Fix It

I often get scolded by my parents for not keeping my things neat. They scold me severely and insult me before other family members. I cannot get into this habit of cleaning however much I try. I feel very bad. They expect me to clean when there are other important things to do. Due to this I avoid talking with my parents, fearing a fight will arise. What do I do? — ‘Cleanly' confused

I can understand how unhappy you feel with frequent scolding from parents, and it is very humiliating to be insulted in the presence of others. If you are a teenager, neatness and tidiness may not be your priority and is often a source of conflict with parents and adults, especially if they are perfectionists. However, it is necessary to maintain a decent standard of neatness because other family members also share the same home environment. Sometimes adults tend to be harsh while correcting children. This can lead to resentment and non-cooperation. Explain that you would feel more cooperative if they approached the issue differently, without hurting your feelings.

If the problem is restricted to the home only, it could be that you are expressing non-cooperation because you are unhappy about certain things at home. You would then need to find ways to work out these issues. Do you tend to be impulsive and impatient with all tasks? If the problem exists irrespective of the people and environment, it is probably a trait you have developed through your growing years. As you grow towards adulthood, you will find more and more importance is given to personal presentation, quality of work and effort. While you believe that completing the task is more important than the manner in which it is done, it usually works the other way around. When you take the trouble to do something patiently, the outcome is always good. You feel satisfied and so do the others.

I'm a 16-year-old girl. There was a small row between my best friend and me, after which she was not willing to talk with me. When my mother called to ask her about it she made up a totally different story. I was very shocked as I had not expected her to do this. Also, she has told our friends that I said bad things about them to her and they believe her. I tried to tell them that it is not the truth, but they are not willing to believe me and have stopped talking to me. She is going beyond the limit, cooking up new stories day after day. How do I handle this? — Friend trouble

It is really unfortunate when best friends stop talking after a small row, which can usually be sorted out without getting an adult involved. Whatever happens between friends is best dealt with between themselves, unless something really serious is going on. Perhaps your friend was uncomfortable at being questioned by your mother and therefore felt the need to defend herself and so she gave a different version in order to protect herself. Her anger has been provoked by the interference, so in retaliation, she may be bad mouthing you with the others. You may try apologising to her for bringing your mother into the picture and that you would like to sort out the misunderstanding by yourselves. Thereafter if she continues the negative behaviour then you will need to accept that the friendship has reached its end, is not worth pursuing and that you should move on.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 9:28:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/nxg/Fix-It/article16816681.ece

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