Communication Breakdown

Week of:
Dec 07, 2018

Crying when talking to authority

Dear Alice,

I would like to know why I feel like crying when I speak to figures of authority. It happens most often when there is a serious subject to discuss; however, it has happened when talking about good things, too. It has happened when talking to my parents, grandparents, boss, and teachers. The common factor is that I see them as figures of authority and we are discussing me. I can talk with these people about anything else, but if we are talking about me, I begin feeling the urge to cry. I bite my tongue to distract myself. It is very embarrassing and uncontrollable. The most recent outburst happened when I was asked to describe my strengths and what I need to improve. I could feel myself wanting to cry, but it was still controllable by biting my tongue and speaking in short sentences. However, the teacher began using a soothing tone, asking what I thought because I wasn't saying very much. I was no longer able to control myself and cried. How do I stop this from happening and why does it happen? I am otherwise a very outspoken person and have no issues with public speaking.

Rumor control

Dear Alice,

There's a rumor going around that I'm either gay or bisexual, and I have no idea how it got started because I've never said anything about anything to anyone! But it's spreading rather quickly and is causing me great psychological pain and I don't know what to do.

Signed, HELP!

I'm insecure so I lie — but I want to stop!

Dear Alice,

I'm so insecure that my first reaction when I'm asked a question about myself is to lie and make myself seem like I'm more than I am. It's not even with questions, I've made up stories, and taken other people's stories as my own and I can't seem to stop. What can I do?

Liar, liar, pants on fire: Am I a pathological liar?

Dear Alice,

I AM A LIAR... I lie to my friends, I lie to my family, I lie to people I don't even know, but most of all, I lie to myself. Sometimes I catch myself telling a story to someone and actually believing myself when I made the whole ordeal up. Do I have a problem? Am I a pathological liar? How can I reverse my lies and come clean without hurting the people I love?