Effective assertiveness is the key
My best friend and I have known each other for over 10 years. We have good time with each other and share an excellent rapport. However, she is a little dominating and always wants me to follow her everywhere. I don’t really mind that. But, lately I have noticed that she’s been stealing money from my purse. I have tried to confront her (indirectly), but she always has some excuse and I have to let go. This has been bothering me a lot. I am afraid to ask her about this directly, and I don’t want to lose her. Is there some other way to tackle this situation? Please suggest.
Effective assertiveness is the key. You have said that you have ‘not minded’ her dominating attitude, and that you have ‘let go’ of the issue when she made excuses, and are ‘afraid’ of direct communication. By your unassertive/submissive attitude and behavior, you have in fact, given her the message for 10 years that she can get away with anything with you, and therefore, she has never felt the need to turn within and reflect on her own disrespectful conduct towards you in this relationship. Therefore, in a way you have allowed the problem to grow to this magnitude. We teach people how to treat us; and you have, through your own passivity, taught her to ill-treat you. A ‘true friendship’ is one where one has the courage to honestly and directly mirror the other’s wrongs and the one receiving the mirroring, receives it humbly and non-defensively, knowing and trusting that it is in the spirit of friendship. If you say there is a risk of ‘losing’ her as a ‘friend’, and if she does break off the ‘friendship’ with you, you would have actually lost nothing, as she would have proved that she is not a ‘friend’, does not consider you as a ‘friend’, and that there was no true ‘friendship’ to begin with, but just an illusion of one, which has now broken. However, it is better for the illusion to break so that you can be liberated from it and move on to building more healthier and true friendships, which are mutually respectful. Therefore, with this thought that you stand to lose nothing, but only stand to gain and reclaim your own space for respect, go ahead and directly tell her that her conduct is unacceptable to you.
I am on oral contraceptive pills. My fiancé tells me that he doesn’t need to use a condom during intercourse because he was tested for HIV and other STDs and doesn’t have any. What is your opinion?
Testing is good, however there are STDs such as genital Herpes, Human Papilloma Virus infection, Chlamydia and even Gonorrhoea that can remain dormant and unmanifested in many individuals, but may cause suffering in others if transmitted through sex. There are STDs for which there are no tests available such as Human Papilloma Virus infection that causes warts on genitals or in the mouth. These warts increase the possibility of developing cervical cancer in women.
As far as HIV/AIDS is concerned, the test for HIV antibodies comes negative even in infected people during the first 13 weeks of the Window period. It may also be difficult for you to know whether your fiancé has abstained from any sexual relationships with anyone for 13 weeks? That is the period of abstinence required for an accurate HIV antibodies test.
- Heart To Heart Counselling Centre runs Certificate courses in Counselling & Sex Education at 10 Jerbai Baug, Byculla (E), Mumbai-27. Tel: 22184528 / 9821093902. Email: email@example.com www.hearttoheartindia.net