Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 21 March 2010





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette


Dear Erica,

I am a 20 year old guy doing my Bachelors degree. I have a problem in trusting one of my friends. A couple of years back, he cheated me in a money matter. He was one of my best friends (or so I thought) back then. I always thought he was very genuine and I couldnt believe what had happened.

Later, I found that he never cared for me truly as a friend and was always looking to take advantage of me. This affected me deeply and now I canít fully trust him even though we were really nice friends. I feel very bad that whenever I think about my genuine friends who care so much about me, I just canít bring myself to fully trust anyone. What can I do to get over my bad experience and get myself back in touch with reality?

- Suspicious

Dear Suspicious,

It is true that trust is a very important aspect in every relationship. As a first step towards developing your trust is to let go of the past and set yourself in a healing environment which includes forgiving your friend, understand the situation he was in or healthy communication to resolve the issue. In other words you have to move on in order to reconnect with the present. In life we come across many junctures that one must solely trust oneself. You might not always have someone who you can totally rely on but gradually you will learn about your associates and know with whom you could rely on.

Donít get disheartened by one incident that went wrong. Along the journey of your life you will come across many instances dealing with trust and mistrust. You state that you really have nice friends and friends who care about you. So in order to build trust, you have to let go of the fear (of failing again), negative feelings (of consequences that may or may not happen) & should be willing to take the risk in trusting again!

Dear Erica,

As a girl who is about to finish higher education and get myself ready for the job hunt, my knowledge and skills in my subject are very good and I am confident that I can do very well. But I have always been a shy and reserved type of person. I cant communicate well and I know this is going to affect my performance during interviews and group discussions. I dont know where to get help for this. How to get rid of my shyness and anxiety especially when facing people unknown to me? I need some advice, please.

-Shy girl

Dear Shy Girl,

The fact that youíve realized that shyness can keep you away from achieving what you need to do is a good start in overcoming your issue. First of all, start practicing alone in how you would communicate at an interview or a social gathering. You can later have a close friend or relative whom youíre comfortable with to start up conversations and further your practice or even take a close friend/relative along with you to social events to give you a little bit of support.

Join a club or group that may have similar interests such as yours. By doing so you may come across new acquaintances and it will make it easier for you to relate to them. In an occasion such as interview or social gathering, the first thing you should do is to put yourself at ease, make eye contact with the person youíre talking to and smile.

By doing so youíre not only showing an interest but also making it easier for the other person to communicate with you. Be your own best friend, feel good about yourself. Remember practice makes perfect and just follow the tips and you will definitely push yourself forward.

Dear Erica,

I have a problem which many youngsters go through. I am a girl studying in grade 11. My parents always compare me with their friends daughters or other relatives daughters and put me down. I dont think I am doing badly in my studies or my other duties. I score around 80% in my studies. I try hard and do my best. But it looks impossible to meet the expectations of my parents. It is frustrating and very discouraging. How to cope with this? Please help me.

-Discouraged girl

Dear Discouraged girl,

All of us go through a period of tension with our parents especially during adolescence, and its not easy because weíre constantly battling through finding our identity, experimenting with a range of behavioural changes and interested in a variety of activities that may or may not be of any interest to the home front or society during this period. This period is not completely blissful and sometimes stressful to cope with. I appreciate the fact that you try hard to excel in your studies and duties.

And I believe that you should keep doing so rather than feeling frustrated or discouraged by the pressure put in by your parents. On the other hand maybe your parents want to bring the best in you and trying to push you (through the hard way) or else by comparing you with the rest (which necessarily will not be what we would like) feel that you would try to stand out amongst them.

However there are limitations between what your parents expect out of you and what you can give them in return. Find a convenient time and try talking to your parents or one of them and express how you feel. This way you will not bottle in your feelings and may even find some relief though you may not find your parents reacting the way you want them to or give you answers that you expect from them. Youíre special in your own way and you have every right to feel that way. So donít get discouraged but concentrate in your studies and duties. Because hard work will show its results in due time!

Dear Erica,

I am a successful businessman in my thirties. I want to ask my parents to move in with me and take care of them. My wife is a very good lady but in this thing she is not cooperating with me. She says that my brother who is richer than us is the one who should do this. My brother has much more money than us, thatís true but we have enough money and it canít be a problem at all. I feel bad even talking about money regarding taking care of my parents. Moreover, my brother is living in another country and I hate to make my parents shift to a new place in their old age. How can I convince my wife in this matter without it turning into a big argument?

-Clueless husband

Dear Clueless husband,

I appreciate your good intention to take care of your ageing parents. And obviously I donít see that money plays any major role in this case, since both you and your brother are doing well in this regard. First you should sort out two issues before taking a decision. Where do your parents live? Do they live at their own house? If so, you should first find out if theyíre willing to move in with you! As much as they would love to spend time with you and your family, sometimes they may feel uncomfortable in settling to a new way of life after all these years.

Secondly, you should know what your wife feels; if itís money that is the issue or if she doesnít want your parents to be with you for certain reasons. If you manage to find out if your parents are willing to move in with you and the way your wife feels towards the whole situation. Donít make it an issue for argument; you may not see a favourable end result that you expect.

As much as youíre concerned for your parents it is important that your parents move in on good terms with your wife. Take time; analyze the options you have before you. Hopefully things might work out well for your family, since you have a good intention within you.

Hey readers, Erica will be conducting a poll from this week onwards. All you have to do is just send in your answers to Ericaís email (

Which of these do you think was the best time in your life :-

0 Childhood

0 Adolescence



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