I love helping people, and I owe it to my upbringing. My late dad had his own small private Charitable Trust which he ran from his office, from which he provided financial and medical aid to those in need. Apart from the professional consulting he did as a Chartered Accountant, he also counselled people with regards to their personal problems. My mum also regularly counsels people, and goes out of her way to help those in need.
When I started counselling on Instagram in 2017, my dad was very proud, and often told me how happy he was that I was helping others.
Although 9 out of the 10 guys who messaged me were creeps, I did manage to help quite a few people.
I remember putting up a post about suicide not being an option, and that if anyone wanted someone to speak to, I was always there. A girl from the United States messaged me saying that she was suicidal, and I spoke to her about her problems and made sure that I checked up on her every few days. I had tried convincing her to go for therapy, but she was still in school and told me that her mum would never let her go. I was shocked, because I always thought that mental health issues were given much more importance in the developed countries. I do hope she's doing well now!
The reason I'm writing this post, is because I want to make it very clear that I have only good intentions when I speak about wanting to help others, and I am not someone who has ever had or will ever have any hidden agenda/motive.
I've been brought up in a household where helping others and giving back to Society has always been given utmost importance, and I will never stop being that way.
Bad experiences while counselling :
I had written about the terrible men I came across on social media, in a post titled 'Social Media Players'. I thought I had seen them all. But turns out, once again, I was in for a rude shock.
I am a very honest person, but I've been told that not all people are -- certain men make up sob stories all the time to get a woman's pity, and sadly there is usually no way of verifying the truthfulness of their stories. (I knew that men did that while picking up women, but when it came to a counselling session, I've always given them the benefit of the doubt, which in retrospect, wasn't the wisest decision after all.) These men share their problems with me and think that I'll go out of my way to give them what they want, which makes my blood boil!
Just because I am young, unmarried, helpful, and willing to share my bad experiences so that others won't make the same mistakes, does not mean that I am willing to get friendly in the wrong way! (I am a very straightforward person, who never gives any signals!!! There is a huge difference between being flirty and being kind, and I'm always just kind.)
A few married men have shared their problems with me in the past, and it's made me anything but comfortable. (I never knew these men personally - I spoke to them only via email/text.)
Here's why I felt uncomfortable :
I believe that communication and honesty are key to a good relationship and marriage. If you aren't willing to include your girlfriend/wife in our conversation, or inform her about our conversation, I will never feel comfortable talking to you. (In my toxic past relationship, my ex used to routinely hide conversations he had with other women, and that hurt me like crazy when I found out. I would never want to cause the same pain to another woman, and that is why whenever I speak to a married male friend, I always give my regards to his wife, because I believe that he should share my conversation with her. There should be nothing to hide!)
If you have problems, why would you share them with a woman you don't know? Why not go to a counsellor instead?
Before going to a counsellor, why not have an open conversation with your wife? There is no better person to share your problems with than your spouse!
So, if you're a married man who wants to share his problems with me, please don't! Go speak to your wife instead. Seriously, I'm livid!!
And if you're an unmarried man who wants to share his problems/sob stories with me with the sole belief that I will give you what you want, scram!!
P.S. I am a very kind person (a little too kind, my friends say), so when these men have shared their problems (which, goes without saying, I will always keep confidential), I have listened attentively and tried to provide them with solutions. The 'saver' in me always wants to help, irrespective of the discomfort I feel at that moment. But when the discomfort gets too much to bear, I tell them directly that I am not comfortable, and I distance myself from them.
This post has been written in the hope of not having such uncomfortable interactions in the future.
Thank you for reading! Stay blessed!