I want to be a good communicator
I am a university going girl. I am a bright student and am good in studies but I am not good in communicating with people. Actually, I did my school from an average school where our teachers did not pay attention to improving our interpersonal skills. So, I ended up with poor communication skills. My Urdu is fine and my English is not bad either. I can easily translate my thoughts on paper but when it comes to spoken English, I find it hard to communicate in English. Sometimes I mispronounce words and people make fun of my accent. Guru, I really feel awkward when I see other students talking to each other in fluent English. I, on the other hand, mostly keep quiet because of my poor accent. Sometimes I am ashamed of myself, and feel like I am a useless girl who is not confident enough to speak correct English. Guru, I want to improve my communication skills. I want to speak confidently in front of my whole class. I don’t want to be a source of embarrassment for my family. I would like to emerge as a confident girl who is not afraid of communicating with people. Please give me some good tips.
Dear Tongue-tied Girl,
You shouldn’t feel ashamed of yourself, young girl. You need to understand that nobody in this world is perfect. Some are good in one thing but may lack in something else. People who comfortably talk in English are not better than you; it’s just that they have been brought up in a different environment. It’s not your fault if you cannot speak fluent English, and it’s not a flaw! So don’t be embarrassed about it. You are an intelligent girl and you can, with some effort and practice, easily improve your communication skills. First of all, you need to pay attention to your accent. Watch English news and programmes and notice how they pronounce words. Knowing correct pronunciation will give you confidence in communicating with others. And, instead of using difficult words, use simple words that you can pronounce easily. This will save you from embarrassment in front of others. Your body language also influences your communication. When talking, try to maintain a straight posture - like sitting up straight instead of hunching over or widening your shoulders instead of slouching. And, by doing so, you won’t just improve your ability to communicate; you’ll also feel more confident. Another great way to improve your communication skills is to see and hear for yourself how you actually communicate. You can do this by recording yourself talk. When you listen or watch yourself back, you’ll be able to easily determine the areas where you are lacking. Last but not least, don’t shy away from speaking. Don’t worry about others. Keep practicing and one day you will shine like a star. Good luck!
My best friend has changed
I am an 18-year-old girl studying in a prestigious college. I am a great fan of your column. I have a huge problem. My best friend got engaged recently. And since her fiancé has come into her life, she has distanced herself from me. Whenever, I try to speak to her on phone, she is busy with him. I have been very close to her and her careless attitude towards me is very hurtful. We haven’t been hanging out with each other lately at all. I never knew that when girls get engaged, they change. I am not engaged but I know I won’t change. I miss my friend. I don’t know how to deal with this situation.
Dear Upset Friend,
At young age people normally are emotional about their friends. They are kind of possessive about them. I don’t blame you for being possessive about her, but you need to give some space to your best friend. She is not ignoring you; she is just spending more time with her fiancé in a bid to get to know him better. There is nothing to feel upset about. Try to understand her situation. She has entered into a new phase of relationship. So, instead of complaining about her behaviour, you should be happy for her. These things do happen. It’s all part of growing up. Don’t worry, she is not going anywhere. She hasn’t changed. She is just going through a phase. She will come back to you once she is settled down. Deal normally with her.
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