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     Volume 7 Issue 22 | May 30, 2008 |

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Write to Mita

Dear Mita,
I am a 30-year-old woman. My problem is that I am not assertive enough. I do not know how to say no to people. I am always being requested to attend various social events such as lunches and dinners, seminars and workshops. How can I say no? It is very draining. I have no time to relax or enjoy my own free time because I do not have any.
Unable to Say No

Dear Unable,
Many people have this problem. It is not a question of being assertive enough. You are just a very polite person. Being polite and gracious is a good quality and should be held on to. However, if this politeness is at the cost of your health or mental peace then something should be done about it. Make a plan at the beginning of the month on how many such invitations you will accept without straining yourself. You must then prioritise as to which ones you will accept. Once you have a plan it will be easier to say no. You can also ask for advance notice so that you can say no without offending those who invite you.
Dear Mita,
I have a stammering problem. This really hampers my self-confidence. It gets worse when I talk to unknown people and is disastrous when I try to speak in public. Is there any way I can overcome this?
Not the Greatest Speaker

Dear Speaker,
You know something? I used to stammer when I was young. It does get worse in front of strangers. But it can certainly be overcome. Try talking to the mirror in long monologues. After becoming a little confident, bring in a friend with whom you are very comfortable. Talk to her, tell her a story and don't stop even if you stammer. This will work, I promise you, just have the confidence to continue talking.
Dear Mita,
I have a not-so-serious problem. I find that everywhere I go people treat me like a doormat. And what makes this all the more worse is that although I am nice to them and try to be there for them when they are going through a rough time, most of them are actually quite nasty to me and treat me with disrespect. Maybe the problem is mine, and I have a fear of rejection, which is why I always try to please others, but I wish that people would recognise that I have the best of intentions and, if nothing else, at least show me some appreciation.

Dear Mat,
Do not deride yourself. You are just a very nice person and people should appreciate you for who you are. If they don't then it is more their problem then yours. Change your friends if they are disrespectful towards you. In future just ignore such kinds of people and please don't do things for them that they do not appreciate. I am sure you will find more worthwhile friends if you look for them.
Dear Mita,
I am a 36-year-old woman. I run a small business. My husband works at a private bank. I recently found out that I am pregnant. I already have a 12-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old son. Between work and taking care of the kids who I cannot give enough time anyway, and of course money is also an issue, I am under enough pressure as it is. I am considering an abortion. There is still time, but I do not know if it would be morally right. What do you advise?

Dear Mother-to-be,
I am sure I need not tell you what a blessing it is to be a mother. Please think about this very carefully before taking any such decision. Your 12-year-old will be a great help in taking care of the new baby. I know money is a problem but just think of the joy that a new baby will bring to the entire family. Ultimately the decision is yours, plus you should discuss this with your husband.
Dear Mita,
I am a 45-year-old man working for a multinational company. I am very susceptible to flattery. My subordinates flatter me and take advantage of me and though I realise this I cannot do anything about it. What should I do?
A Good Guy

Dear Good Guy,
Every one likes to be flattered and you are no exception. Just do not allow anyone to take advantage of you. You must understand the difference between well-deserved praise and flattery. Just be aware of the intentions of the person and act accordingly. I am sure you will not fall into such a trap if you are prepared for it.
Dear Mita,
I am a 50-year-old man. I do not think I have done as well in life as I should or could have. People say I am very talented but that I shirk work. I agree, in the sense that, I could have furthered my career and bettered my life more than I have. I realise I was not as committed to anything as I could have been. Is it too late for me to change and make things better now? What can I do?

Dear Phakibaj,
Of course it is not too late. There is nothing in life a person cannot do if he puts his mind to it. Determination and self-confidence are the two key words. Just make up your mind as to what you want to do or what will make your life better. Make a plan and stick to it. I know that it is easier said than done but this is true. So many people have changed their entire lifestyle just by deciding to do it. The most important thing is to identify what it is that you want to do. It could be a number of things, such as changing your job, getting another degree, making new friends, etc. Then pick the easiest one and do it. Once you realise that it is possible you will continue to make those changes in you life.

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