Why say “yes”, when you want to say “no”?

People pleasing, practiced by many in our society, may not be the most pleasing act after all! What seems to be a nice and noble act of saying yes and going out of the way to please people, might in turn be harming the people pleaser! In fact, Psychologists have also linked weight management and health related issues to the same.

So where does the need to please people come from? It perhaps could be traced back to a fear of rejection and a fear of failure. Fear that I might make the person unhappy if I say no and the person might leave me or fear that by saying no, I am causing disappointment and hence might be labelled as a failure!  Fear of rejection could develop if one has witnessed conditional love or has been abandoned by an important person and on the other hand, fear of failure could arise from early experiences of failure or even in children who grew up with critical parents.

Identifying the cause could be the first step towards changing the people pleasing attitude. One might be dubious about where to draw the line between being appropriately nice and being way too nice. And the only way to understand that difference is to analyse if you are putting others’ needs above your own. If so, then maybe it’s time to say no! Saying no to others at times is in fact you saying no to anxiety, depression and self neglect in the long run!

The initial struggle of saying no could prevent others from taking advantage of you for years after that.

A difference of one word could bring a whole lot of difference to your life. The choice is always yours!

The above blog is based on the following article :


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Mastering the art of quarreling

Conflicts are a part of every marriage and each conflict has a negative impact on the children.  Both of these statements are unfortunate, yet true. So is the solution to stop fighting? Knowing how unrealistic that is, maybe, learning how to fight and ensuring that the child only learns from it, is the only solution. The noise of raised voices and doors banging might die down externally, but internally, in a child’s mind, they are constantly being replayed; and according to psychiatrists, could lead to life-long negativity in a child.


According to family therapist Sheri Glucoft Wong, of Berkeley, California, just having children creates more conflicts, even if there weren’t many prior to having children. The sudden transition, lesser time to get things done and the stress could be some of the reasons.  One might consider not fighting at all in front of children as the ideal set-up but research shows otherwise. Children need to see that problems exist and need to learn how to deal with them. What they need to be shielded from are destructive conflicts that include verbal aggression, physical aggression, cold wars, sulking and withdrawing.


Why exactly must one pay heed to this and why is it essential for one to learn how to resolve a conflict well? Maybe the primary reason lies in a study of parental conflict and children’s stress, by anthropologists Mark Flinn and Barry England who analyzed samples of the stress hormone cortisol, taken from children in an entire village on the east coast of the island of Dominica in the Caribbean. It was observed that children who witnessed daily conflicts and quarrels at home had higher average cortisol levels than children who lived in more peaceful families. As a result, they frequently became tired and ill, they played less, and slept poorly. Overall, children did not ever habituate, or “get used to,” the family stress. And on the contrary, children who received affection showed fewer signs of stress.


Providing an ambience that promotes healthy communication and conflict resolution not only has temporary benefits, but could also shape your child’s personality and help him defeat negativity when it comes to relationships. Finding a solution to every problem or resolving every fight is not the aim; but to ensure that the quarrel moves in the direction of conflict resolution can help steer a child away from irreversible damage that could last forever.



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This article is based on:  https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_happens_to_kids_when_parents_fight


How can women break the glass ceiling?

Gone are the days when women were considered no match for the powerful men in this world!

How true is the above statement?

This statement is partially true; there are only some women who have reached the top most jobs in corporate India and some who have also become successful entrepreneurs. And as for the rest, old habits die hard, and the world is not yet ready to accept that women are equal( if not superior) to men in intelligence quotient, hard work, leadership skills, decision making, and team work.

The modern woman has overcome the various hurdles and excelled in all spheres which have hitherto been the domain of men. She has displayed an enormous passion and zeal and has successfully reached the top echelons of the corporate world.

The road to success for women is long and is certainly not smooth. Women are constantly judged, analyzed, evaluated and they need to constantly prove that they are as capable if not more capable than the men with whom they work. Their decisions are scrutinized microscopically and even the tiniest of errors are highlighted and ridiculed. However, men with fewer traits of leadership and IQ are known to have climbed the ladder swiftly.

In fact, at times, women themselves have had to refuse jobs that involve extensive travel, physical exertion, etc due to family constraints. Many companies have a rigorous interview process where female candidates are probed about their plans of marriage or starting a family. It’s usually expected of women to make the sacrifice of quitting a job by putting the family first if the need be. So a man is considered selfless and the one who puts work first; hence he is seen as a person worthy of promotion or a job. Women are also measured using the same yardstick, and more often than not, denied promotion, and relegated to less responsible jobs.

Furthermore, sexual harassment which is often lightly dismissed as “harmless flirting’ is also found in workplaces, thereby acting as yet another major obstacle for women. Unless women shed their inhibitions and stand up to themselves, these instances may well remain unchecked.

On the contrary, one can’t deny that things are changing, gradually and slowly, if not instantly. A certain percentage of men at the workplace have also changed and have learnt to work with women colleagues. They have started accepting women as managers, without being patronizing or hostile.

To be able to achieve equality at the workplace, organizational policies need to focus on creating practices and processes where women are encouraged to be leaders in their own right and not be compared with men and their behaviour and traits. Gender bias has to be removed and women need to be recognized for their skills and talents. They should be allowed to have work arrangements that will fit their lives and also the organizations requirements. A compatible, conducive, secure space needs to be created where women can learn, experiment, and grow into leaders.

Women too need to shed their inhibitions and be proactive in their roles. They need to become assertive and decisive and learn not to be apologetic about being ambitious.

A societal system which recognizes and respects a woman can go a long way in the making of many more Indira Nooyis, Kiran Majumdar Shahs, and the likes.

This blog is based on articles from the following sources:





I am not a topper!So….

The results of the ICSE class X and ISC class XII examinations for 2017 were announced on Monday. A total of 1,75,299 candidates appeared for the ICSE examinations and 98.53% passed out. Of the 73,633 students who took the ISC examinations, 96.47 % passed.

Have we ever spared a thought to the remaining percentage of students who didn’t pass? What does the future hold in store for them in this marks and rank oriented system? Why have they failed? Whose fault is it?Are we even right in declaring them as failures?

Just before the examinations, we see harried parents coaxing, cajoling, and even bullying their children to burn the midnight oil. Comparisons between siblings, and the neighbour’s kids, start making their rounds. Internet connections and satellite TV connections are cancelled. “Visitors are not welcome” boards are all but displayed at homes! Doomsday predictions of the grim scenario that awaits failures are constantly made.

How do children respond and react to this pressure? Some children crumble under peer and parental pressure and the ever-increasing level of competition. They develop feelings of being useless and unworthy when they fail. Prior to examinations and after the results, we read reports of suicides among school going children.

These incidents are talked about in terms of statistics by the media and forgotten before another headline making story crops up!

There is an emphasis on rote and memorisation in our board exams. Unfortunately, aptitude, understanding, and year round assessments are not considered.Creativity is not recognized as a worthy trait because students are expected to write the answers verbatim from the text books. So what happens to the child who does not have this ability? Can he be dismissed as a failure?

The punishing schedule at school and home is enough to deflate any child’s confidence. The fear factor of examinations and lack of support and guidance are the primary reasons for the various stress and trauma related disorders found in children.Any cry for help by these children should be heard and addressed at once.

Schools and parents need to provide timely interventions and counselling sessions from experts to such students in order to comfort and imbibe confidence in them.Children need to be heard carefully and they need to be provided with solutions rather than just giving them advice!


Parents, schools, teachers, education boards, the government and all other stake holders including children should all put their heads and hearts into analyzing these issues and strive to bring back Joy into learning.

Maybe it’s time for parents to say, “It’s okay to be ordinary. It’s alright if you are not a topper. I love you”!

The blog is based onthe article in http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/icse-and-isc-2017-results-to-be-declared-on-monday/article18598249.ece

To gain more clarity in parenting/counselling talk to one of our counsellors at www.preranaacademy.com

Girl Child in Mother India!

Women’s Day and Mothers Day were celebrated on March 8th and May 14th respectively with the usual noise on social media.

Women’s day saw every forum worth its salt inviting women to deliver speeches, and seminars were conducted with lovely anchors raising clichéd questions; feminists were hailed and cheered; men too joined this celebration with abandon. All duly reported by the print and social media!

And then came along Mothers Day! We saw children gushing over their mothers, gifting them with cards, gifts of all kinds, hugs and kisses and going overboard with their display of love and affection. Of course, capturing it with a selfie stick to be posted on FB!

All fine! It’s indeed lovely to see mothers and women getting this attention and love from their children and society.

However, it’s only on Women’s day and Mothers Day that India wakes up to honour the women in the country. How are girls and women treated on the remaining 363 days?  The female foeticide and rape reveal a different story that unfolds in India day after day.

Not a day goes by without reports of barbaric and heinous crimes committed on women!

Experts believe that the skewed sex ratio is a major contributor for these acts. Sex ratio in India continues to worsen, and according to the latest figures, a steady decline is being seen from 909 in 2011, 898 in 2013 to 887 in 2014. According to a Pulitzer centre report, thousands of parents brazenly break laws and have their “to be daughters” aborted after an ultrasound scan has revealed the sex of the foetus. It is estimated that more than 10 million female foetuses may have been illegally aborted in India since 1990s, and 500,000 girls are lost annually due to female foeticide.

The increasing number of reported rapes exposes the dark underbelly that India has! At least one woman is raped once in four minutes in this country! Think of the unreported rapes!

There are many laws in our country which have been framed to prevent female infanticide and rape. However, only legal action cannot and will not stop these horrendous crimes. Mothers need to be made aware that sons are not superior to daughters; girls need to be made aware that they are not weak; and finally sons need to be made aware that girls are not a commodity meant for their use!

Parenting plays a crucial role in bringing about these changes. Parents knowingly or unknowingly instill gender bias in their children. Addressing these issues at the grass root level can indeed usher in a new India where women can walk the nights without pepper sprays and dressed in attires of their choice!


This blog is based on the data from: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/education/story/sex-ratio-worsens/1/823075.html


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Suicides among youth

Every hour, one student commits suicide in India!

India has one of the world’s highest suicide rates for youth aged 15 to 29, according to a 2012 Lancet report.

The four metros of India together account for almost 40.5 percent of the total suicides reported from 35 mega cities. Alarming statistics indeed!

The various pressures and unrealistic expectations from society, parents, peers, and self result in frustration leading youngsters to take this fatal step.

Children today are burdened by academic pressures at a very young age. The fear of failure looms large and they are unable to perform well. They are also expected to be toppers in all the extracurricular activities they indulge in. A tall order indeed! They are robbed of the childhood joys and pleasures, and they often turn into nervous wrecks. Intervention through counselling and therapy at school level helps to alleviate these issues.

The “keeping up with the Jones” syndrome compels youngsters to acquire materialistic things, and the inability to do so can drive young people to take their lives. Failed relationships, work pressures, debt, family problems can also lead to depression.

Timely intervention helps save lives. It’s high time people realised that seeking professional help is not taboo. There is nothing to be ashamed of in seeking help from trained professionals. A patient listening (without any judgement) in itself goes a long way in preventing such tragic incidents. Negative thoughts that cloud the mind lead people to feel helpless and conclude “there is no way out” and this pressurizes them to take such drastic steps.

Counselling creates a platform for venting out these negative thoughts, and the person would be able to see clearly and realise that there are alternatives which can help him/her deal with situations in a better way.


This blog is based on DH November 2 2011/Panorama Section/From IT capital to suicide capital and http://www.hindustantimes.com/ Updated: May 08, 2017 09:15 IST

To know more about therapeutic interventions, please talk to one of our counsellors at www.preranaacademy.com


Parenting: a perpetual culture

A recent study in Netherlands revealed that children are holistically happy and constantly top well- being surveys. This in spite of having working parents!

What are they doing differently? How can they consistently be happy? There are number of child friendly plan being approved by the government which is creating a healthy and encouraging environment for nurturing children.

A happy home creates a nurturing environment and this environment is essential for holistic development. Parents being home and spending quality time or having family dinners are not paramount but necessary for a child. But added to this is the nature of communication that happens around a child. Pleasant conversations, open communication and strong and firm relationships between parents strengthens the personality of children. So, what can be done differently to ensure all round development of our children? Below are a few tips and tricks to begin your journey:

  • Ensure to have one meal as a family (PS; without smartphones, tabs,ipods etc)
  • Strike a conversation with your child abouteveryday happenings. This is will give you information about his/her interests/hobbies.
  • Avoid arguing/fighting in front of your children. This may inculcate poor judgement in commitment/trust in your child.
  • Love and affection are thestepping stone of forming your child’s personality. Make sure they see their ideal future self in you.
  • Make your child responsible at anappropriate age by entrusting small but significant chores. This develops a sense of ownership among
  • For a child to view his/her parents as a team, work as one. Mother and fatherboth should be seen sharing responsibility of parenting. The child should be carrying significant traits from both mother and father.

These are insight only, into better parenting. But, it does not invalidate your own conditioning! Each generation is receiving new and better information about parenting and the skill it requires to raise a happy child. The information is just being directed at the apt audience!

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This blog is based on the articlehttp://: http://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/columns/you/go-dutch/articleshow/57004908.cms

Criticism in relationships!

What criticism leads to? Why does one criticize? What dynamics are observed in a relationship with one partner being critical?

Today`s blog tries to unfold these questions to see the bigger picture! An individual is critical due to one of the factors:

  • S/he is critical as a conscious choice. (often used for self defense).
  • S/he has been conditioned about being critical as a part of personality.

There have been many research and studies conducted in this area: most prominent being by Dr. John and Julie Gottman. The husband and wife team came with “four horsemen” (a phase wise diagnosis vexing a relationship). Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness and stonewalling.

Analysing the critical behavior:

An individual tends to be critical probably due one of the below:

  • Self-defense (avoiding facing the real problem)
  • Total control is the only way to attain perfectionism.
  • Things have always happened according to you and hence your way is the only way.
  • Being critical validates your thought process.
  • By being critical you are focusing on someone else which negates your own issues.
  • By being critical you can demand attention.
  • You have been in a critical environment since childhood.

Analyzing critical thoughts:

An individual tends to think about the below when being critical:

  • Confidence (things are going according to them)
  • Sense on power (everyone around you is listening to you and are probably scared too)
  • Perfectionist (others are always wrong)
  • Being superior than others.
  • Blind belief in conditioning.

Analyzing critical emotions:

A critical individual may have more than one of the below emotions:

  • Aversion
  • Hesitant
  • Remorseful
  • Ashamed
  • Ignored
  • Victimized
  • Powerlessness
  • Vulnerable
  • Isolated
  • Inferior etc

The emotions of a critical individual may vary and may also include more but the above listed ones are some of the emotions.

Various therapies have been designed for this specific purpose of dealing with criticism. It is advisable in cases of a partner being critical to reflect and observe. By reflecting into one’s own life, the partner will benefit by temporarily providing relief by being non-critical and using the same time to reflect upon one’s life events. This initial step provides a much-needed break to both partners. Succeeding the reflection phase, the partner must introspect the relationship from the beginning to decide upon a point where criticism began. The work of a therapist becomes tricky from this point on as everything depends on the readiness of the partner to change.

Therapeutic interventions bring about changes in the overall life of an individual. A third person acting like an arbitrator negates the bias issue among partners.

To know more about therapeutic interventions and dealing with criticism, log on to www.preranaacademy.com

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This blog is based on the article: http://www.femina.in/relationships/love-sex/does-your-partner-criticise-you-constantly-37031.html




Education v/s Technology

Technological advancement has changed the facet of communication! Being “online”, is the need of the hour. Facebook profiles, Instagram updates, LinkedIn posts, twitter tweets are probably the only connect to human emotions.

 A whole new industry thrives on this social media frenzy and has identified it as the most influential medium that will dictate the purchase patterns of customers. Hence there is a steady increase in social media presence of many sectors; be it pharmaceutical, retail or real estate. With an effect so profound, there is no doubt about its influence on the younger generation. They not only understand the lingo but are also better at operating the various features it offers.

 This wave of technology has also enabled the younger generation in learning: through experiencing. Any concept can nowadays be learnt through audio and video clips thus keeping in touch with life like teachings. A new study conducted revealed that there is a demand for adopting this technology at schools to better the learning. Online classes, video streaming have furthered this requisition. Is this the big picture?

 Although the effect of technology cannot be debated so is the affect of technology! Internet is both: a boon and a bane. Limiting internet to learning is unrealistic, are we ready for the realistic scenario? Can we turn a blind eye to the internet savvy and monger generation? Can authority be enforced on the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” when it comes to internet/technology?

 Has the decision to avoid internet in school come as a blessing? We can utilize this to the benefit of the children and introduce them to outdoor activity and curiosity. Being curious will lead to better and real life learning. Family togetherness can be sought for learning. Bonding and self-care can be instilled among younger generation with time. Limiting the usage of internet will open the doors to a whole new and realistic world.

 Maybe it is time to remove the tech from technology and create an analogy with loved ones for a change!


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 This article is based on: http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Andhra-Pradesh/2016-12-17/Researchers-give-thumbs-down-oninternet-in-classrooms/269083

Is empathy lost amidst humans!

A recent study revealed that there is a 44% rapid growth in mobile videos uploads/viewership; alarming, but true. 58% prefer viewing ads and uploaded videos from their mobiles! Millennials (born between 1980’s-1990’s), are a colossal part of this bifurcation.

Mobiles and tablets have begun to take over the social plot. It’s no more vital for human beings to have interactions. Thence, emotions in the interaction are distorted. Many people find it arduous to reciprocate to emotions/feelings. Thus, they avoid human contact. Mobiles/smartphones have created a simple and smooth platform to exchange dialogues but are not able to create a platform to express emotions/feelings. This increasing need to “be online”, has somewhere affected our ability to empathize. Is it a wonder that people are professionally seeking support to express their emotions (counselors)?

In any given situation: happy, sad, anger, disgust etc there is an impending need to create history by recording the situation. Wonder what pattern of thoughts will people be going through while recording! Does this give an adrenaline rush? Does it increase palpitations? Does it make you lose all sense of reality? If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions then it is no more a hobby or interest: it is an addiction. As there is selfie addiction, so is mobile video upload addiction.

Emotions are created and felt when two people are involved. In many scenarios, smartphone replaces humans and hence emotions are lost in the process. When the closest and longest relations maintained are with a smartphone, can an individual be emotional? Social interactions are the key to emotions: be it anger or happiness, people are needed to feel these emotions. Smartphones cannot replace the human emotions. Best friend, confidante, buddy, mate; are all replaced by smartphones and this restricts sharing. This in turn creates a void that is now being filled by the imminent need to share more and create history. Video uploads is a medium of sharing since actual sharing is limited.

Like any addiction, smartphone too needs to be viewed as addiction. Replacing smartphone by human interaction is the key, but how and how much is the question of the hour! Like in any de-addiction case, there will denial, anger, acceptance stage. This is where a supportive environment comes in handy and will probably go a long way in creating trust.

To know how to deal with smartphone addiction, log on to www.preranacademy.com.

This article is based on http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/has-sensationalism-trumped-humanity/articleshow/56594426.cms.