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Matty

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  • #113813
    Matty
    Participant

    Hi Jane,

    My brother is a look like your daughter, and my mother has gone through what you are going through before. My mother accepted what was happening to her, because it was either that or just get angry. The only difference is that my parents have never really given my brother (or myself) money for anything. My brother also lives away from home and we rarely see him, only when he wants to get stuff off his chest, because no one else will listen to him. Heck, we weren’t even invited to his 21st!

    That’s the background, and this is my perspective on your daughter, deep down…she feels ashamed of herself, maybe even guilty. She probably doesn’t tell you much because deep down she is afraid that you are judging her. You have paid and supported her through everything, yet she might feel that with that comes a responsibility of being an awesome daughter, and she is failing herself because she might think you have grand expectations for her. It’s like she has an inferiority complex around you. Like my brother, your daughter might be internalizing all of this, irrespective if it’s true or not. Does she think the sun shines out of everyones butt but yours? My brother does this all the time, calling people he hardly knows family and friendly or lovely people, and yet slags off at his actual family for being too demanding. Your daughter might be quite a different person when she is with you. She might feel vunerable because you are her mother, you know everything. That’s why she might not call or come over much. She might hate the fact you know her too well. That’s why my brother has never introduced me to his friends, we never knew he had a girlfriend for months before she appeared at our door. My brother feels he is bulletproof with others, not with us. It may well be a similar case with your daughter. I believe that’s why she blew up at you, she hated being made to feel guilty. Maybe that’s why she doesn’t call often, and she only calls when she wants something. Having a reason, is better than no reason, otherwise you might ask something harmless like “did you finish that essay? or how are your marks?” and she will not know how to handle it; “is mum going to judge me for this?” she might wonder. It’s all in her head, you love her, warts and all, but she probably doesn’t see it that way. She is building all these mental blocks in her head. I found with my brother, he distanced himself so much that he couldn’t feel like he was being judged, watched or made to feel guilty. And now, because your daughter knows that you know she only rings when she wants something, she might feel this is the standard convention from now on.

    DO NOT TAKE THIS AS YOUR FAULT. My mother raised us two boys by herself, she stopped working so that she could look after us. We both lived under the same roof, and we are so different that i sometimes wonder if he hit his head on something and forgot about the 18 years mum raised and supported us. Recently mum went into day surgery, and my brother didn’t even ask how she was. My mother stopped telling him things, because in the end she felt that expecting him to say something was worse than anything. Mum hasn’t given up on my brother, she just isn’t punishing herself for the way he has turned out. Honestly, no matter how much love you give your child, they are ultimately in control of who they are. All we can do is hope that they realize its not them against everyone else.

    You are not being petty. You feel left out in the cold, neglected and all you want is to be acknowledged. I totally get that. Although your daughter might seem like an adult to you, she may not feel the same way. I don’t know what you can do to solve this, since nothing has worked on my brother. I feel that eventually he will realize that he has messed up, that life isn’t all about him, that he wouldn’t be anything without his family. I reckon this is the case with your daughter. Maybe try to start a dialogue with her, when she speaks to you next time. I feel the main thing is for your daughter to initiate conversation, not you. I only ever speak to my brother when he wants to speak to me, not the other way around. It’s like he needs to be in control of the terms and conditions of our talk. I reckon do the same with your daughter, because they may think they are in control, but they really aren’t.

    The opposite, would be to start taking things away from her, stop financially supporting her in some facets of her life. Maybe then she will realize how much you give for her to be able to live comfortably. I reckon this is extreme, but you know what they say: you never know what you got till it’s gone.

    I hope this helped you a little, If you have any comments or questions, please continue this thread.
    BUT seriously, it’s not your fault.
    MAtty

    #113808
    Matty
    Participant

    Hi Searchingforanswers,

    I’m sorry things turned out the way they did.

    I agree with @pink24 in regards to the social pressures that certain men feel, primarily that they have to be grounded and successful before they can move onto the next stage in their lives. The obvious issue is when do you know that you are successful or when you have made it? It’s not like you get handed an award and then you know you have leveled up.

    “I’m sorry I led you on towards marriage. It’s not the ring or ceremony that holds me back, it’s the lifelong sacrifice that marriage requires. In my heart I struggle with compromising and I think you do too. I’m unsure whether we would be happy together in the long run, or would we wear each other down to nothing. I have to get myself healthy and grounded in school before I can proceed. Rushing back together is not the answer. Let’s continue to be patient, honest, and kind to each other.”

    He is breaking up with you because he wants his freedom, so being with you is what he considers to be something that takes away his freedom. Some men don’t want to be tied down physically (have responsibilities) whilst some have no problem with them. THe comes across as well that he is afraid of commitment, especially when he talks about how he is ‘unsure’ about your possible future. Personally, if he was unsure, then he shouldn’t of asked you to marry him. He is also putting himself before you, even if you get back together, he will never put the relationship first, but his own wants. I find it particularly interesting that he writes “let’s continue to be patient, honest and kind to each other” which IMO demonstrates that he still wants you in his life, but he doesn’t want to be with you. He want’s the benefits of a relationship without an actual relationship. And he really expects you to wait around for him.

    Basically, he wants everything. And, you know, by him contacting you, he is actually being quite selfish, he might think he is checking up on you, but he really is just trying gauge whether you still want him. Whether you still love him. Because, if he really cared about you, he would of let you go, he would said something like: I screwed up, i want to focus on my future without you in it right now, I love you, but not enough to be with. Instead, by contacting you, or you contacting him, you are just reaffirming that things ‘may’ get back together, just not right now. This hurts you, deep down it cuts you up, because how can someone say they love you, yet then do this? He wants to live of certainty, where everything has it’s place and everything is well, unfortunately, the world ain’t like that. He has decided to lose everything for certainty, and yet the only certain thing in his life, was you. And you have been cast aside. It’s important to realize, that you are really just a spectator in his life, whilst in your life he was your teammate.

    In regards to your pain, i believe (like so many people deal with) is that you are currently experiencing an identity crisis. After all this time of being together, you went from being a girlfriend to being a fiance. Without your other half you are none of these things. Also, you were engaged, which means that eventually you were going to become a wife. All these words identify you with him, he was the boyfriend you were the girlfriend. Because it’s over now, you are trying to figure out who you are, without him. For so long your identity was linked to his, but now that its over you are in limbo. I don’t think hanging with friends or going on dates is the ultimate way to move forward (it’s great that you are doing this, i think the issue is more mental and emotional though). You have to figure out what your identity is now. Who are you? A way to do this, is simply grab a piece of paper and write down your interests, hobbies, family, friends etc. anything that makes you, you. write down who you are in relation to everyone around you. The goal is to notice that you are a great many things without this man in your life. When people break up, they go into meltdown because they forget that they were individuals before they were in a relationship, they forget the relationship is not the sum of their life, but a result of it.

    My final sort of advice would be to understand that everything ends, it’s the one true guarantee in life. The sun will still come up tomorrow, the wind will still blow and the grass will still grow. Life will move on with or without you. Embrace who you are and what you want to become, the past cannot be changed. Live life on your terms. If your ex wants to get back to you once he has done what he wants to do, then he will have to earn that right again.

    I hope this helps, if you have any comments or questions, feel free to ask 🙂

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Matty.
    #113582
    Matty
    Participant

    Ke,

    I understand that uprooting your life is not what you or anyone would want to do. I also understand that you do love him, the fact you are here talking about ‘what to do?’ is actually evidence that you care deeply enough about him to seek help and advice. Even if he thinks psychology is nonsense, counselling is more about interacting, setting goals in a mutual environment. Couple counselors aren’t going to analysis him, more likely they will analysis the relationship, be a voice of reason between the two of you. Honestly, it doesn’t have to be a counselor, it could be a friend that you both have or a family member. Counselors are impartial since they know neither of you.

    And if you cannot make him go with you to see someone, you need to tell him that it means a lot to you, and that you are trying to save this relationship. Don’t give your boyfriend an ultimatum, instead just say that the ‘relationship’ seems to be on the rocks and that you are concerned. You are in a sense concerned about the relationship, so talk to him about your relationship together. If he shuts you down again…. I’m not quite sure what you should do. Is it possible for both of you to take a day off from each other, even if you spend the night over at a mates place. Maybe some distance will put things into perspective for him.

    I hope this helps you a little. If you have more to say, please continue this post.
    MAtty

    #113578
    Matty
    Participant

    Hi Trixie,

    Firstly, it’s not your fault.
    Secondly, your father should of stood up for you when you were insulted, along with your family. Because he didn’t, to me, it indicates that he really doesn’t think much of you. This is a sad fact that he is unwilling to defend his own flesh and blood. He evidently isn’t making an effort to stay in contact, which also demonstrates that he doesn’t care about you, or he doesn’t care about you enough to contact you just to say hi. Your father is so scared of this woman, that he would rather keep his meetings with you as a secret shows that he will put this woman before you. Has your father always been like this? Were you close to your father before this woman came into your life?

    All I can say is to look after YOUR family, your kids and life. It’s sad that your father has chosen this new family over his old one, but it will be better for you in the long run to move forward and focus on your life, and the people in your life who deserve your love and affection. Maybe one day your father will realise that he has missed out on watching his granddaughter grow up, has missed being apart of your life and family. It will be his fault, and always will be. Believe that one day things may turn out differently, just stop believing that it will be today.

    I hope this brings some closure,
    MAtty

    #113575
    Matty
    Participant

    Hi Ke,

    It appears your boyfriend does not trust you enough to be able to reveal who he truly is (without a ‘mind-altering substance’ whatever that is). But it also shows that he is quite insecure if he continually states, during discussions that ‘you don’t love him, respect him’ etc. It shows that he isn’t really comfortable with himself to the point that he is externalizing his problems and is really talking about himself. What I mean is, that he says ‘you don’t love him’ but really he is turning it around his head as “you couldn’t possibly love me, no one can love me”. It’s a defense mechanism so he doesn’t have to deal with his emotions, he blames everyone else for them and sees himself as inferior.

    In regards to having your mistakes thrown back in your face, i would consider this yet another example of insecurity as well as an inferiority complex. Pointing out your mistakes, in such a way that is aggravating is trying to prove something, trying to prove that ‘he wouldn’t make the same mistake’. The small things you do for him are largely being ignored, which begs the question, what he actually wants from you.

    Out of interest, does he notice things about you, for instance, if you get a haircut, bought some new clothes etc? I ask because it seems that he is self-absorbed, dealing with his own problems, that you aren’t really in a relationship, your just living together. What does he actually want from this relationship? What do you want? Because, it seems that you have found quite a lot of faults that he isn’t willing to work through, let only talk about. Even if someone has a ‘bad history’, that doesn’t mean they have to take it out on others, otherwise the cycle continues. Bad history will continue, simply because your boyfriend decided instead of being proactive, making a stand and seeking help, he chose to bottle it up, take it out on you (the one he supposedly loves) and make you feel like crap.

    My advice would be to sit down with each other and discuss where this relationship is going. Because, you are already living together, married life won’t change much, so what you are seeing is what you will get. If you cannot get this to happen, seek couples counselling, simply to put someone in between the two of you to moderate your discussion. And if this doesn’t work, then you are going to have to make an uncomfortable choice, stay or leave. It’s not your fault if your boyfriend wants to bottle everything up, it’s his own damn fault for letting it control his life and impact those closest to him.

    I hope this helps,
    MAtty

    #112200
    Matty
    Participant

    PLainsong,

    I read your former post and can understand why you hold this perspective.

    What’s the point? well only you can answer that. If you cannot find any purpose to change because of the past, than that is your decision to make. However change is not something that you do, i believe its something that happens. There is no reset button on life, the past is just that. You cannot change the past, it has inevitably made you who you are. But you can change and improve your situation so that history doesn’t repeat itself. In regards to being judged and avoided, you do not need to seek the validation of others in order for you to change. If such validation means so much to you then you shouldn’t change for yourself, but others. This is just a hollow change, a change precipitated by the need to be desired, the need to be accepted and wanted. Don’t you love yourself? Who says you are unworthy? The people at your workplace? Look, whether life is meant to be hard or easy, actually comes down to the individual and what purpose they design for themself.

    What’s the point? You know i have heard many people say this on these forums and honestly it gets me a bit down myself when they type those three words. Because to me, it’s like you have forgotten all the other aspects to life. You forget the subtle things in life, the way the trees sway in the wind, the feel of grass under your feet, the joy you can get from watching a movie, the taste of your favorite food. The simple pleasures in life are not expensive, nor are they life changing, they are reaffirming of everything in this world. Your whole entire focus has been on your past, and a single mistake with a coworker (based on your previous post). From there you have extrapolated your self worth based on the actions of another, you have extracted your purpose based on another and you do not see a logical reason as to why to change based of a single event. It might be more than this, maybe you feel you messed up a couple of times. The past is going to just keep dragging you down if all you ever do is look at yourself through the past. Why not start doing things you enjoy? Why not stop allowing something, which has no physically entity, beating the crap out of it. You cannot punch your past in the face, it doesn’t have one. SO stop trying to. Everything that has a beginning, has an end. This is the universal truth about everything, nothing is meant to last.

    You are right, the story will never change. But the perspective does. There are so many classic literature books which when they were written sucked, like they were utter crap and didn’t sell. But over time people’s view on such stories changed, and what once was crap turned out to be pretty decent. My point is that you have linked your identity with your past. We all do, however you do not have to make your past your identity. Surely you had good times, surely you were exhilarated and found joy. We are all transformed by our previous experiences, this does not mean we should allow it to be more powerful or control us. If you cannot value yourself, why would you expect others to? If you think you are unworthy of love, i would love to know what you think ‘worthy’ would be. If you think you are getting passed over, than what are you going to do about it? Just take it? You know, crawling up in a little ball in the corner of a room will not help you find a purpose in life, it will not help you change and it certainly will not help you move away from the past. If you cannot love yourself, why the hell would you expect others to?

    I wish you the best of luck,
    Sincerely,
    MAtty

    #112031
    Matty
    Participant

    Starbux,

    DO you have a specific genre you like?
    What previous books did you like and not like?

    MAtty

    #112030
    Matty
    Participant

    Princelunar72,

    I think there are a number of things going on here.
    1. Morals
    2. Indifference vs. not caring about others (compassion)
    3. Your own self love
    4. Self improvement

    So in regards to morals, being a sensible knave is not a bad thing, it just shows you are an opportunist. Also, we all form relationships with others because the other has something we want. This is our very nature. Being a knave is like being more honest about the terms of the relationship. Maybe you could say that you are a user, you use people until they have nothing else to offer you. You have already stated that you are unhappy with your current state, you don’t want to be like this. Well, i think the issue here is…what are morals? And i think this is what Hume was trying to say, that there is no single definition of morality. For some morality is a way to live one’s life, for others it’s based on their decisions. I would advise figuring out what ‘morality’ and ‘morals’ mean to you. You don’t have to care about everyone you meet, nor do you have to care for them.

    You wrote that you no longer feel anything for others, this implies that at some point you did, so what changed? It doesn’t have to be a massive life changing event, it could be small ripples that came to a large conclusion. You have become a lifeless vessel, once again you haven’t always been this way, why? At some point something must of changed in order for you to be here. I graduated highschool in 2008 with a class of 150 students, i have no care in the world for any of them. Does this make me a bad person? In my mind, i don’t hate these people nor like them, i’m indifferent to them. They haven’t continued to impact my everyday existence, so why should i care? The main thing i want to get at here is that being indifferent to people and not caring are two separate things. A lot of people know there are problems in the middle east, it’s not that no one cares, it just doesn’t affect them. We are indifferent. If someone you know gets sick, someone that you treasure and love then you are going to care, but the passerby isn’t going to care, it won’t affect them. I believe we are all indifferent, you simply cannot care about everything, it will drive you insane. What is compassion? No one expects you channel Mother Treasa. Maybe the issue you are having is that you are forcing yourself not to care, forcing yourself to distance yourself because life will be easier?

    I also suspect that you don’t particularly like yourself. Of course you have mentioned you feel like you are on autopilot and non-receptive to those that love you. I always find that if people can not look in the mirror at themselves and love what they see, then the root cause is usually your own diminished view of yourself. I think we can feel this way because we look at what we lack, you know…if something was to happen to you right now, what would you leave behind. As humans, we are always wanting more than we actually need. It’s not about what you don’t leave behind, it’s what you take with you. Is this how you feel?

    If you feel empty, then you have to find something that makes you feel full. It doesn’t have to be anything big, it just has to be something that reminds you of what you can do, of what you can achieve and who you are. Heck, it could just be something that brings a smile to your face. You are going through a period which is rock bottom. Why? What is currently going on in your life? If you answer, not much, it just lacks purpose, then you have to give your life purpose. You want to change, but don’t know how to. You actually do know how, you have written down what you dislike about your current self, so you should try (if it’s what you want) to do the opposite. Everyday you can make small changes based on what you want to become.

    I’m going to leave it here, there are some heavy questions in here. You by no means have to reply to them or any of them. They are mainly things you could consider. I just feel, that we always ask ‘why something’ is happening, rather than ‘how’ is it happening. Take 5-10 mins out of your day and just be by yourself and seek the answers within yourself.
    Sincerely,
    MAtty

    #111484
    Matty
    Participant

    Hey Joe,

    I’m happy that your happy with your decision. There are many countries out there looking for English teachers, one’s you probably have never heard of. At the end of the day, if you feel its the right move for you, so be it. I wish you the best of luck for your future endeavours.

    MAtty

    #110313
    Matty
    Participant

    @joe,

    Sorry for the late reply,
    I think you have the right idea, try to aim for the place the former employer with a good review worked at. From an educational perspective, if it’s a franchise, that wouldn’t make any difference, because the people across the board will be different. As for credibility, it’s hard to say. It shows that they have a successful business model, but this doesn’t indicate whether the working conditions are fair. Honestly, it will come down to your gut feeling. I personally haven’t taught overseas, I wish I had so that i could give you more relevant information.

    I hope all goes well, and the best of luck,
    MAtty

    #110215
    Matty
    Participant

    Hi James Jones,

    I’m 30, share an apartment with a roommate, have a boring but stable job, and feel like nothing I do will ever turn out well.

    So i wrote this out a couple of times, my mind is trying to make connections tonight, just not working 😉
    I want you to know that what you are feeling is actually natural. You look at yourself in the mirror and see some 30 year old, lame person that you would rather not be. I get that, i feel like this more often than I like to admit. I look at my past and see everything differently, as if I feel that my past is inferior, that everything I did amounted to nothing. But this is incorrect. We are our own harshest critics and as a result when we look back, ‘in hindsight’ we often look back with tinted vision. What happened, is not what we see. What i’m trying to say is that age doesn’t make you more experienced, its just an number. However, we see that number and think of the social implications more often than not. Let me tell you, that no one is immune to this feeling, it is natural. What is unnatural as how many people never want to talk about it. So you are making an exceptional choice to make a stand in your life and ask yourself ‘why do i feel this way’.

    And I’m really tired of gong to bed feeling like I wasted my day, or spending entire weekends doing nothing but pissg away time on the Internet or walks around the street with hands in my pockets, face staring down, or of having relationships be things exclusively for people who are not me.

    My questions to you are these –> what’s wrong with spending day on the internet? WHat’s wrong with walking with your hands in your pocket? What’s wrong with not being in a relationship? We always, as humans tend to focus on what we want and then the reasons as to why we want are generally thrown to the wayside. If you are enjoying yourself, if you are happy then why should it bother you so much? Fear?? Fear is actually quite logical and understandable, however it is only ever in our heads. People are so afraid of dying young, they forget that we are all going to die anyway. It’s inevitable, one of the only things in human life that is guaranteed. Are you afraid that you could be doing more with your life? You say there are other things you would rather be doing, but don’t do them. Why are you afraid of not doing these things? My thoughts are that (as you stated with @anita) that you have placed heavy expectations on yourself. As a result you end up thinking you could or should be doing more. Which is actually illogical, because what you think you should be doing, might not be what you need to be doing. Do you really need more in life than what you already have? I’m not saying that you should just accept what you have now and be done. I just want you to think about the ‘whys?’ and seek understanding within yourself.

    You are caught in a paradox, you are afraid of failing, as a result you feel you could be doing more to be successful, but don’t because you fear failing.

    I believe that you fear triumph more than you fear failure, to be honest. Life is not an exam, you do not get As and Fs, it’s more like ‘i did something well’ or ‘i didn’t do so well’ neither are absolutes…that’s life. You fear success more than anything. Because if you were truly afraid of failure, then you wouldn’t be waking up and living and breathing the same air I do, you would of given up. But you are afraid of succeeding, what if i’m good at this? what if i do try something different and i’m decent at it? You played a video game that more than likely bought you joy and you were good at it. But somewhere along the way you felt that being good wasn’t good enough. You felt that success should feel different than this. SO you upped the volume, you fought harder, set the bar higher and at some point you set the bar so high, you forgot to enjoy the game. You forgot why you enjoy playing. And now…if you find that you are good at something, you fear that you will just set yourself up for failure by setting expectations too high.

    Your self-confidence is eroded because you have stopped enjoying things for what they are and are setting expectations on everything. If you aren’t on the computer, then you might be getting a partner, you might have a better job, you might feel happier. you ‘might’ do a lot of things. But why are you setting the bar so high over things that may or may not happen? You expect yourself to be extraordinary in everything you do, now you are setting yourself up with failure. We create expectations to succeed, not to fail.

    I see many people on these forums that are unhappy and lack self-confidence, the reason is because during their lifetime they felt they needed more to be happy. They needed something that gave them confidence, rather than being confident to begin with. People have confidence issues because they evaluate their age + what they own + what they feel is valuable = not enough or at the worst…. not good enough.

    Well, this is the kicker….you already know this. You are smarter for it. Live life how you want to. Not what society thinks is a good use of time. Who cares that you are 30 with a roommate. I’m 25, no job and still live at home with my parents. But i’m happy. So you have a boring job, well do something that invigorates you when you are not at work. We all work, we all need to afford things. Work is work, so leave it at that. If you don’t want to change jobs, then look for something else you could do in your down time that makes you happy. Don’t just give up because work is dull, find something that replaces that dullness. Don’t follow what other people do in order to be happy, they aren’t you! You can never be like other people, because you are you. You are unique and valued only as much as you value and see yourself as unique!

    What is success? Everyone has a different answer, everyone has a different way of attaining success. So what does it mean to you? Maybe you will be 50 years old when you find love, but guess what….you still succeeded. Maybe you will be 43 years old when you find a passion you enjoy that completes you….you still will succeed. I always remember the movie “SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD”, a brilliant movie. Steve Carrel’s character finally finds love in the final days of the world. His romance lasts no more than a couple of days. But in that couple of days he achieve’s more happiness than he has ever felt. What makes the moment special, is that it’s not how long it lasts, it’s not how successful he is….it’s that it happens to begin with. Don’t let time dictate success, be happy when it comes to you whenever. You are trying to achieve success by measuring how long you will be able to embrace that success. In the end you set expectations to achieve certain things by certain times to be able to enjoy your success more. And when you don’t reach your goals, you deem yourself a failure. But you forget to see what you achieved up until this point.

    My final thought is this –> Do you want to keep failing yourself for the rest of your life?

    I hope this helps, if you have any comments or questions, please continue this thread 🙂
    MAtty

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by Matty.
    #110109
    Matty
    Participant

    Hi joe,

    I study linguistics and languages at university, and every year quite a lot of graduates go off (mainly to Asia) to teach English. It’s the main occupation outcome for us. Basically what i have learnt from others and their experiences is the following:
    – Find out what is and is not covered by the school. Usually, but not always, the school will cover the cost of a return flight and accommodation. The accommodation usually comes out of your paycheck, so you never see it.
    – Find out the working conditions, working hours and most importantly: what is expected of you. You may find that some schools will say 10 hour work week, but expect you to come to work everyday to prep your lessons, or expect you to work on saturdays without notice.
    – Find out who you can liaison with, in case of emergencies with regards to the school or employment opportunity
    – Find out where the closest embassy is (especially in the case if you require a ‘leave visa’)
    – NEVER hand your passport over! They may look, but most definitely not touch. Sometimes employers will do this so that you cannot exit the job and country.
    – Speak to, email other teachers that teach at that school. Ask for recommendations from the liaison or school itself. If they are unwilling to do so, then clearly they don’t trust what the teachers will say about them.
    – Get acquainted with where you will be teaching, the local area. You don’t need to have it seered into your memory, but just knowing that there is a place to buy clothes, books, find food etc. Also, figure out how ‘dangerous’ the area is. If you are okay to go about your business at night etc. Although you are (hopefully) going to China, be aware that the rules and culture are different there.
    – This is in regards specifically to Asia, something I learnt at uni and through grad students who have worked in Asia. What you think is bribery or corruption, is not viewed the same in Asia. It’s all about greasing the wheels and making things work smoothly, rather than effectively. So just be aware of the difference. Ultimately if you don;t agree with a certain practices or customs then stand your ground.
    – Learn a bit of the foreign language (in this case Mandarin Chinese –> or the local variety), more to ‘get by’. China may have a massive population, and many Chinese learning English (more than Australia’s population!!!), but English is still foreign to them, and their grasp of English is useful only to pass exams, not to converse in (usually). So if you learn a bit of the language, it would be helpful, also it shows you are making an effort.
    – Make plans for the worst. Even if you think this is quite pessimistic, anything can go wrong. Whether you don’t like the work load, to health issues. Always have a plan out.
    – Establish relationships with the school and workers etc. As your goal is to travel and teach English, a lot people are doing the same, and they might have opportunities or might know of some that aren’t advertised. Especially if you want to build a career out of this, maybe work in international schools or universities, knowing people will allow you to hear about decent, verified opportunities.

    From a personal perspective, what you are going through is natural, your just a little shocked that things are happening. It’s like when a couple is about to get married, they have reservations. Its a big leap, with so much unknowns. I would advise, above anything else, just to plan out things. The more knowledge you have, the better you will feel. The more confident you will be.

    This is the first time the TEFL company and the school are clients so obviously that set off some alarm bells.

    Look, go with your gut feeling. A lot of horror stories exist. But that’s something to question as well. People who have good stories about their travels hardly ever write or complain because their enjoying themselves too much! If they promise you anything, get it in writing, whether via email or letter. Don’t just take people’s words for granted, wait for proof. You are entering a business, English in Asia is a business model. Just be aware of that.

    I wish you the best of luck, and I truly hope you enjoy your teaching career! ANy questions or comments, feel free to ask 🙂
    MAtty

    #110105
    Matty
    Participant

    Hi Lucasgreen,

    As someone that was new to any concept of a friend group I quickly found myself at the mercy of a leader of friends who, over the course of my entire school period, encouraged people to exclude me, physically oppressed me and systematically made me feel worthless through all imaginable forms of exclusion, abuse and psychological games

    Also @Annah makes a really good point, that kids at school who bully or call names, may not have viewed it as such, maybe they were just ‘doing’ it rather than being conscious of it. Kids are pretty social and as a result just bandwagon with everyone else. You don’t want to be left out, so you try your darndest is to be ‘in’ rather than out.

    How did I begin to move forward? Well… I guess I stopped caring so much, i decided to focus on study and working in high-school. This gave me a drive and purpose. It also made me feel like I was achieving something, at times (actually a good deal of my final years before graduation) i felt superior to others. I was quiet, reserved and kept to myself (or at least tried) and I always felt that when other students would put me down or just say stuff to my face, that I coped by saying to myself that I wasn’t just better than them, they weren’t even in my league. I carried an air of resentment against people like that. I guess that’s why I always looked serious and adults always felt I was too mature. I don’t have this outlook anymore, it was a high-school facade that did it’s job. In hindsight, it didn’t really work. Inevitably, while trying to make a stand by casting myself as separate to others, better than others i voluntarily excluded myself (which caused a bit of mental pain later on in life).

    I guess I though it would be a lot easier for me, when i left school, that was it. I disconnected with everyone, in fact i never had facebook until i was 20. I secretly felt ashamed and embarrassed because after all the study, work, money earnt, i was nothing without a social life, without friends. I would sit in the middle of the food courts in malls, by myself actually contemplating why i hadn’t of just ‘gone with it’. Why did i have to be so stubborn. This is how I thought. It didn’t help either that when I got my graduating results, they were far below the average (your results are based on how you perform as a class, not as an individual). It was like all the work, all this time I had tried to ignore and more forward had failed. It took many years to get over this.

    What you are going through, is what i went through, your perspective changes. I stopped looking for validation of my own qualities, my own capabilities and sought validation in myself. I stopped dwelling on mistakes i made in the past, and forgave myself. I realised that, in esscense what i had done was exclude myself so that others wouldn’t have the pleasure in doing it to me. And that I have become my own bully. When you are a loner, you cannot be ‘super loner’ since you are still by yourself hahah. But this is how I thought. I began to move forward, by simply moving forward. I guess, i stopped looking through a ‘high-school’ lens, and started seeing myself for me.

    I hope this helped,
    MAtty

    #110100
    Matty
    Participant

    Hi Choccoffeewine,

    I quite frankly told him that if all we had to talk about was the past, then we had no reason or need to contact each other anymore.

    I think you have already made it clear through previous messages sent to this fella that you have moved on and no longer wish to continue communicating about the past. It’s not cowardly to stop talking to someone, after all, you have already given notice. It would be different if maybe you two were close now, but the intimacy and relationship you had with this fella was a long time ago. So i think you have already provided the kindest way of stating “no more”.

    disrespectful (he would send check-in messages every couple of months

    It is not your fault that this fella keeps messaging you. He clearly hasn’t understood what you ‘implied’ or ‘what you meant’ when you were being honest with him. Though, if you stated that you didn’t want to continue to dwell on the past, i don’t know how more honest you can be! OR it could simply be that he has understood, but wants to try anyway. If you don’t need him in your life, i would just discontinue messaging him, don’t even look at the messages (since they show whether or not you looked at it) and if he is that annoying, block him. It’s not disrespectful, IMO. If you have been honest and been straight with him (as you have stated you have) then it’s on him, not you. Even if they are just check ins, there is no ‘commitment’ to this relationship.

    I hope this helps, if you have comments or questions, pleas continue this thread 🙂
    MAtty

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by Matty.
    #109283
    Matty
    Participant

    Hi Gigi,

    One question I have is what is considered the definition of spiritual?

    I’m sure a quick google search could give you a definition. But, like most things in life ‘respect the fact, seek the truth’. There is nothing wrong with you coming up and defining ‘spirituality’ in your own words, for yourself. You don’t even need to call it spiritual, you could live your entire life not defining that aspect of your life. You don’t need to label yourself spiritual because you feel you lack faith that others around you have. In the end, faith and spirituality cross over more often than not. Faith really is about believing in something, whilst spirituality is about believing in something bigger than yourself (based on a google search, not my definition). Make a definition that suits you, not others.

    My friends would discuss God in conversations but live a party lifestyle and it seemed so hypocritical

    Well in a sense, maybe their view of God and their definition of religion/ faith is different. I mean, I feel the same way you do, one day these people can be at church, singing and praying, the next day they are doing tax fraud without any sense of the contradiction of what they believe and what they do. Hence, why I would say these people just have different values, they believe in someone/ something that is perfect, but have no interest in following suit. This could very well be their definition.

    I just cannot stop kicking myself for having no real beliefs right now and being so skeptical.

    It’s almost as if you are competing with others on who is the most religious 😉 I should like to note, that you don’t HAVE to believe in anything. Sure people will call you nihilist or some other word, but you don’t have to believe. In your case, it’s like you NEED to believe in order to justify your existence. You validate your existence, live by your own beliefs, the ones you construct. You can construct your own creed. Religion may have influenced and played a part in your life, but you do not need to be religious or spiritual to follow certain values that are expressed through these avenues. If I say “killing is wrong”, it doesn’t have to be connected to the 10 commandments, in most places, it’s the law. Is the law religious, or is it just a law? We all go through stages where we question things, you are at this point. Like a big question that we always ask is ‘what is the meaning of life?’. I have my own views, others have theirs. There is no single answer to this question, just your own interpretation. Your beliefs do not need to appease anyone else, just yourself. You probably do have beliefs, but they don’t necessarily have to revolve around religion, they can be beliefs because you believe in them. Also I wouldn’t state you are skeptical, i would state that you are a inquisitive person, someone who seeks answers to questions not for factual glory, but because it will make you whole. All your questions that you posed are things done by people who follow a religion and those that don’t. Everyone approaches these questions differently, logically because we are all unique in this regard.

    I hope this helps, if you want to say more, please continue this post 🙂
    MAtty

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by Matty.
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