'I just can't talk to women'

I can’t bring myself to engage in a conversation with a member from the opposite sex. This leads to several awkward moments whenever a woman is around. I met my friend’s sister at a mall and was tongue-tied in front of her. I don’t know how to overcome this phobia.
— Saaz

Illustration/ Amit Bandre

Dear Saaz,
First of all, you need a dollop of self-confidence. Secondly, get the gender divide out of your head. Just be yourself and talk the way you would to anyone else. Make the conversation as general as possible. If you met a woman at a mall, you can talk about what you are shopping for or what you plan to eat or the prices. Remember a lot of women also feel the same when they are around with men. Maybe you have a fear that you may do something that might make women think that there’s something else on your mind. So just relax and stop being paranoid and talk to them like normal people.

Diana will solve it!
Write to Diana at, or fax her on 24150009. You can also post letters to Dear Diana, Mid Day, Peninsula Centre, Dr S S Rao Road, opp Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, Parel, Mumbai 400012 

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