7 Things You Want to Ignore (but Shouldn't)

Got spare time on your hands this month? Use it to sort out all those things you keep putting off
Wednesday , 19 October 2011
7 Things You Want to Ignore (but Shouldn't)

From enjoying the UAE brunches to hitting the malls, there are so many more interesting things to do in life than, well, all those bits you’ve been putting off. We’ll often do almost anything to avoid facing reality. “The reason we procrastinate is down to fear, anxiety and a lack of self-confidence,” explains counsellor Diana Parkinson. “But proactively addressing issues will increase your self esteem and stress will vanish.” So why not spend your down time getting all those niggly things sorted?

Paying off your debts
"Procrastinating just makes us feel more guilty. We become filled with stomach-churning stress over all that we’ve put off dealing with,” says Parkinson. Sound familiar? It’s likely that you can relate to this if you’re saddled with credit card debt, but the solution is easy. Cut up your card to prevent temptation, then arrange the largest payment you can afford each month until the amount is paid off. It may take two years to undo the messy debt created by just a few months of shopping, so think twice before a) ignoring the problem and b) buying things you don’t need.

Making a will
Statistics show that a staggering 80 per cent of us leave this crucial job until the very last minute. It’s not surprising, considering most of us would rather brush our teeth with our toenails than think about death, but if you live in the UAE, you should make your will as early as possible, especially if you’re married, have kids or own property. According to the Dubai Government, “Since the UAE is a Muslim country, all courts adhere to Sharia laws in regard to inheritance in case of no wills.” This means that without a legal will, your assets will be distributed as the government sees fit, sometimes resulting in your immediate family being left without. To protect yourself, visit a reputable firm with local legal knowledge that can work with a solicitor in your home country to ensure your loved ones benefit.

That loose-lipped moment
You’re on a great night out with your colleagues and suddenly you find yourself in a best mates moment with one of them. Flushed with your new found friendship, you confide that you’ve been having a tough time and have sent out your CV elsewhere. Waking up in the clear light of day may have you panicking, but there is a strategy to deal with this. According to psychologist Dr Colin Gill, don’t put off dealing with this one. “The next day, you need to have an informal chat with your colleague and explain to her how happy you are that you’ve bonded – and hope for her feelings to be reciprocal.” He continues, “Chances are they also spilled a few home truths in which case you can say that ‘it would mean a lot if last night’s conversation could be kept between us’. Be direct and tell them, ‘This means a lot to me so I’d appreciate it if we could keep this between ourselves.’”

Changing your career direction
Do you drag your feet every inch of the way to your office? Watch the clock until it’s time to hot foot it out the door? If the answer is yes, then you’re clearly not happy in your job. Many women become trapped in secure careers while dreaming of a life making jewellery, so why stay in a situation you’re not happy with? “It may be that you have a fear of failure, telling yourself you’re not good enough to justify your lack of action,” says Parkinson. “For many people, it’s more comfortable to do nothing, but to be happy you need to act on your dreams to feel fulfilled.” Start by working out exactly what you want to do and whether you have the right skills to achieve this. If you do, just sending your CV out can boost your confidence and get the ball rolling. If not, start looking into relevant courses. The moment you start making moves, the better you will feel.

Tackling the friendship cull
We all know that being surrounded by a negative friend can have a detrimental effect on your wellbeing. But once you recognise that your former best mate has gone toxic, how do you jettison her while minimising the fall out? “Women’s friendships can be very close and intense, so when it comes to ending it, it can be as painful as breaking up with a partner,” says clinical psychologist Irene Levine, author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving A Break Up With Your Best Friend (Dhs45, amazon.co.uk). If you’re not great friends, then the silent treatment could suffice but if you have a history then it’s best to be honest. Keep your objections general such as ‘There are times when I don’t enjoy your company’ or if it’s an extreme situation, you could keep it as straight forward as, ‘There has been irreparable damage done here and I just don’t feel I could ever be close to you again.’

Sorting your relationship
All relationships are different, so there is no perfect time to ask if you’re just having fun, or if he’s up for the marriage and baby deal. But it’s safe to say that if you’ve been together for less than a month, you should step away from this question. Putting pressure on a man to define the long-term potential of your relationship can be the single bullet required to kill it. But, as your mother probably told you, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know. Gerry Heisler, of Psychology Today, says, “With truth telling, everyone is clear. The parties involved know the boundaries, which makes being in the relationship less fuzzy. This means that questions like ‘Where is this going?’ won’t be necessary because, if you’re honest from the beginning, you’ll already know.” The ONLY time you should use this question is if you have been together for over six months, but it feels like the person you’re with is wasting your time. In this case, you should pop the question, but be ready to cut all ties and move on if you don’t like the answer.

Leaving babies until later
You’ve got the career, the clothes, the car and the lifestyle, now all that’s missing is the family to share it with. Many of us are so preoccupied with being successful, that we don’t hear our biological clock ticking quietly in the background. “The average time it takes to get pregnant is six months, but after the age of 35, the rate of complications and the possibility of birth defects increases,” says fertility expert Dr Robert Stillman. “You can still have a healthy baby after that, but there are risks attached – everyone sees a 42-year-old woman getting pregnant, and they think there’s no problem waiting, but there is.” He continues,“Understand that the biological reality is that by waiting, there’s an increased risk of being unsuccessful. For many people, had they known this beforehand, they might’ve done things differently.”