|Heart TO Heart
For relationship advice and more, talk to your super-smart Sis.
Q: My best friend, who is also my colleague, has recently developed a bad problem with sweat and she literally stinks most of the time. Everyone else in the office makes fun of her behind her back and avoids going close to her. I feel bad but she hasn't picked up on any of my hints. Her problem is getting worse and these days I try and avoid going out with her. She recently told me that my behaviour and that of our colleagues was hurting her. I fell bad when she said this. What should I do? Nayema, Lahore
A: As her best friend you should talk frankly to her. Do not be embarrassed. Tell her about her problem because she seems unaware of it. You can then discuss what she can do. Since this is a problem that she has developed recently, check if she has changed her deo or started on some new medication. Once she becomes aware of the problem, she will be able to work out what is wrong. You can help her in this. Being a good friend means standing by the person you call a friend and you haven't been a good friend in this regard. Make sure that you don't make this mistake again.
Q: I am a college boy and my problem is that I am more intelligent and hard-working than my best friend. He copies all my notes and assignments and now he wants me to help him cheat in the final exams. He says that he has a plan that is absolutely safe and that neither of us will get into trouble. But I am scared. What should I do? I do not want to lose this friend or be thought to be a coward. Confused Dost
A: You should tell your friend that you will not help him cheat and then stand firm. Yes, as a young student, you want to keep your friends and be thought to be a sport. But cheating in an exam is not just a matter of helping a friend it is doing something for which you can get into real trouble. You too can be punished for helping in cheating and that will mean a blemish on your record. You should not be afraid of losing your friend, because if he is a real friend, he will understand your point of view. And by refusing to someone cheat, you are not being a coward; you are doing what is right. After all, cheating is wrong. So stand firm.
Q: Since I can remember, I have been terrified of many things the dark, strangers, water, new places, etc. In fact I was so terrified that I had to stop my education and stay at home.
Now, I am 32 years old and things are so bad that I never leave the house. My parents have taken me to doctors but they say that nothing is wrong with me. Now, everyone in the family is desperate. Am I mad? Ghousia, Karachi
A: "Mad" is a word which we often use, but it has no exact scientific meaning. Mental problems are of many kinds and yes, you have a problem. But to call yourself mad is meaningless.
You need to see a psychiatrist. Probably, an incident that occurred in the past, perhaps when you were a child, upset and frightened you so much that you still haven't recovered from it. A psychiatrist will take you back into your past and once you face that incident you will understand why you are still afraid now. The psychiatrist will then help you get over the fear.
The process will not be easy and may take time. But if you really try, you will be able to get over your phobias and lead a normal life.