From pregnancy pressure to playboy boyfriend: Agony Aunt answers your questions

Annoying aunt

I have been living with some relatives during my time in college since it is far away from home and they were generous enough to offer their house as a place for me to stay. Although everyone is nice to me in the house, especially my aunt, there are many inconveniences that have started dulling my mood in the house. Firstly, the food made is always extremely spicy and has almost no flavour besides the spice, and I cannot tolerate spicy food at all. My room is also almost every second day messed around with and my files are disorganised and my papers are kept in a nonsensical order. I also barely catch any sleep at night since the family stays up quite late watching TV very loudly. I do not want to come across as ungrateful and spoiled, but this has started affecting my concentration and making me anxious when I’m at their home. I really feel frustrated. Please help.

Ans: I can understand that leaving home and staying with your relatives also while handling studies and college could be overwhelming. You mentioned a couple of problems that might be above the level of adjustment at this point in time. Looking for alternate stay options that are close to college could be quite helpful here as it will take care of your day to day frustrations as well as not upset your relatives in the bargain. Personal care comes first here, thus, making alternative stay plans could be a start for the same.

Not an emotional fool

I have come to the realisation that I am very emotionally closed off as compared to the average person. There was a talk another day which involved a tear-jerking speech from a cancer patient, and everyone around me was crying and tearing up but I only felt slight sympathy at most. Even when watching sad movies with my friends, they always tear up but I barely even feel sad at it. This has caused me to start questioning my mental state and now I feel emotionally void and confused. I don’t know what to do. Please help.

Ans: Societal or conventional expectations from us could be daunting at times. In the situations you mentioned where everyone else is able to emote their sadness and sympathy, it sounds almost mandatory for you to do so as well. There could be a possibility that emotionally one could feel numb and it could result in questioning your mental state. However, we first rule out the possibility of you failing to concede social expectations and if the feeling still persists; visiting a psychologist to understand yourself better could help.

The ‘pregnancy’ pressure

I have been married for the past six years now. We have been trying to have a baby for the last three years. I had a miscarriage four months ago and have been trying to cope with the loss since then. Added to this, my sister-in-law is already two months pregnant. I feel immensely pressurised by this as my family is quite particular about the concept of a ‘complete family’. I don’t know how to cope better.

Ans: I am very sorry for your loss. The need for a complete family also somewhere needs to be your personal choice, as to when and how you wish to do so. Coping with the loss is essential as grieving is a process in itself. Conversing with your family about this and conveying to them that healing is your priority at the moment and gradually when you are emotionally doing better, you can think about conceiving again. There is also an emotional toll on you with respect to your sister-in-law and her pregnancy. Tackling one stress and emotional turmoil at a time could help rather than focusing on everything at the same time.

Playboy alert!

My friend’s boyfriend of eight months has a roving eye. He just about flirts with every other girl and my friend has turned a blind eye to his actions. He recently tried flirting with a common friend which my friend brushed aside as well. I have tried talking to her about this multiple times but to no avail. It has also happened that this guy has ignored my friend in social gatherings, raising questions on their relationship. Is there anything more I can do?

Ans: Often we might not be able to judge the fine line between being caring towards those we love and care for and being intrusive in their lives. Your intentions towards your friend’s well-being stem from a place of concern. However, your friend’s dynamic with her boyfriend especially what is acceptable and not acceptable to her in the relationship is her independent call. Be an empathetic listener, less suggestive and more supportive in times of her need.