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In this edition of #ReachOutThursday, a woman talks about her hatred for men, which stems from her previous experiences and now her parental pressure to get married.
Every Thursday, the Women’s Web expert panel with the support of Healtheminds, answers questions from readers facing relationships issues, emotional and mental challenges and other such issues.
I hate men. All my experiences in the past with men had been painful. So, each time a man comes in my life, my old feelings of pain, comes up. I am 26 years old and my parents wants me to marry, what do I do?
I am sorry to hear that all your experiences with men have been painful in the past. Your hatred towards men who have hurt you is justified. However, judging all men based on these experiences is not a very healthy way to cope. You may find it useful to reflect on specific incidents or characteristics of these men that you dislike. Are they the same for each of them? Can you identify any unique traits too? It is highly probable that in addition to common features, each of them had habits or behaviors that the others did not have.
Over-generalization is a common cognitive distortion that our mind resorts to in the face of repeated negative experiences. For example, approaching a person with a negative mind-set based on your prior experience with another man. Another example of cognitive distortions is ‘polarization’ (or black-or-white thinking), where a person tends to think in one extreme or the other, disregarding the possibility of a third option. For instance thinking that men can either be good, or bad. However, the real picture is often more complicated than that.
If you find the feelings related to your past interfering with your daily living, I strongly advise you to reach out to a counselor for support. Speaking to a professional will help you to cope with these difficulties in a more effective manner.
Entering a marital relationship with strong misgivings about your partner is inadvisable. Can you think of any interactions with a man which have not been painful or negative? Perhaps a friend, colleague or relative who you share a good rapport with? Each person is unique and has both good and bad aspects. It takes time to get to know a person, and I hope you spend time doing so rather than relying on past experience. All the best!
Aditi Kulkarni, Psychologist, Healtheminds
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She would serve everyone fresh food and serve herself the stale rice and curries from the previous meal. Some days after finishing the leftovers she was so full she would not even be able to even taste the fresh food.
When I married the first time, my MIL told me that during the Navratri the lady of the house should not eat stale food. ‘Gharatlya bai ni shila khau naye’ — in refined upper caste Marathi.
I was just 26, eager to please, not versed in patriarchy or feminism, and it seemed like a positive thing — respect for the goddess in woman.
But soon I realised she spent the remaining 356 days of her year finishing leftovers. And that I was expected to do the same.
Story - Beauty: Shreya wondered, ‘Are they talking about me?’ ‘But what is the use of inner beauty if the exterior is unattractive?’ Ravi asked. Her heart skipped a beat, and now she listened with the utmost alacrity.
‘Beauty is skin deep, Ravi. In the long run, it’s the inner beauty that matters. I know Shreya is smart and I find her attractive.’ It was Chetan’s voice.
Shreya had paused for a moment on the open door of Ravi’s flat when she overheard him. It was the morning of 27th March, and she had come to give Ravi his surprise birthday present. She didn’t want to eavesdrop, but the conversation had caught her curiosity.
She wondered, ‘Are they talking about me?’