It’s the holidays and there is so much that I want to do and so many places I want to go, but somehow my friends either don’t like my plans or are too busy with plans of their own. A few friends will be back from their holidays just before the academic year begins. It’s already the end of May and I feel like I’ve wasted so much time waiting for my friends to let me know when they are free. I feel so angry sometimes and don’t know how to deal with this situation. Any suggestions?
Thank you for writing in and sharing your situation with me. You seem to be in a situation that reminds me of a quote by John Lennon, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” Plans work best when executed. Feeling angry and sometimes even a little frustrated is quite justified in your position, as things aren›t going your way. However, I can’t help but wonder why you’re allowing yourself to feel this way? Your holidays are drawing to an end and you’ve already spent so much time waiting in the hope that someday your friends will make time for you. There are seven days in the week and someday isn’t one of them. So stop wasting time, waiting for people to be a part of your plans and just go ahead with them anyway. Do things on your own, for yourself, the way you like it. Sudden plans are always the best ones and make the best memories. You might probably end up doing so much more and overcome some of your personal insecurities too while perhaps even making new friends along the way. Remember, if plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 other letters! Make the most of what’s left of your holiday… the last few days are almost always the best. Enjoy!
This holiday I had enrolled for a week-long summer camp for adolescents. The camp was good and I learnt so much. However, I left feeling very bad. There were a group of three girls who constantly made fun of me or something I said or shared with the others. I don’t think I stepped on their toes in anyway and have never even met them before. The group would laugh with them and I sometimes felt hurt about it. I would hate every break as I always felt they were saying something about me or laughing and making fun of something I had said or done earlier. By the end of the camp, I would think twice before saying anything and at times, would just not say anything at all to avoid having being teased or made fun of. I wish I knew how to deal with this as it has shaken up my self-confidence. Please help.
Thanks for your email and for sharing your troubling situation with me. Wow, I really admire your courage and determination to complete the camp while going through such a difficult time. You are one strong girl! If people make fun of you, then you’re probably doing something right. If they’re laughing because you are different, you can smile because they are all the same. Do not allow the negative energy of people to affect you. Don’t let their laughter silence you. If you have something important to say, say it, irrespective of what others think. ‘Nobody can make you feel inferior, without your consent’ – Eleanor Roosevelt. You could also try confronting them respectfully and asking them if there was something wrong or funny that you might have said as you wondered why they were always laughing. They may or may not tell you, but at least you would’ve tried to better the situation. How others make you feel about yourself, says more about them than you. Always surround yourself with people who have positive energy. Keep in mind that anyone who tries to bring you down is already below you. “When people you don’t even know hate you, that’s when you know you are the best”- Paris Hilton.
It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you’re not. Confidence is not “They will like me.” Confidence is “I’ll be fine if they don’t”– Christina Grimmie. When you start seeing your worth, you will slowly find it harder to stay around those don’t.
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(The columnist is a psychologist and counsellor at the Sethu Centre for Child Development and Family Guidance.)