I’m generally friendly with people, but there is this girl I just can’t stand. She’s always been nice to me and done nothing bad either, but I just don’t like her. And I don’t understand why I feel so about her. I try to be nice to her, but as soon as I see her, I go crazy. What’s wrong with me? -Pam
You don’t have to like everyone and remember that not everyone is going to like you either. And that’s okay. Sometimes we fall in love for reasons we can’t understand and sometimes we absolutely dislike someone despite the fact that they have done nothing wrong to us. I bet every one of us have (or will have within our life time) at least one person that we simply dislike for no reason. Sometimes for me, it’s “dislike at first sight”. I don’t know why. Perhaps it is the stars that make us incompatible or it is an intuitive sense that tells us there’s something odd with this person, or may be it has something to do with our past life. Whatever it is, I want you to know there’s nothing wrong with you. We’re all the same. It is ok to not like people. It is your right to feel what you feel. However, it is injustice if you allow your “dislike” to disrupt her life in any way, make her feel responsible for what you feel about her, or impose your unexplained dislike to influence other people’s opinion of her. Accept your feeling as a fact of life. Every time you see her, repeat this mantra in your mind – I don’t like everyone, everyone won’t like me and that’s the way life is but life still rocks!
I had a friend back in high school, who went abroad for her undergrad studies. We didn’t use to talk to each other so often, but after around two years, we have been chatting over the internet on a frequent basis, and I think I have started liking her, but I don’t know if she already has a boyfriend or not. However, I really want to confess my feelings as I’m afraid that if I don’t say it now, I won’t be able to do it ever. Is it too early to confess? Please help. -Rasik
Check her Facebook status – that was what Facebook was designed for (smiles). So there are two ways of doing this – drop the bomb or dance the dance. The bomb is “I like you”, “Do you have a boyfriend?” or “Do you want our friendship to move up to the next level because I feel I’m ready for it.” If your style is to be more direct, go drop the bomb. If you’re more of a sentimental kind, then you can take it slow, throw a hint or two, and carefully read between her lines. Miss out a couple of chat dates to check how she reacts, talk about your ex and poke her response, ask her what she thinks love is or isn’t, or what she looks for in a guy. Dance along as long as it takes for you to be clear on where she stands. Go about it in a way that is natural to you. You can’t make someone love you if s/he doesn’t already. So you can’t go wrong with how you proceed. If you feel it in your heart that you’re ready, then this is the right time.
I have always been a sensitive person, but with age, my sensitivity toward things has only heightened. Like, when I was younger, I used to feel really sad seeing little street children, but I would shrug it off after a while then, but now, I’m 26 and seeing these children tear me up right then and there. The other day I was going to my office and I saw a couple of really little children in ragged clothes and running nose, begging. And then before I could stop it, I burst into tears. People stared at me in disbelief and I was really embarrassed. I’m not yet in a position to help such people in need as I too have been struggling and working hard to make my ends meet. I know that crying is not the answer. What should I do? -Sabu
When you look at the street children and cry, I think it’s not just about them, but also about you. You feel helpless yourself – “I too have been struggling and working hard to make my ends meet.” So when you look at children in the streets, what you see is “helplessness”. Your life, your circumstance and the events in life are different than that of street children, or of the poor, sick and old. However, the general sense of helplessness, of exhaustion, of pain, of loss, or of loneliness is the same within you, within me, and within the rest of the world. So when you are crying for others, you are also crying for yourself. We cry because when we see that the other person is as helpless as we are, our own sense of helplessness becomes greater. I believe that the world is a reflection of our own selves. If we were strong and powerful, we would see the strength and power with which people strive and strive through their struggles and come out with joy. So, before giving back, think of what “You” need first. You need to feel strong from the inside. Read about people who have fought through life to achieve extraordinary strength and happiness. Focus on everything in the world that is strong and beautiful. Count your blessings. Feel positive and powerful. Then you will realize that what you need to be able to help people is not money or your own financial stability. What you need is for you to fill your heart with strength; so much that it starts to overflow and you can start giving away – not tears, but beauty.
Swastika Shrestha is the founder of Anuvuti – a social enterprise that engages young people in service-learning. She has been coaching and mentoring young people in different capacities for over a decade.