My communication skills are poor
I have written to you twice and your advice always proved right for me. Thank you so much for that. Now, once again I need your suggestion. I belong to a middle-class family and I studied in an ordinary school where I had to study on my own. Then I did my Intermediate in pre-engineering and through sheer hard work I was able to get admission in one of the best engineering universities of Pakistan. Guru, I have always been a brilliant student and I get good scores in written exams but my issue is that I cannot communicate in English. I can read, write and understand, but when it comes to spoken English, all my confidence fizzles out and I feel like a dumb boy. Guru, please tell me how I can improve my communication skills.
Just relax, young man. There is nothing to worry about. See, you are already familiar with the language; you only need to polish your skills. And the best way of improving your spoken English is to start thinking in English. You’ll notice that thinking in English will make it easier for you to speak it. Secondly, don’t be afraid of talking in English with your class fellows and teachers. The more you practice, the more confident you will become. Start with small sentences and slowly and gradually come to complex sentences. Try to sit in the company of people with whom you can communicate in English comfortably. And don’t feel ashamed of making mistakes while talking in English. After all, it is not your mother tongue. Try to practice in front of the mirror, record your voice and then listen to your own voice; it will help you in detecting your flaws. Read out loud, too. Just the act of speaking out loud will help you become more comfortable speaking English. And be very precise when it comes to pronunciation. Don’t worry about accent but pay attention to correct pronunciation of the words and for that I highly recommend you to watch English plays and movies. Listen carefully to the pronunciation and people will get impressed when you’ll speak correctly, if not fluently, in front of them. Try English tongue twisters, as they are a great way of helping your pronunciation. Tongue twister word games can be found easily on YouTube. And last but not least, be persistent. As they say practice makes a man perfect. Good luck!
My best friend is in a lot of stress
I am an 18-year-old girl. I read your column regularly and really like your way of solving teenagers’ problems. My problem is related to my best friend. I really love her but of late I have noticed considerable changes in her behaviour. I think she is under the influence of some kind of black magic. She has become very quiet and hardly talks to anyone except me. Her attitude is not normal; in fact, it has become weird. She has left all her friends and is not taking interest in her studies. I think she is under a lot of stress. Her mother passed away two years ago and since then she has become very quiet. She lives with her father and brother. She misses her mother terribly. Guru, I want her to come out of this depressed state of mind but I am bad in counselling. How can I console my friend? I cannot see her in pain. I am so worried about her. I am afraid of losing her. I want her to live a normal, happy life. Please help.
A Loser in Friendship
Dear Loser in Friendship,
I am really inspired by your sincerity to your friend, and I really appreciate your concern for her. In these days, it is hard to find genuine friends and she is lucky to have a friend like you. Now, coming to your problem, I don’t think your friend is under the influence of black magic. I think she is a patient of depression and she needs to see a professional psychologist who can treat her suitably. If you really want to help your friend, then talk to her family. Persuade her father and brother to pay special attention to her and take her to a psychologist as she needs proper counselling. I think she hasn’t come to terms with the fact that her mother is no more and it has shattered her confidence. You must try to give her company as much as you can. In fact, encourage her to go out. It’s very important for her to come out of her shell. Well, it will require a lot of patience and effort on your part and I am sure with right counselling and support from you and her family, she will come back to normal life soon. Good luck!
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