I don’t intend to say you run away. Nor I advocate running away leaving your parents worried behind. My point is that if you truly believe in your dreams and you are sure your dreams are valid and that your parents are wrong, then go for your dreams. This is very different than running away from your boy friend. The point below are applicable only when you want to pursue your career and when your parents press you for marriage just because you have turned 22! In such a case, chase your dreams. Because marriage can wait for your few years. Dreams and a career at the right age can’t.
I recently got three questions on ‘how to deal with parents’ pressure for getting married and how they should evade this pressure and instead follow their dreams.’ I decided to do a blog post in an attempt to answer all the three questions in one go.
I can very well relate to the email sent to me and the two other emails that I received. Not a surprise that all the three emails are from young girls who are between 22 and 25 years old.
There was a time in the early 2000s when I was a similar situation. I didn’t have a pressure at the age of 22 but yeah, by the time I turned 25 I had mounting pressure on my head. This was increasing with each year passing by. So, I know and understand how it feels to be in a state where you are constantly reminded of your age and not given the power to live your life the way you want to and pursue your dreams.
This post relates especially to the young girl who wrote to me from Kerala and who wants to pursue civil services. Below is a brief snapshot of her email.
How Did I Deal With My Parents’ Pressure
By getting away from them. I ran away to Europe in the name of MBA.
No, not literally but I planned my life in a way that I get out of India. I knew my parents had the power to nab me anywhere in India, hence I went abroad. I got enrolled in a MBA program so that my parents also find an excuse to give me some more time in hand. At the same time, being in Holland for a year helped me in understanding myself better and within nine months of coming back from Europe, I got married!
Maintaining a physical distance from parents when you are not able to do as they wish you to, is the best possible way to get away from their ever-increasing insistence.
In 2004, I left home for my first job at Infosys. From the small town of Meerut, I landed in Bangalore. All in a matter of few weeks. Once I was in Bangalore, my parents were now more concerned about my safety and well being and lesser for marriage. Ofcourse they wanted me to get married but in the initial years of my job, they didn’t force me that much. I could live the way I wanted to.
So here is what I suggest.
1. Move to a different city – Not only living away from parents help in letting you have a life of your own and teaches you the intricacies of life in the most practical way, living away also helps in reducing the mental coercion that parents usually put when their daughter attains the age of 22.
If you are living with them, you will have to meet them, speak to them and be with them 24 / 7 but living away helps as they can not keep calling you all day long.
Also living away will make them realize that you can handle things on your own and that you are not as weak as they think of you. So, get away to a different place. Maybe not very far away but at least couple of hours drive away.
2. Take up a job – This is extremely important for three reasons – this helps you in becoming financially independent and thus enables you to put forward your opinion in a more concrete way.
Two – it lets your parents believe that you are capable of taking charge of your life and that you are not dependent on them anymore. Three – with their daughter’s job in mind, they will think of marriage in a totally different way. If you can’t find a job, take up higher studies. Basically, make them believe that you are capable.
3. Seek help from an elder brother or sister – I can not emphasize enough on the power of siblings bond. On the bond that can save you from the biggest of the troubles. If you have an elder brother or sister, create a loving bond with them. Consider them as your close friend and confide in them about your feelings and thoughts. Bring them to the forefront to fight for you. If you are the eldest, find your confidante in another family member – maybe an aunt or uncle or a cousin brother or sister.
4. Communicate and communicate effectively – There is a way of getting your way with words. Choose wise words and pick right examples. If they are emotion, you make them emotional. If they logical, tackle them with giving them logical examples. Talk to them. Make sure your point is clearly heard (and understood).
5. Do not give up – BUT come what may, do not give up. This is your life. Your parents are your mentors but they can not coerce you to do something. Do not give up.
In this particular case above, the girl wants to pursue civil services. And I understand cracking civil services is very challenging and more so if the person does not have enough guidance in terms of right books and coaching.
I wouldn’t suggest taking up a call centre job as CC jobs can be extremely stressful and hectic. I have worked in a CC and I know how they function. I would suggest, move to a different with a full time job initially so that your parents let you go. Once you are settled in the new city, switch to a part time job. That will give you more time to study. And all the best for your exam. If you clear the prelims, take a break from the job and prepare hard for the mains.
I hope things work for you. Please feel free to write to me if you think I can help you in any way.
You guys know how much I love hearing from my readers.
I so wish Indian parents could be a little more tolerant and more at ease when it comes to marrying their daughter. I understand we have a long way to go. And girls like these, who sent me the emails, will bring the change. They have the courage to stand up for their dreams.
We will change the system.
(pic source: )