I want to get over my fear
I am an engineering student of final year. I have always been an excellent student throughout my academic life. Lately, I have developed an unknown fear. There is a friend of mine Z and we are in same group for our final year project. Our project is not strictly technology-based but it mostly depends on our strategy. Z is confident and she always speaks in front of our advisor. Her suggestions are good. For some reason, she does not let others speak their mind. I do speak but only when I think it’s needed. Now I think my teacher feels that I am not good enough or that I am dumb. There are two more girls in my group who hardly participate in the discussions, but they are relaxed. I stay normal outside the class, but when we are in a discussion, my heart beats so fast I can feel it. I really don’t care much about my grades; I know I’ll pass. This is my last year and I just want this remaining time to be pleasant. I want to get over my fear. I want to relax. Please tell me how?
Dear Worried Girl,
You seem like an intelligent girl and with a little effort I am sure you can overcome your fear. Dear, it’s normal to have fears. Some have fear of heights; some have fear of insects and so on. However, when fears begin to affect your functioning, they become a problem. As the author Katherine Paterson once said, “To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.” Fears often manifest as phobias, which can include fear of public speaking or take part in a discussion. It’s impossible to think clearly when you’re flooded with fear or anxiety. The first thing to do is take time out so you can physically calm down. Distract yourself from the worry for 15 minutes by going for a walk, making a cup of tea or having a bath. Another way of coping with it is to breathe slowly. Place the palm of your hand on your stomach and breathe slowly and deeply. So by controlling breathing you control all the other anxiety symptoms as well like racing heartbeat. Perhaps the most important coping tool is to be kind to yourself - don’t listen to the negativity; be your own best friend. Look at Z as your friend only, and not as your competitor. This feeling will give you some satisfaction as you all are working together as a team. So, there is nothing to worry about being not very active in your project. You know you are good at what you do and believe me your teacher knows it, too. Now, next time try to participate actively in the discussion and don’t be afraid of speaking your mind. Good luck!
My mother is biased
I am a great fan of your column. I am a 14-year-old girl and studying in an English medium school. I have an elder sister who is 18 years old and goes to college. My problem is my mom who has a biased attitude towards me. Guru, actually I am on a darker side whereas my sister is very fair and pretty. I love my sister but I really get upset when my mom gives her priority in everything over me. She brings best clothes to her but she never asks me if I need new clothes. Since I was a child I have been wearing my sister’s clothes. My mother cooks her favourite dishes but she seldom takes into consideration my choice. Recently my sister had a haircut. After few days I also had had a haircut but my mom said that I copied her style even though that wasn’t the case. My hair was really thick and I badly needed a cut. Sometimes it makes me wonder if I am really her daughter. I am so tensed. Please tell me what should I do?
Tensed Little Daughter
Dear Tensed Little Daughter,
Sometimes parents show strong tendency leaning towards one child and neglecting their other offspring. Your mother doing the same thing unintentionally without realizing that she is being unfair to you. You should not feel upset by her behaviour. You love her and you don’t need to prove your love. However, you must talk to your mother frankly about this whole issue. Tell her you don’t like it when you are being neglected by her. Your mother loves you. It’s just that she needs to be reminded to be fair with both of her daughters. If you want you can take help of one of your aunts who can make her understand this simple point. Good luck!
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