranks for my parent’s happiness, I wish to indulge in activities I enjoy rather than academics. My parents cannot digest this and think my average scoring friend is influencing me. I do not know how to tell them how I really feel so that I can be my real self and do things I enjoy.
Ans: It is essential that you define those other things that you would rather do and enjoy as an alternative to studies. Your parents assumption that you will waste opportunities in life and end up being an average person is probably based on the fact that they are unclear as to what your alternative plans are. Thus, have a discussion with them about your lack of inclination towards academics and how you would be happier choosing something else over studies. Having this conversation with assertiveness is essential as it will also help them see that your friend has no role to play in this.
Struck by stress
I have been lately experiencing bouts of anxiety, wherein my heart races suddenly at an unimaginable speed. I don’t know the reason why it happens, but I am very stressed due to this sudden change in the pattern. I was absolutely alright until last week. I am expecting my results soon and I think this could be a possible reason, but then on second thoughts I have given many such exams in past, but not felt this way. What can be done?
Ans: Anxiety kicks in when there is stress which is either external or internal. In your case the stress being external is less likely as you have been in the given situation here i.e. examinations multiple times in the past. The stress factor is more internal and exclusively focused on the results. The outcome isn’t really in your hands once you have accomplished the task. However, you could rely on the efforts that you have put in which could determine the possible outcome which is in your favour. Thus, have faith in your capabilities and efforts put in for these exams so that your attention isn’t focused on what the results might be.
I am a 24-year-old man living with my parents and earning a decent living. I started dating last year and my girlfriend works in my younger sister’s office. They are very good friends and discuss a lot amongst each other. Recently, I overheard them talking about marriage and this gave me a shock. I am not really sure who they were discussing, but it didn’t sound too well to me as I freaked out. This is my first serious relationship and I don’t want it to be jeopardised.
Ans: I hear your concern about getting cold feet with the mere idea of marriage. I also sense that the relationship is very important to you and thus, any change in behaviour is viewed as a threat to the same. First of all you overheard a conversation which might not have been the true reflection of their entire talk. Secondly, you and your girlfriend both need to speak to each other and discuss the individual views about marriage and long term commitment with an idea of understanding one another. This will also help in bridging a gap if any that would appear due to difference in thinking. Lastly, this would help in reducing your fear as well.
I am a 19-year-old college student. My college ends till 1 p.m. I don’t know how to spend my time after getting home. I feel really tired and spend the whole day sleeping. It feels like I don’t have a purpose. I don’t feel like pursuing any of my hobbies either. What should I do?
Ans: You feeling tired, lacking interest in things that would otherwise interest you and feeling purposeless together might indicate early signs of low mood. Since, there is inactivity and lots of free time, it is resulting in an effect on your emotions. There could be deficiency of certain vitamins as well, for which getting blood check up done can help. Starting with few small activities which do not take up too much time and effort could be beneficial so that you can gradually build up on more tasks. Joining some class or taking up voluntary work could help building your CV as well as productively use your time.
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