Q: I am a 21-year-old girl. In school, I had two close friends but we rarely met after school ended. I went to college and had trouble adjusting because I wasn’t familiar with anyone there. I somehow became friends with one girl who got married during our bachelors, so I was left alone for almost six months till my degree ended. We do talk sometimes but haven’t met since she left for the US after her wedding and is now a mother of two. She is my only friend whom I trust with my problems but she does not have time for me anymore. I feel so alone and lost because she was the only person I shared everything with. I have trouble sharing my feelings with my mom, so I keep bottling things up, which eventually frustrates me. I have trouble making new friends, as I am not confident enough to talk to anyone and I feel really depressed because of this. Please tell me what should I do? Fareeha
A: Dear Fareeha, many people have trouble making friends, so it’s not something to feel depressed about. Many go through this problem and deal with it in their own way. Sometimes, it happens because of insecurity but at other times, it is just because some people are introverts and despite making an effort they cannot step out of their bubble and socialise. In your case, it could be both the reasons, for the insecurity is limiting the number of people who you can be friends with and introversion is possibly keeping you from being social outside your personal space. You seem sensitive and that is what stops you from opening up in front of people. The only solution is to be friendly and talk to people. As far as your married friend is concerned, she isn’t ignoring you on purpose, but it’s her life with her husband and kids that needs her attention at the moment and you should understand that. So instead of complaining about it, you should change your own attitude.
Q: Hi! I am 22 years old and have a younger sister who is 18. I sometimes feel really jealous of her. Ever since I was a kid, my parents have been really strict with me. However, I was always obedient towards them and did as they asked me to. But my sister got away with everything. I did not even get a chance to get a degree of my choice, let alone anything else. My sister does not even study properly and gets average grades. She never helps around the house and is very disrespectful, especially towards me. My parents are oblivious to her attitude which surprises me as they never behaved like this with me. Please tell me how to deal with this discrimination. Sobia
A: Dear Sobia, this is a very sad situation. Given that your parents are very lenient with your sister, it is their fault in the first place. You shouldn’t blame your sister for something your parents are responsible for, so it’s irrational of you to be jealous or hateful towards her. The fact that you are jealous of her because of the extra attention she receives is natural but is certainly not justified. The problem lies with your parents who have raised her to behave like this and have shown discriminatory behaviour. Try and have a talk with both your mom and dad, and ask them why they are biased with the two of you. This isn’t just a matter of petty sibling rivalry but a matter of favouritism, which is unhealthy for your household.
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