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

I have been verbally hurt very deeply on two occasions, by people whom I trusted and respected a lot.  Despite my best efforts, their hurtful words keep echoing in my mind everyday. As a result, I am afraid that my self-confidence and self-worth are getting affected. Please suggest a way for me to get over these bitter experiences, achieve peace of mind and get back to my old cheerful, confident self back. Also, since these sorts of experiences are part of life, please suggest a way to insulate myself from similar experiences in the future.

DEEPLY HURT

It is not always easy to shield yourself from another’s sharp tongue, and sometimes you cannot avoid getting hurt. However, when you analyse their comments, it is important to consider extraneous events — for instance, maybe the other person was just having a bad day, because he spilled scalding hot coffee on himself, encountered every single red light on his way to work, and discovered that his best new hire was quitting on him after three months on the job. None of these situations would have been in your control, and you would have been the unfortunate recipient of the verbal assault. It is also important to put what they say in perspective — are they making false accusations about your abilities, or were they pointing out a genuine fault on your side? If it’s the former, then disregard their words, because you know them to be untrue; if it’s the latter, then you can make the effort to change.

If you are interested in trying therapy, then by all means, go ahead! However, it is better to go with an open mind about which therapy to try, rather than deciding this beforehand. While Neurolinguistic Programming is an option, other techniques such as Mindfulness could be quite effective too. Your therapist will be able to guide you on what would work best.

I am a Std XI student. I love and respect my Std IX history teacher a lot as I was inspired by her teaching. I was very close to her. But one day she told me that once I go to college I may be get into a relationship with a boy and forget her. I assume she was comparing the affection I have for her to the love I might feel for a boy. At that point I didn’t give it much thought as I respect her as my mentor. I am very disturbed by this. Should I continue talking with her?

CONFUSED STUDENT

Teachers have served as an inspiration to us all, and your teacher is perhaps no different. From your letter, it sounded like you were having a bit of a crush on her, and this is totally normal. You haven’t said why she brought up the topic of college romance — did you tell her about your feelings towards her? In any case, take your time, you don’t have to think about relationships with boys until you are ready. On the other hand, if this topic was suddenly brought up by her, make sure all future conversations are about academics alone, and let her know that you don’t feel comfortable discussing issues other than academics if she brings it up again. In a few weeks, this incident would probably be a hazy memory for you both.

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