By nature he is a shy person. He takes time to open up and appears to be observing others. He also has this anxiety of what others will think? So he feels the less the interaction, the better.
He said after meeting me, he realized that he needs friends and has started to open up with his colleagues and they seem to like it. He joins them during coffee breaks and enjoys their company as well as the banter they indulge in.
But he does not know how to contribute to the talk. I asked him to pick on any non-controversial topic and just make a statement. For example, tell them he saw the latest movie of a popular actor. He can then sit back and listen to the comments and reviews that follow. And if he felt comfortable, he too could contribute to the conversation. This is the way of breaking the ice.
He then said he gets tongue tied when girls approach him. He wants to interact, but does not know how. He was of the firm view that there can only be one girl in his life, so there was no need to be friendly with other girls.
I had to change this belief of his a little. I had to tell him there could be lady friends and there was no harm in having them. Also the fact that being friendly with both sexes was not a crime. It only enhances one’s knowledge. And he could start talking about general issues and soon he would get comfortable with it. He could ask her about her hobbies, family, the books she has read, what movies she likes, etc. These topics will keep the conversation moving and a rapport will form. He agreed to try it out.
He was still not able to come to terms of his girl friend calling off the relationship. He could not forget her and was constantly reminded of her. He wanted to try to learn to handle this issue.
During the course of the counseling he stated that he realized he had rigid views in life. He realized how that was the root of all his problems. This insight he got after the first counseling. I was happy at his insight. This was a starting point.
I asked him to open and loosen up a little. He needed to have fun and enjoy a little more. We discussed various ways on how he could achieve this. He agreed he could venture out more, discover the city and its enchanting places, make friends, hang out with them, pick up a hobby, learn something totally different from his usual interest, etc. This way he has less time to brood.
He has a niece and she is all of two months old. I asked him to spend time with her, since he simply adores her. I asked him to keep a photograph of his niece and to look at it whenever he feels disturbed. He can try to recall her antics and this will make him feel better. He said this was possible, as he loved playing with her. She is right now a source of joy and wonder in his family home.
We then explored the possibilities of him trying to forget his pain and anger. He needs an outlet for his anger. He has started to write a diary and has promised to keep at it. He has poured his heart out in the diary; this exercise will lessen his pain over a period of time.
He needs to be less intense, once he lets go of his rigid beliefs, he will learn to enjoy his life more. He realizes that even if he were to marry his girl friend, his belief system could get him into trouble. So he has to handle two things, one is to over come his disappointment on his love not bearing fruit, and the other is his rigid belief system. If he is able to loosen his belief system a little, the acceptance of his loss of love could be better.
He has agreed and said he will come for a repeat session in a weeks’ time. He has a lot to think about; maybe this exercise will not allow her thoughts to intrude. He is groping his way out of his situation, and he is willing to seek help for it.