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    Dear Poonam Aunty, 

    Question 1:
    My name is Rahul and I am having problems making friends. I am in my late twenties, but I am still very hesitant when meeting and interacting with new people. At the same time, I prefer not to mix my professional and personal lives,   and so I am intentionally distant with my colleagues. Given this, please advise your suggestion on how I could meet new people and make new friends.

    Answer 1:
    Dear Rahul,
    Understanding other people isn’t easy because we view the world through our own filters and assume that if WE do something a certain way, then it must be good for everybody. Be open-minded and gradually learn to trust people. Friendship is all about trust. You must socialize; human communication is very important. It builds confidence and fosters the healthy sense of self-esteem that also leads to inner stability. People who have low self-esteem or fear of what others think may struggle in developing good relationships. You can be friendly with your colleagues while maintaining your professional standards. You can approach people according to your interest. Retaining friendship depends on your comfort zone, your likes and dislikes, and how you express your thoughts and emotions while respecting those of others.

    Question 2:
    Dear Poonam Aunty,
    I am Resham, a recent university graduate. As I am currently looking for a job, I have been quite disturbed by the number of men worldwide who have recently been accused of assault or abuse. I would like to know your advice on how to deal with men in power. What are the warning signs to watch out for,
    and how can I set my standards and boundaries from the very onset?

    Answer 2:
    Dear Resham, Abusing or exploiting others has been recorded since the beginning of human history, but more cases are being reported now. Men who abuse are extremely charming; their personality is deceiving and they generally behave differently at home and in public. Be aware of local laws against personal, racial and gender abuse. You can look into your company or office standard on such issues and guidelines. Be familiar with cultural and social norms of the place and people where you live and
    work. Abuse can be verbal, physical, emotional or psychological. Be assertive about your rights. When you experience any such abusive expression from anyone, you protest and complain to your company and to the police. There can be several reasons why people like to abuse others. However, you can resist get help and ensure that the abuser is handled by law enforcers.

    Question 3:
    Dear Poonam Aunty,
    I am Kiran, a 40-year-old spinster. Till date, I still live with my parents, and I have been trying to move out since many years now. Their response is always the same: until I am unmarried, I will stay
    with them. While of course I love them, and I will continue to keep in contact and look after my parents, how can I reason with them that I would now like my own independence, regardless of my marital status?

    Answer 3:
    Dear Kiran, Please note, a mother’s treasure is her daughter. Every parent has concern for his or her unmarried girls and the thought of girls living on their own is unthinkable as they come from an old school of thought as well as due to cultural stigma.As you mentioned, they do not consider your age or your capabilities, just that you are single is their only concern.However, if you look from their point
    of view and you will find the source of their worry and fear. You need to diffuse their beliefs by presenting to them how being independent helps to develop your personality; you can understand a lot more about yourself, and as a result, you can be more efficient and much happier.Ensure them that the care and love you have for each other will remain the same. Consequently, maintaining a healthy relationship will be upshot in better understanding, and it will enable both parties to gain more respect for each other. Majorly important is your happiness, not how society will perceive your living alone. Involve your parents when finding a place for yourself. When setting your kitchen, take guidance from your mom. ‘Mothers know it all’ – make her your best friend.

    Each issue, we invite readers to send us questions under anonymity about on personal dynamics and relations. Here are 3 selected questions from those recently sent to us: All names and details of personal
    identities have been modified. Please send your questions on love and relationships to with subject line Dear Aunty Poonam.

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    Poonam Mehta


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