Crush and the confusion

Betrayed by best friend

One of my childhood best friends grew up poorer than me, and could only afford basic clothes and accessories. During the last few months, he has started to ask me for money constantly and told me it was for food and school materials. I willingly gave him the money every time he asked. However, I found out recently that he has been using the money to buy expensive clothes and accessories for himself and purposely did not wear them in front of me to avoid confrontation. He does not know that I found out and still keeps asking me for money. I feel much betrayed and do not want to continue paying for his desires, but I still care deeply for him. What can I do?

I understand the sense of betrayal you would be experiencing when you became aware about your friend’s misdoings. It is essential to approach him without letting accusations come in the way. The point of discussion could revolve around how his actions have made you feel and how you wish to not continue supporting him monetarily from here on. In the process also try and understand if your friend is going through any emotional issues and if he needs help so that such behaviour is taken care of.

‘Covering’ the cousin

My cousin has recently been involving herself with a lot of shady people and has started drinking and smoking regularly too. She often leaves home very late to go party and keeps asking me to cover up for her to her parents. I told her that I do not approve of her behaviour, but she just dismissed me and begged me to cover up for her. I feel very bad for constantly lying for her and want her to stop this behaviour. Is there anything I can say to help her?

You wanting to help your cousin is stemming from a place of concern. However, covering up for her is also taking a toll on you as you do not advocate sneaking around parents and indulging in shady activities. Having a conversation with your parents about this could help you think of ways in which you can help your cousin. An adult perspective here can help you save your cousin from indulging into something that might have consequences that are difficult to handle.

Crush and the confusion

I have had feelings for this boy for a very long time and have been close to him for awhile too. He recently got a girlfriend and they seem very happy together. He continues to hang out me like before, but he recently has been casually flirting with me and making suggestive comments to me as well. He also keeps complimenting my appearance and chiding his girlfriend. This never used to happen before when we would hang out. Although I am very happy I feel bad for his girlfriend and do not want to hurt her or ruin their relationship, but I have liked this boy for a very long time. What should I do?

An honest communication with the boy you like is important in this case since he is giving mixed signals. Sometimes it could be your own perception towards certain things and situations since there are emotions involved which also needs to be taken into consideration. The existing emotions often cloud our judgements and could influence us to notice only selective information thus leading us to have false assumptions. Thus, to save the trouble of getting stuck in this cycle, communicating your concerns with the boy could help resolve your confusion better.

Gender bender

I am a boy and I am really passionate about fashion and always try to stay up on the trends and the ‘hot’ clothing pieces of the month. I want to pursue it as a career in the future; however my parents are against it and call it a ‘girly’ profession. Even my own friends have started calling me ‘girly’ and ‘gay’ whenever I talk about it, even though I identify as straight. I have started feeling really insecure about my passion and feel like I shouldn’t do this since I don’t want to be called ‘girly’ forever. But, at the same time, I have never been as interested in something as this. Is there anything I can do?

I understand that it must get difficult for you to keep listening to people around judge you on the basis of your choice of profession. The reason you are reaching out for help in itself shows that you are indeed very interested in fashion and wouldn’t want to give up easily. Few things that are essential to sustain any profession: interest, personality, aptitude and the ability to handle criticism or simply resistance towards criticism. Your friends and family may not be your strongest supporters at the moment, however involving yourself in company of other passionate people could help being a motivator to begin with. Once you are able to overcome the self doubt, what others feel about your choices will matter less. MINDTEMPLE