I have just cut off a friendship which was toxic

Here are questions from readers that were addressed by leading Pune psychiatristDr Manish Bajpayee. The identities of the solution-seekers have been withheld to protect their privacy. You too can send your questions at editorial@pune365.com

Dear Doctor, I have just cut off a friendship which was toxic. I cut it off because it was driving me crazy and I became emotionally unstable. However, I feel like I have hurt my friend because I have put my needs first. But doing this was necessary for the sake of my emotional well-being. Is there a way in which I can come to terms with this and be at peace with myself? Please help me.

You have done the right thing by cutting off this friend. It is very important to show affection if you are in a relationship. It really helps if the person does not criticise and humiliate the other. It is much better taking a sabbatical from the friendship or exiting it completely. You just have to wait and watch. In every relationship, there are upheavals. A change from the present state is beneficial for you and the other person as well.

I have decided to see a therapist. I am dealing with my anxiety issues. However, I want to make sure that I pick a reliable doctor to help me with my problems. Can you guide me as to how I should go about choosing which therapist to see and on what basis? It would be very helpful. Thank you.  

This actually depends from person to person. You may have to go to atleast two therapists in the beginning to see whom you’re comfortable with. But you must go to a therapist that has been recommended. He or she should be able to listen to you without any judgement. A person who listens to you has the ability to not negate. Your self-esteem is important, you and your views are important and the listener should be empathetic.

Doctor, I get bullied at work almost every day by my colleagues. I must make mention here that I am the only female employee working in a male-dominated work space. I love my job but the constant belittling by my male co-workers is making it difficult for me to work. How do I tackle this situation? 

Several such cases come to me. This does lead to depression. You must quit your job. Do not take such bullying, because it rarely ever stops. You must take it to a higher authority to get it stopped but that could lead to consequences and you should be ready for it. This is a common problem faced by women everywhere. We live in a strange society and such behaviour must not be tolerated.

Dear Doctor, I am curious to know whether emotional manipulation leads to depression. I have a friend who always makes me feel guilty even though the fault is his. I feel as if he is using everything against me to put me down. If this is what I think it is, then can you guide me as to how I can deal with it?

Emotional manipulators are generally narcissists. They do not want any problems and they are anti-social. They will use you to put all the blame and responsibility on. When someone tries to emotionally manipulate you, they burden you and its important to take charge before this occurs. It could lead to anxiety, sadness and guilt. You must take charge of the relationship and seek counselling for your friend.

Vijayta Lalwani

Vijayta Lalwani

The young lady from Lagos has always been keen on a career in journalism. Pune365 was hence the right stop. We agree. vijayta@pune365.com
Vijayta Lalwani