He has the habit of smoking

I love my 17-year-old boyfriend very much, but he has the habit of smoking. I have asked him several times to stop this bad habit. He stops for a while but then starts smoking again. I even threatened to leave him if he doesn't stop. But he says that he loves me very much and will marry me and be true to me. What should I do?

You are unhappy that your boyfriend won't kick his smoking habit. So first let's reverse this: Ask yourself, if someone asked you to give up a habit of yours, would you? And if someone threatened to leave you for this habit, how would you feel? When would you give up this habit?

Trying to make a person kick a habit doesn't work unless they themselves want to and see the benefit in doing so.

Instead, ask him what makes him smoke? What satisfaction does he get by doing so? Then discuss the advantages and disadvantages smoking has on his health by asking questions and providing him with facts (do prepare). Do tell him about passive smoking too. After this, if he wants to give up, ask him if and how you can support him. Let him share ideas on what you can do- but avoid taking on the role of a policeman; no one likes to be policed even if they ask you to do it.

If he is serious about it, then create a small cwritten pact. But after that, it is his choice what he wants to do. And if he chooses to continue, and it doesn't suit you, then you need to decide what you want to do - stay or leave. If he does give up, then yay!

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They always compare me with other students

I am the eldest child of my parents and very good in studies, but my parents expect more from me and I am not able to do that. They always compare me with other students. I feel sad that I am not able to live up to their expectations. Are there any other ways I can make them happy? I just want to make my parents proud because I love them a lot.

It is wonderful that you love your parents a lot. Yet you are sad that you cannot live up to their expectations and feel hurt that they compare you with other students.

Looks like you and your parents need to communicate and understand each other more.

You say that you are "very good in studies" but that your parents "expect more" from you. What exactly do they expect? Have you confronted them about it? What is it that you are "not able to do"? Ask for their guidance to achieve what you need to. And if you are truly unable to achieve it, you need to let them know that you can't or that you need their help.

In what way do they "compare you with other tudents"? Have you let them know that you feel bad when they do so? Let your parents know that just like very person, you too are unique and different. Discover our uniqueness by writing your strengths, weaknesses, als, and dreams, and by participating in as many tivities as you can and making friends. Most of all, enjoy what you do. It is important that you discover and live up to your own expectations.

You want to make your parents happy and proud of you, but the reality is that no one can make someone else happy'. You need to be happy yourself. When you are happy and use all your talents, your parents will surely be happy.

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I am always tempted to use my phone

I am a JEE aspirant. I try my best to study and also understand the concepts in my syllabus easily. But the problem is that I can't get time to study and also plenty of work is given. I spend 2-3 hours watching the phone and wasting my time which is stopping my studies and other good habits like reading, too. It's affecting my performance as I am always tempted to use my phone and end up wasting my time. How can I focus more?

 Looks like the large amount of work given may be overwhelming you a bit and as an escape you are turning towards your phone.

Here are a few tips:

1. Focus on what is important: If your career/JEE is important, then prioritize your studies. Know the impact if you don't - it will surely make everything urgent and last minute, which will stress you further, and pull you away from your goal.

2. Begin the day with exercise: It will get your brain working.

3. Study in 25-minute slots. Study for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, back for another 25 minutes and then a 10-minute break. Repeat 25-5-25, then take a longer 30-minute break. In the 25-minute period, commit to focusing and quality learning. No distractions. Do two, maximum three of these 25-5-25-10-25-5-25 cycles in the day (i.e. 4-6 hours of quality learning).

4. Study in high-energy periods; take a break in your low energy periods.

5. In the 5-minute break, avoid the phone and instead do some physical/manual/creative activity to give your brain rest, e.g., singing, art, dance, exercise, housework, etc.

6. Manage the mobile: Allot a separate time - maximum 30 minutes - for using your mobile without any guilt. While studying either give your phone to your mom or make it a friend - set a timer on it.

Prioritize your goals and your dreams and you will succeed. Remember, you have the same number of hours in a day as other successful people. Like them, use your time well.

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I haven't told her that i'm going away

 I will be leaving my town for my final years of high school. It will be my first time away from home. I do know this is for my benefit but I can't help but think about my best friend. We're extremely close and she's my only friend in town. I haven't told her that I'm going away. What should i do?

You sound a bit apprehensive about moving away from home for your final years of high school, despite acknowledging that it is for your benefit. It seems like you are feeling guilty that you haven't told your best friend about it yet.

Take some time and reflect on two things:

a) How are you feeling about going away - are you happy or unhappy? Are you worried? Clarify your feelings.

b) What is stopping you from telling her about it? - Do you think she will get upset or angry with you? Do you fear your friendship may end? And she will find new friends? Do you feel bad that you're leaving?

Ask her for her time and share the news with her. Share how you feel about going away and check in on how she is feeling too. When the time feels right, discuss the impact your move will have on your friendship and what can the both of you do about it.

Please do this as soon as possible. She will surely be shocked to hear this at the last minute or from someone else, so better tell her now than later.

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Who is the longest-reigning british monarch in world history?

Queen Elizabeth II was the first British sovereign to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee (70 years of service) recently. She is currently the world's longest reigning monarch, having ascended the throne on February 6, 1952. However, the Queen still has some way to go to achieve the longest recorded reign-that of Louis XIV of France, also known as Louis the Great. Louis XIV was King of France for 72 years and 110 days, from 1643 to until his demise in 1715.

Elizabeth I - the last Tudor monarch - was born at Greenwich on 7 September 1533, the daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Her early life was full of uncertainties, and her chances of succeeding to the throne seemed very slight once her half-brother Edward was born in 1537. She was then third in line behind her Roman Catholic half-sister, Princess Mary. Roman Catholics, indeed, always considered her illegitimate and she only narrowly escaped execution in the wake of a failed rebellion against Queen Mary in 1554.

Elizabeth succeeded to the throne on her half-sister's death in November 1558. She was very well-educated (fluent in five languages), and had inherited intelligence, determination and shrewdness from both parents. Her 45-year reign is generally considered one of the most glorious in English history. During it a secure Church of England was established. Its doctrines were laid down in the 39 Articles of 1563, a compromise between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. Elizabeth herself refused to 'make windows into men's souls ... there is only one Jesus Christ and all the rest is a dispute over trifles'; she asked for outward uniformity. Most of her subjects accepted the compromise as the basis of their faith, and her church settlement probably saved England from religious wars like those which France suffered in the second half of the 16th century.

Although autocratic and capricious, Elizabeth had astute political judgement and chose her ministers well; these included William Cecil, later Lord Burghley (Secretary of State), Sir Christopher Hatton (Lord Chancellor) and Sir Francis Walsingham (in charge of intelligence and also a Secretary of State).

Overall, Elizabeth's administration consisted of some 600 officials administering the great offices of state, and a similar number dealing with the Crown lands (which funded the administrative costs). Social and economic regulation and law and order remained in the hands of the sheriffs at local level, supported by unpaid justices of the peace.

 Elizabeth's reign was one of considerable danger and difficulty for many, with threats of invasion from Spain through Ireland, and from France through Scotland. Much of northern England was in rebellion in 1569-70. A papal bull of 1570 specifically released Elizabeth's subjects from their allegiance, and she passed harsh laws against Roman Catholics after plots against her life were discovered.

As a likely successor to Elizabeth, Mary spent 19 years as Elizabeth's prisoner because Mary was the focus for rebellion and possible assassination plots, such as the Babington Plot of 1586.

During Elizabeth's long reign, the nation also suffered from high prices and severe economic depression, especially in the countryside, during the 1590s. The war against Spain was not very successful after the Armada had been beaten and, together with other campaigns, it was very costly.

Despite the combination of financial strains and prolonged war after 1588, Parliament was not summoned more often. There were only 16 sittings of the Commons during Elizabeth's reign, five of which were in the period 1588-1601. Although Elizabeth freely used her power to veto legislation, she avoided confrontation and did not attempt to define Parliament's constitutional position and rights.

Overall, Elizabeth's always shrewd and, when necessary, decisive leadership brought successes during a period of great danger both at home and abroad. She died at Richmond Palace on 24 March 1603, having become a legend in her lifetime. The date of her accession was a national holiday for two hundred years.

Credit : ROYAL.UK

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They keep abusing me

I had a boyfriend and my parents found out about him. After that many restrictions were put on me. My mom is completely orthodox and keeps abusing me the whole day over this issue. I have ended my relationship with him for my family but they still don't trust me and keep abusing me. I feel like committing suicide. Please help me.

Dear, it is painful to experience lack of trust and abuses from one's own family members (especially from the mother) because of having a boyfriend. You knew that, in spite of living in a cosmopolitan city like Mumbai, your mom is "completely orthodox" and probably also your other family members; this means they do not accept that boys and girls build up close relationships. Maybe they thought you were spending a lot time with that boy or neglecting your studies because of him and wanted to put an end to it (as you have done). It will never be stressed enough that in the family parents should never abuse their children, rather they should build a patient and loving dialogue with them, especially during the teenage, order to help understand each other and solve peacefully any problem.

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When i talk to my mother i lose my cool

I am good to my parents, but very often when I talk to my mother I lose my cool. It doesn't mean that I shout at her, but I become more annoyed with her and not with my father. I know a mother really loves her child but when I hear her say something against me I just feel so lonely, as if there is no one to love me! I am so depressed with this attitude.

Hi dear,  parents show their love for their children not only when they praise and appreciate them but also when they correct them and show displeasure at some wrong behaviour. This is a sacred right and duty of every parent. Listen carefully when your mother corrects you; most probably you deserved her correction. She is not against you but actually showing her love and care in correcting you, so that you will improve yourself. Be more humble and change your attitude.

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She likes someone else

I have a crush on a girl in my class. She knows about this but she likes someone else from her previous school. Please give me some tips on how to impress her so that she at least starts liking me.

Dear , more than tips on how to impress that girl "so that she at least starts liking" you, you need to learn to respect other people's feelings. If she likes someone else more than you, respect her, be patient and behave in a friendly way, without trying to impress her at any cost. Offer her help if she needs it, smile and be polite. A good performance in your studies may also bring you to her notice. At the age of 14 your studies should be your priority.

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It suffocates me that he is so clingy

I recently changed schools. I used to like a boy from my previous school until last year, after which I realized that it was a hopeless crush and moved on. I've been in contact with all my old friends, including him, through Facebook, where after many chats he confessed that he liked me a lot and we entered into a relationship. It was wonderful in the beginning, but then I learned that he is jealous of me and everything I did. He is intensely jealous of the boys I talk to at my new school. It suffocates me that he is so clingy. He is one of the few good friends I have, and I'm afraid that breaking up with him might spoil our friendship.

Dear, you were right in judging your relationship with that boy as just "a hopeless crush". Unfortunately, your many chats with him on Facebook made you enter a relationship with him. Now you have realized his true colours: he is jealous of you and everything you do, is arrogant and rude and seems to like you more for your physical qualities than for your intelligence. Your decision to break up with him is the right thing to do. Do not allow him to dominate your life and suffocate you. A person who behaves like that cannot be considered "one of the few good friends" you have. Stop wasting your time with him.

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There is only anger and pain in me

I have completed my 12th grade. I was in long distance relationship for 2 years. He was my classmate and when we were promoted to 9th grade he left the school. He texted me to ask for a reply regarding his love proposal to me. I accepted his proposal but after our 10th board exam results we broke up as he was interested in another girl in his neighbourhood. I was not able to forget him. I tried to stop crying for him because he didn't even think of me. But I could not control my tears whenever I thought of my past with him. I tried to divert myself and thought my life would be better if I got into another relationship but I did not really love the person in my second relationship. I'm always numb to all that is happening around me. And the things that have grown in me are only anger and pain.

Dear, you are stuck in the memory of a classmate with whom you were in a long distance relationship that broke up because he was interested in another girl. He has forgotten you and is carrying on with his life. On the contrary you are not able to forget him and are not able to control your tears, and are "always numb to all that is happening around" you; what is growing inside you is only "anger and pain". You have started another relationship but did not really love the person. It is painful to think that you are wasting the beautiful teenage life God has given you. There are more important things you have to care about at this time of your life rather than a dead relationship: don't you love your family and good friends, your education and plans for the future?

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I had a crush on my married dance teacher

I am a 12-year-old girl and had a crush on my married teacher in my dance class whose age was double of mine. After a few months I got to know that he also liked me but rather than a proposal it was a confession, and considering it as a proposal, I accepted it. Everything was going perfect but my friends began to tease me and sometimes even taunt me; this used to upset me. One day I realized that whatever I was doing was completely wrong. I decided to talk to him about it. He also agreed to finish whatever was going on between us. But I still have feelings for him. I can't forget him.

Dear Tiyana, at the tender age of 12 you had a "crush" on a married teacher whose age is double yours. You came to know that he also liked you, but did not make a proposal of love to you as he is already married. Your friends came to know about your feelings for your teacher and began to tease and taunt you. Finally you realized that your "crush" for him at the age of 12 was completely wrong and decided to finish whatever was going on between you and him. That was the right thing to do and now it is better that you concentrate on more important things in your life: your family, your good friends and your studies. Time will slowly change your feelings for him.

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I want to be in a relationship with her

I'm a student of Std. XII and I have been in love with a girl in my class since class XI. I have very strong feelings for her and I always think about her. We are very good friends and know each other to a certain extent. But the main problem is that she already has a boyfriend whom she loves very much and she has told me about him. She is my dream girl and I really want to be in a relationship with her. She knows that I love her but she has never talked about it with me. I am unable to impress her in any way. I want to attract her towards me. What should I do?

Dear , you are in love with a girl in your class, for whom you have "very strong feelings". The problem is that she told you that she already has a boyfriend whom she loves very much. She knows that you love her but "she has never talked about it with you". You desperately want to be in a relationship with her but are "unable to impress her in any way". Love between two persons should be borne in the heart of both of them. In your case, she has only feelings of friendship for you, not of having a relationship with you. In her heart there is already someone else and you should respect her feelings. If you really love her she will be well impressed by your respectful behaviour and may turn to you in case, in the future, her relationship with her boyfriend comes to an end. You cannot force your feelings on others.

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I broke my relationship with my friends

I am a 16-year-old girl. I had friends who were very selfish and because of this I broke my friendship with them. Now I am feeling lonely and depressed because after breaking my friendship with them, no one talks to me nicely. Please tell me what to do.

Dear Sneha, friendship is important at all stages of life but in a very special way during the teen years when a sense of insecurity dominates emotions and feelings. Anything that builds up the adolescents' sense of security is immediately accepted; for example, having teenage friends and going with the crowd. In your situation, you came to realize that your friends were "very selfish" and decided to break with them. Now you are feeling "lonely and depressed" and nobody talks to you nicely. You cannot change the past, but can plan a better future with new friends who will share your value system and your goals. Are you ready to risk the relationship with your peers today for the choice of a better quality of life tomorrow?

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He never said that he loves me

I love a boy who has been my friend for the past 6 years. All my friends say that he also loves me. But he has never said this to me. He talks to me very respectfully. I am very confused about whether he loves me or not?

Dear, love between two persons grows in an atmosphere of freedom and mutual respect, just as a flower needs water and heat to blossom. You have the right to love other people but also the duty to respect their feelings and privacy. Neither can love be demanded in return for one's love, nor can it ever be imposed on anybody. If that boy never said to you that he loves you and talks to you "very respectfully" give him time to understand his feelings towards you and decide about his relationship with you.

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She has only feelings of friendship towards me

I love a girl who is 16 years old. Sometimes I think she too loves me but she says she has only feelings of friendship towards me. Sometimes she says that I should control my feelings and we should be friends. My friends are suggesting that I stop talking to her as she is hurting me a lot. I am confused about what I should do. I feel it will be really hard to live without her and stop talking to her.

Dear , the girl you "love" has frankly told you that, at this moment, the best thing to do between yourselves is to "be friends". Friends can spend time together sharing their life and problems and come to know each other in depth without making any life commitment. At the age of 16 she cannot make such a commitment without the guidance and approval of her parents. A good friendship can go on for a long time, coming to know each other well and understanding each other's needs and expectations. The final decision of building a lifelong commitment can be made only after you come to know and understand each other well and with the approval of both your families.

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