Looking for a bridge over troubled water? KRITHVI SHYAM, our young psychologist, addresses your worst anxieties.

I am a 19-year-old guy in love with an 18-year-old girl. We were in a relationship for over a year. Everything was going smoothly but, due to a small fight, she now wants to quit the relationship. For every small fight, she wants to break up. I am the scapegoat for her emotional dilemma. I feel like killing myself. Now she tells me that she wants me but her actions show otherwise. I don’t know whether she really loves me or not. What shall I do? - FIGHTING FOR LOVE

At 19, it’s too early to be contemplating “Happily Ever After”, especially with a person who doesn’t seem to appreciate you as much as you do her. You deserve someone who reciprocates your feelings, so may be it’s time to end this and move on. Yes, getting over a relationship that you’ve invested so much emotion and effort into is quite difficult, but suicide is not a solution (it’s not the solution to anything, ever). If you find yourself contemplating it, call a suicide hotline and seek help now. You have your whole life ahead of you, as well as plenty opportunities to find love.

If you find your emotions too overwhelming to handle, I would suggest meeting a therapist. (I realise I recommend this often, but honestly, it’s not part of a secret agenda to Get Chennai Therapists More Clients. I think a goodtherapist really can make a positive difference in a person’s life.)

I was a social reject during my high school years. I thought things would look up when college started, but they are no better. The only people who seem to like me are the popular crowd, with whom I’ve never fit in. They are friendly, which is an improvement from school, but it’s still obvious that I don’t fit in. It’s not affecting my studies, severely, but it still upsets me. Is there any way to feel better about it? - FRIENDLESS

I’m confused. You say, “Only the popular crowd likes me” as if it’s a bad thing! An entire group of people wouldn’t go out of their way to be friendly unless they thought you had things in common. Isn’t having things — interests, aspirations or values — in common, a basis for friendship? It makes me wonder if you’re harbouring pre-existing unfavourable notions of what a “popular crowd” is like.

Try to make an effort to get to know these people better, and you might find a true friend amongst them. This might require you to expand your interests (reading books/listening to music that they like) to fit in initially. However, set limits; don’t go on a drinking binge because “the rest of the crowd likes to do that”. Try doing things with individual members too, like joining a Spanish class together because of your shared appreciation for the language. Look, the quarry to find friends is in front of you; all you have to do is start mining for them.

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