Agony Aunt: I don’t understand if I recognise myself as male or female

Gender jumble

I am a 35-year-old person, I don’t understand if I recognise myself as a male or a female and therefore it is more convenient for me when others refer to me as the middle gender. I have come out clean about it in front of friends; I don’t know how to tell my colleagues about it. I am unsure about the reception from my colleagues. What should I do?

Ans: Self-identity and being comfortable with the same begins at an individual level and then proceeds to others. You have already accepted yourself the way you are and have also succeeded in bringing about an understanding amongst your friends. As far as your colleagues are concerned, communicating about your gender identity should happen only if imperative and would bring about some positive changes in your equation or interaction with them.

Confession of a cheater

I am a 42-year-old man; I cheated on my wife with my boss. I feel really bad for having done this, but I am very strongly attracted to my boss sexually. There are no emotions involved however. The relation was purely physical as we broke up post her transfer to another city. I love my wife with all my heart. My conscience is forcing me to tell about this to my wife, but I am really scared about the consequences of telling her. What am I supposed to do?

Ans: Any relationship requires honesty for it to be healthy and sustainable. The fact that you indulged in a sexual relationship outside your marriage could reflect certain deficits in your existing relationship with your wife. You could begin by approaching a marital counselor and evaluating your take on marriage as a relationship so that if and when you speak to your wife, you are better prepared for the consequences. Often, feelings like guilt might drive us to take certain decisions that we might not be very comfortable with in the long run. Thus, finding ways to absolve guilt and then take a decision is imperative. You could also think on lines of getting into couples counseling at some point so that there is clarity on both you and your wife’s part as to which aspect of the relationship requires change.

Agony Aunt: I don’t understand if I recognise myself as male or female

A failed initiative

I had started an anonymous page, it was meant to spread positivity across our office and make it lively, but sadly there has been a lot of hatred going around, and everyone got to know that it was me who had started the page. I used it as a means of constructive criticism and not with a bad intention. I am bearing the brunt of those who are hurt in the process. What can I do to not let it affect my equation with everyone around?

Ans: Social media can act as a double edged sword and needs to be used with immense care. Though your intentions were to spread positivity, things turned out differently, which now requires damage control. You can begin by making a few amendments on the page, such as stating exactly what is appropriate and allowed to be shared on the page and exercising strict actions against those who fail to adhere to the rules. Discussing the existing issues due to this page directly with the concerned individuals so that any lingering misunderstanding can be cleared is also essential as you seem to be more worried about how it has affected your overall equation with the office colleagues.

Leader with a heart 

I am an employee at an IT firm for the past twelve years. I recently got a promotion as well as a transfer from Kerala branch to Punjab. I am responsible for a team of twenty eight employees who are all in the age group of mid twenties to early thirties. It has been only five months since my shift, but I have found these young people exhibiting severe health issues and an unhealthy work life balance. Is there anything that I can do to help them?

Ans: The idea of bringing about certain positive changes in your work place is quite essential and it is the need of the hour as well. Since you already know the existing issues amongst your employees, you could begin by formulating workshops and sessions that speak about those issues. Roping in a team of professionals such as a mental health practitioner, nutritionist, a general physician, arts based therapist, or even a yoga instructor for that matter could help establish a comprehensive approach towards employee benefit. Conducting intermediate team meetings with health and work life balance being the agenda can also help.

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