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Social Life Questions and Answers (Q&A)

I don't think mental ill health is ignored by society but it is regarded as uncomfortable. This is because people know how to react to someone with one leg or a pacemaker, but not someone incapacitate by mental distress. When we are at a loss over how to behave towards someone acting strangely, or unresponsive to our overtures we may feel uncomfortable to the point of irritation.

The tendency is not to want to bother. If these reactions are widely true in the community, this might seem like society ignoring those with mental health issues. I think your use of "mental disease" is misleading. It sounds like an infected brain, which, if true, would be a medical situation not a psychological or psychiatric one. Do you regard anxiety, say, as a disease?

Anxiety disorder is one of the mental health problems that an individual may suffer from, and because mental health problems are extremely widespread, you yourself could be one of the unfortunate sufferers in the future. If a traumatic event, say being caught up in a terrorist attack, left you with high anxiety, depression and constant terrifying nightmares, would you expect your family and friends to regard you as having a mental disease?

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I'm not sure you're right. Most parents want their children to make firm friends directly they start school proper. I suspect you're talking about friendships in your teens. Parents may seem to major on 'the right' friends, and 'nice' friends, but of course just because someone looks conventional and can turn on the neat and clean manners, doesn't make them nice people, as you well know.

It may be that parents get nervous when kids bring home friends that are 'different' fearing drugs and trouble, You have to be rather mature about this and think whether you actually really like and want to be like this friend, or whether they are just a means of looking cool while you are with them - or worse, that you fear problems if you don't continue in friendship with them.

If the latter, that's a warning sign, and if your parents are also voicing worries, perhaps they are right. Otherwise, make your own judgements. Do you really like this person? If you had a kid sister or brother, would you want them to behave like this person, be like them? It's all a case of thinking it over calmly.

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I can imagine that the mention of genitalia during a normal conversation is very offensive and it is inappropriate to talk about private parts in a public setting. I think that this type of discussion is best reserved for having it with your doctor or gynecologist.

Even if you chose to discuss it with a family member, it might be offensive depending upon your relationship with the person. Also, some people may not be entirely comfortable in their sexuality enough to be able to have that type of discussion.

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A team leader should set the tone, and therefore not be afraid to speak out, set boundaries, aims and targets for the team. But there are good ways of doing this: not aggression, but being a good role model, practising what you preach. Reward those who do well, and those who try hard even if not very successful. Foster togetherness and forge friendships, never encourage divisiveness.

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I think you’ve taken the first step to control your ego just by asking about how it can be controlled. Your ego reflects how you think about yourself. So, one technique to control this is to think about others more. Spend some time every day to think about your friends, family members, co-workers, and others whom you are thankful for. You can also try to feel compassion for people you don’t even know.

For example, think about all the refugees in the war-torn Middle East and parts of Africa. Or, think about all the people severely impacted by natural disasters. Don’t think too hard, you don’t want to get depressed.

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Yes, your eyes can dilate (or widen) when you are attracted to someone. This is believed to happen because your body’s central nervous system can cause a number of different effects on the body, including the eyes. Your pupils can also dilate in response to other strong emotions such as hate or fear. Researchers are studying the dilation process in the hopes of better understanding psychological disorders.

There are other reasons that can cause eye dilation, for example, legal and illegal drugs, and poisons can cause pupils to dilate. Again, because your eyes are connected to the central nervous system, an injury to the brain can also cause eye dilation.

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There are some people who can be insistent about showing their feelings for you. This can be problematic when you do not have any sense of attraction with the person. You need to be direct but still polite enough to let the person know that you just do not feel the same way. You can express that you are flattered with the attention that the person is giving to you but you are not interested to go out.

You can pause for a moment before you give your answer. This will already let the person know that you are hesitant to go out on a date. You do not need to give a lengthy explanation of why you are turning the person down. You just need to state the truth and not add anything else to your explanation anymore.

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Although we cannot really change our personalities, we can make changes in our social lives. For those who are timid or lack confidence, this may seem a daunting task, but like any other task, it is made easier by breaking it down into managable steps. Firstly, consider those asepcts of your social life which you consider successful or enjoyable. How can you repeat, extend or replicate them? Let´s take an instance.

If you typically enjoy meeting a certain group of friends in a wine bar once a month, what can you do to arrange meeting more often? If it is the particular bar that lends satisfaction, can you form another group to meet there? Are you meeting enough people to spend time with those with similar interests to yourself? If not, look for workshops or public events that attract people with those interests.

If you were interested in classic cars, you are going to see other enthusiasts at sales, fairs, auctions. Once you have met the same enthusiasts a few times, you can suggest going on to eat together. Generally speaking it is DOING things together that can spark off subsequent social activity, but you have to work at things. Don´t wait for others to invite you, to arrange events, to think of activities. You will find others are glad of your ideas for gatherings or activities because it saves them the trouble.

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A mental construct is not something directly observable and may include imaginative thinking such as a fantasy city that cannot exist. Whether your anxiety is a mental construct depends upon your circumstances and how much of your time you spend thinking about your anxiety. If you were clinging to a cliff edge by your fingertips, your anxiety would be highly appropriate. If you are the loved teenager in a secure home attending a supportive school, then anxiety might seem unexpected. Is the anxiety connected with socialising or with personal attributes, or both?

It is possible for a person to sit actually worrying about their anxiety and this suggests such a person is not getting on with their life. Having outside interests, and friends who share them, with time divided between what must be done (work, study) and what is personally pleasing, leads to a healthy mental state. The very question suggests an unhealthy focus on your mental state rather than on activity and useful occupation. Having said that, the state of anxiety is real to those who suffer it. Free-floating anxiety may be part of someone's personality but if it dominates, a mental health professional is the person to turn to for help.

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First, you have to understand that courage is no guarantee that you won’t have any fear or trepidation. Sometimes courage is going ahead even when you are scared. You have to envision a positive outcome. You might be afraid of your girlfriend saying no, but if your relationship is stable and you are both on the same page, chances are you will hear a yes. Sometimes even a little inspiration can help.

Maybe watch your girlfriend's favorite romantic movie, preferably one with a scene of a man proposing to a woman; when you go to pop the question, pretend that you and your girlfriend are the couple, and you are re-enacting the scene from the movie.

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