I feel like a guest in my own house
I am a regular reader of your column and I really like your unique way of solving problems. I am a 22-year-old boy. I belong to a well-off family. My father is a businessman. After I did my A-Levels, my father sent me abroad to do my BBA. I have been living in the UK since four years and studying in one of the prestigious universities of London. I have completed my BBA and now am going to take admission in MBA. Guru, my problem is that when I come home during my semester break, I feel like a stranger in my own house. I have three younger siblings and I have noticed that over the years, they have become very formal with me. They don’t talk much to me. They were very close to me but not anymore. My parents are affectionate towards me but somehow, I feel that they treat me differently now. They all treat me as a guest and not as a family member. I am so confused. Is this my assumption or have my family members changed? In London, I have made many good friends but when I come to Karachi, it becomes difficult for me to pass my time as most of my old friends have gone abroad. This is a worrisome situation for me. What should I do?
Stranger in the House
Dear Stranger in the House,
Relax, young boy, there is nothing to worry about. Actually, you feel alienated because you don’t live with them and probably you don’t share the same interests anymore. Sometimes distance occurs between siblings when they stop living together. You complain that they are formal with you but have you ever reviewed your own behaviour? Maybe they feel reluctant to talk to you because of your own mannerism. You need to be more polite and gentle towards them. When you come to your home, try to bring little gifts for your siblings. Gifts are a nice way to express your love and emotions towards your loved ones. Try to associate yourself with their activities. Also, when in home town, instead of sitting idle, go to your father’s office with him. He will be happy that his young son is showing interest in his business. Remember that you are not a guest there; you are part of the family. And this is all temporary, because once you come back after completing your studies, your parents and siblings’ behaviour towards you will be back to normal. Good luck!
My friends take me for granted
I am a big fan of your column. I am a 21-year-old girl. I did my graduation last year and now am working in a private office. I belong to a middle-class family. I am doing this job so that I can meet my expenses as I don’t want to be a burden on my family. Guru, I happen to be generous by nature; I have lots of friends and am very popular among my friends. I often give treats to my friends in office, and also give them nice gifts. However, I have noticed that my friends take me for granted. I don’t mind spending on my friends, but it really upsets me that they only come to me for their own purposes. They are never around when I need them. I am a sincere friend to them but in return I don’t get sincerity. I feel like a loner sometimes despite having friends. What should I do?
Dear Upset Girl,
This is a wakeup call for you, young girl. Don’t feel dejected, dear. This world is full of users and selfish people. Actually, it is your fault to assume your colleagues as friends. At work place, there are no friends; they are all your co-workers. Yes, you can have cordial relations with them but don’t expect any sincerity from them. Actually, your school or college friends are your real friends. When you enter your practical life, you make social acquaintances, not friends. Having said that, now you must take some practical steps. First of all, stop spending lavishly on your so-called friends. Try to save your hard-earned money. Your colleagues are just taking advantage of your generous nature. They all earn, and they can also treat you or give you gifts once in a while. I am not asking you to become a miser but please spend judiciously; not unnecessarily. Be nice with your colleagues since you work with them but try to maintain a distance. And focus on your own happiness.
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