“Encourage inter-dependency”- 30 September 2012


Q. As a young woman at work in a men-dominated field, I keep facing multiple challenges. One of those is the men trying to get ‘smart’ by hook or crook. Actually, that does not bother me at the age of 32 years. But what hurts is their insensitivity towards women. How does one sort out this issue? I do not wish to indulge in violent fights for the so-called rights of a woman like me. I know, I am not a reformer, but I would want to ensure that these ‘smart’ men forget their nonsense and start behaving. Can you suggest a smooth way out?

Ans. What you need and what most women need on the workplace is to be properly and adequately assertive. Women are taught to be submissive as part of their femininity and that boomerangs at the job. Submissiveness will attract the dominating and they would love you for it. But as a woman you would soon get tired of being taken for granted and will start feeling exploited. In rebound then women may tend to get aggressive which again is counter-productive. People hate you for it as you get a bad name and image for your aggressive behaviour. So the best way is to control your emotions, focus on the task at hand, maintain cordial relations with all and keep moving ahead. Ignore ‘smart’ men if their effort is mild and give them a piece of your mind if they are pushy. Do not tolerate nonsense by being assertive at all times. You need not be a woman’s rights activist but do maintain your dignity and do not allow men to treat you lightly. It is a balancing act and needs a lot of thought and perspective to deal with it. You can be assertive without losing your femininity.

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Q. I am a married young man having found his flame early on. She is just wonderful — good and good looking. She brings in good money as well, almost as much as I do. So, I have an equal partner. Yet, the trouble is that she demands nothing. How I wish she made some demands on me — my time, my money, my attention! Of course, I give her all those. Yet, the male in me also looks for some tough demands from her, which would be a fun to fulfil. But she is so placid. What do I do?

Ans. You are a happy man as you have found your flame early on as you say. There is one corner of your masculinity which hurts you as your wife does not show any dependency on you at all. She is a truly independent woman who fulfils her own needs and makes her own choices. She leads her own life as you must be doing too. If you desire inter-dependency in the relationship you could make the first move in this direction by making demands on her and watch her reaction. You could encourage inter-dependency by making the right moves at the right times so that your lives become more integrated and complete gradually. That is what you are missing perhaps besides being the happiest person otherwise.


Q. I am a college boy. Funnily, I have no girl among my friends. I was not bothered initially. Yet, of late, some of my friends outside my college and cousins have started teasing me as a school boy who shies away from girls. That also does not hurt, but all these boys — friends and cousins — have started taking me for a dud. How do I solve this problem? What response should I give them when the tease me so rudely?

Ans. Tell them the benefits of having a simple approach to life with less complications. Today’s scene with the boy-girl relationship is too much loaded with lop-sided values and behaviour. Handle this peer pressure by listening to them, being with them and laughing it off. You are happy the way you are and the way your parents have brought you up with values and morals. There are many boys and girls who have the ability to ward off the pressure very effectively without spoiling the friendships and without succumbing to the peer pressure. They live life according to their values and customs and yet mix and intermingle with all types of people. Do not allow yourself to get ‘corrupted’ and do not become detached from them. Keep yourself and them in good humour and focus on career building. You will find the girl of your choice when the right time comes. Have faith in self.

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