I want to know how to interact with my classmates in a way that causes me less stress and effort. I don’t want to upset them or displease them in any way. How do I treat my classmates with kindness and respect so that it eliminates gossip and ill feelings from them towards me? I fear causing distrust and enmity between them and don’t want to accidentally hurt their feelings or make them have resentment towards me after so many years? I’m stuck with them in a class and if I take on the role of CR or monitor, I fear they might have ill feelings if I scold them or shout at them. Do you think I should just keep to myself and choose to be silent instead? Help!
I am constantly afraid in school and feel like something might go wrong or I might get into trouble with a teacher. As a result, I overthink and expect the worst. Can you help with a simple solution as to how to get through school with minimal issues? With others and with teachers? Maybe I can alter my behaviour in some way?
Thank you for writing in and discussing your worrying situation with me. I can’t begin to imagine what an overwhelming position you’ve put yourself in. Trying to please everyone is a recipe for stress, misery and frustration. You cannot make people like, understand, validate, accept or be nice to you. It is almost impossible to please everyone, but the good news is that it shouldn’t matter. Believe in yourself and do what you think is right for you. You have no control over other’s behaviours but you do have complete control over your reaction to it. The only opinion that matters is the one you have about yourself. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. One of the happiest moments ever is when you find the courage to let go of things you can’t change. Be confident. Each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses, and it is only when we accept everything we are and aren’t, that we succeed. What do you think, you become. What do you feel, you attract. What do you imagine, you create – Buddha
Being in a responsible position such as a monitor or CR is of great honour. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Take very little notice of those people who choose to treat you poorly. It is how they define their story, not yours. Focus on changing your reaction to people’s actions. Living in fear is not living. Overthinking only leads to creating problems that never existed. Worrying about how things might go wrong doesn’t make things go right. What has to happen, will happen. Be yourself and the right people will love you.
I am 16 years old. I am an introvert. I want to talk to people but sometimes can’t because I don’t know what to talk to them, especially boys. Whenever I go to talk to them I just say hi and then it’s over, I can’t think of anything to discuss. I get nervous. My self-confidence is very low. I tried to work on it but I can’t and I don’t know what’s wrong. Please help.
Dear S N,
Thanks for your email and for sharing your challenging situation with me. It seems like you really want to talk to people but the fear of what they might think of you, is stopping you. Ever pondered that maybe it is your own insecurities that stop you and your silence might actually send the message that you are not interested in having a conversation. Avoid negative thinking. Boys are only as human as girls and talking to them shouldn’t be any different. It might feel a bit strange, but that is something only you are allowing yourself to feel. Allow yourself to be imperfect and don’t beat yourself up if you think you messed up or said the wrong thing. The guy you are talking to may be just as shy as you are. Emphasise your strengths. When we evaluate ourselves and that voice in our heads is negative; it is tough to stop listening to it, but at the end of the day it’s your voice and only you can tell it what to say. Think positive and let happy thoughts surround you.
Do keep writing in with your queries at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Writer is a psychologist and counsellor at the Sethu Centre for Child Development and Family Guidance.)