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June 6, 2014 / submitted by Orlagh, United Kingdom
Q.  TEAM ORACLE QUESTION #171
I'm completely lost at the moment. It seems as if every person I know leaves me. My father left before I was even born because he didn't want me. I just helped a guy get over self-harm; he said that he loved me then promptly ditched me after he was better. I keep trying to look after others and block out my own feelings. I bury my head in academia and yes, whilst this is good as I could, potentially, have a shot at getting into a university such as Oxford, I feel that I am placing no importance on my emotions whatsoever. I don't know what to do.

A lot of this will stem from abandonment issues with your father's departure and that is something that you may need to talk through with someone - like a counsellor.
Perhaps people are not leaving you, but a situation.
Your Dad left but not because he didn't want you but because he didn't want a baby. Yes, the baby was you but in the time before you were born, to him it was probably the responsibility he didn't want. I know it's not as easy as that to dismiss what happened but what I am trying to say is you sound like an amazing person so don't take that selfish decision of your dad's personally.
If you're a regular reader, you know I'm not a fan of labelling people selfish. To me it means doing what you want with total disregard for others. People can be selfish and the damage they leave behind can be catastrophic but I urge you to not let this shape your future.
You are offering support and love to people but maybe you are not showing that you'd like the same. With what's happened in your past, you may be unaware of a barrier you've created that prevents you from receiving the same? Maybe people think, as you're so capable of giving that you don't need anything back from them?
Also, if you always expect people to leave, they have a habit of doing exactly that.
Studying hard is being kind to yourself and definitely a step towards a better future but don't hide behind it - you need to look after your emotional needs too.
Don't be afraid to tell people what you want and need. If you want a hug or a shoulder to cry on, ask someone. You don't always have to be the rock for everyone else.
That said, different people have different things to offer so the guy who you helped get better needed something but might not be capable of giving you anything back. It's not always a reciprocal arrangement. I have friends that my role is to listen, comfort and help. I have other friends I go to if I need support. Try to seek out who is there for you - they will be there. If you struggle to recognise them, start by speaking to a professional for the support you need.
You're not alone in this I assure you. You need to make time for yourself and I mean schedule it if you have to. In that "me time", do things that make YOU happy. Sometimes we don't need other people to give us what we need, we can get from within ourselves. The more you do that, the more it will become habit and hopefully you will begin to place importance on it.
Over to you.

That sounds really tough but you mustn't feel that it will always be the case. You need to focus on you and the rest will fall into place. Bad things happen, but really good things happen too, if you let them. The important thing is to look forwards, not focus on the past. Allow the past to help you become the person you want to be, but don't dwell on it. Rather than thinking about all the people who have left you, focus on the ones who haven't. Look for the positives, the great relationships that you have with family and friends, think about why they're in your life, what you love about them and what they love about you.
It sounds as though you have an exciting future ahead of you and there's nothing wrong with burying yourself in academia. I sound like a grandparent here, but it will stand you in good stead!
I look back on the people from my past, those who have come and gone and I have regrets. Regrets about the way I allowed myself to feel, the time I spent on being sad that they weren't in my life anymore. 20-odd years on and what's important now is those who are with me now, the rest are insignificant. Ruth, UK.


Let's start with your father. His lack of commitment and immaturity and who knows what else isn't about whether you were lovable. His issues were instilled in him before he created a life without stepping up to nurture that life. He may have contributed to your DNA, but he is not a father.
Children base their self worth by seeing themselves through their parents eyes. What people often do who haven't received this, is find people like the parent they feel rejected by and try to win them over. Which means, you may be looking for people who lack commitment and a sense of nurturing and then try to change them into what you hoped your father would have been.
Decide to find healthy people who can have a healthy relationship with you. It may not be easy, but, remember, people show you, pretty early on, who they are. Often, people in your situation will excuse behavior in order to continue to try and fix the person who reminds them of their parent.
Volunteer with an organization which speaks to you. You might find people there who are givers and also have things in common with you.
Find an activity which brings you satisfaction and participate, even when you don't feel up to it.
Move forward and shake off people who drag you down. Be for yourself what your biological parent didn't have the guts to be for you. Love your self, nurture yourself, respect yourself. Prove yourself. You are worth everything. Jamie.

Sometimes the answer lies in the questions we ask. You said, 'I keep trying to look after others and block out my own feelings.' It is time you pay heed to your own feelings first, before you begin to look after others. Charity, they say, begins at home. And it really does.
No matter how tragic things have been, please realise the act of your father or this guy does not define who you are. Revel in the person that you are despite the circumstances. You have clearly shown you can turn the negative energies into something positive like in your studies and find yourself standing at the threshold of a great future. Celebrate that.
Look after yourself for a change. Indulge in things that make you happy; whether it is gardening or dancing to Coldplay or whatever you fancy. Be more of you. Enrich your 'self'.
Often in our miseries we fail to notice the people around us who truly care for us. Appreciate them. Don't let them feel neglected like you are feeling now because of someone else.
It can be hard to believe that so much suffering can come to one person. But when we see, how we don't even compare to the sufferings of people in other parts of the world, we realise how fortunate we truly are to be alive at all.
Perspective is a tricky thing. But it makes the life we live all the more easier to understand and appreciate.
Rex, India.


I really think I know what you are feeling; I have experienced similar things. I had a close friend who was in a dark place. I did everything I could to help her out of it but once she recovered she seemed to forget about me. It really is painful to be left behind like that. I too had swallowed all my pain and focused my energies on school.
However, one of the things I have learned from listening to Coldplay is that you have to let yourself feel the pain. Sometimes you need to have a good cry, go for a long jog in the fresh air, write about your feelings, or whatever it is that will help you let it out. Then it isn't stuck in the back of your throat; you'll be able to breathe. This is when it is easier to understand what you are feeling more clearly.
In life, no matter who you are, there will always be people who forget to appreciate you. You have to let these people go. Although it is a loss for you it is also a loss for them. There are others out there who are lovely like you, and will appreciate you and treat you like you deserve. And you really do deserve it. You focus on helping others and your studies which is great but you also need to take time for yourself.
Wishing you all the best
Alex, Canada.

You find the person who really loves you as you want. Do not feel bad because in any place of the world anybody destined for you exists. Sometimes you can go so far as to think that this moment will never come but believe me, I have had some problems with my relations that neither came to a good end nor had the beginning that I wanted but of the errors it is learned. As many people say "if you fall down you can get up and continue". Do not stop your life for anybody who could not value you as you deserve it to yourself. Fulfill your dreams and sees the university that will help you to forget all your problems and know more persons. I am sure that there are more people who love you so much. Look well and fulfill all your dreams. Hugs and greetings enormously from Argentina, Daniela.

You can get through. Things may make you feel like happiness is hopeless, but your trials and tribulations will allow you to be happier in the future. This may seem difficult, but let all of your feelings in. Why? You'll have a clean slate in your mind. You will accept your feelings and it will be easier to move on.
Also, emotions are very important. But, you are not shutting out your emotions, just letting in the wrong ones. People unfortunately accept their insecurities before their beautiful gifts. You are smart. You have a chance to get into Oxford. Only a small percentage of people get that chance, which shows that you are special and greatly needed in this world.
I don't know you personally. But, just know that I love you. No matter who you are and what you've done. I love you and there will be one person that will stay with you forever. You're just finding the right person that will really understand you. You're not lost. You're just waiting to be found, and someone will most definitely fulfill that need. So, don't worry, be happy. If you are able to help someone else get through his or her personal trials, you will too. You are a wonderful person and you will find your way. Amy.

I'm sorry that you're going through this rough patch! You mentioned two different problems, so I wanted to address them separately.
Part 1
I cannot pretend to imagine that I understand how you feel, but I can imagine that it's heartbreaking to feel as though every time you turn around, people are leaving you. However, if you focus on those who leave you, you'll never be able to focus on those who are standing right in front of you. I like to think of people as flowers. Some people in life are like annuals; you can take care of and nurture that flower to the best of your ability, and it would still die within a year. It's fickle and leaves, just like some people in life. Others, however, are like perennials. You could leave them alone and they would still return year after year. Cling to the perennials in life because they will stay by you, year after year, even in the rough patches. Annuals come and go, and while they might seem lovely for a time, they are soon gone and leave no trace. Don't waste your energy trying to get annuals back, but reach out to the perennials in your life.
Part 2
Balance is the key to happiness. You are more valuable than your academics. It's healthy to sort through your emotions; if you bury a piece of a broken watch, is it ever really fixed? Take time for you.
Good luck! Brooke.


I can understand why you're lost and might feel abandoned. You went through some tuff times, but you should not let that get in the way of your life and happiness, and most of all you shouldn't try to block your feelings by studying. Our emotions are one of the things that make us human it's a part of us that can make us really happy or really down. Don't be afraid to tell people how you feel because of what happened. Talking about how we feel is something that connects us with each other and who knows things happen when you at least expect them. That fact that you're going to university is great and you should be proud of that. It's a place where you meet new people who can end up being friends who will last a lifetime, it's also a place where people find themselves. You might miss out on that when all you do is keep your nose into your books. You can be smart and enjoy yourself. Don't let what happened in the past control your future. I went through a rough patch myself a couple years ago and once I realized that how I choose to live my life going forward is a way I can honor his memory I became happier. Maybe you can contact your friend and ask him why he did what he did and that might give you some closure and help you move on from it. Amal.

I've read your story, and it made me kinda sad because it seems that I've encountered the same chronology as yours. Well, not very similar. God gave me a loving parents that took care of me, and He gave me many potentials of many things such like linguistic ability and musical sense. But I always underestimated those gifts because of my behavior that always consider things easy, I'm afraid that He'll take everything from me. Meanwhile, I always think that my contribution towards life seems unrequited. Even though I'm an apathetic kind of person and I don't tend to talk to people, I have a principle about helping people regardless everything. There was one of my friends, I often taught him language-related subjects. Until one day, our teacher demanded us to team up to solve a group test. I was sick the day before and he ditched me and he grinned at me " why would I team up with a weirdo like you?". I silenced, then I sincerely took the portfolio by myself. The results were quite surprising that my grades were higher than him - with his troops. Later, he respected me till the end of my middle school years. Well, I just wanna tell you that it's true that what goes around comes around. But never hate those who've hurt you no matter how wretched they are in your eyes, because it makes you same just like them.
God bless, Joshua.


From your description, you sound intellectually gifted, but emotionally, you are still the little girl who was abandoned by her Father. As a result, you self-identify as someone nobody wants instead of someone who could potentially get into Oxford which is huge. I have also used my academics as a coping mechanism which is better than drugs or other harmful behaviors. School can provide a support system that home life may not be able to provide.
Your Father not being present in your life is not a representation of you not being lovable rather than a reflection of his inability to care for anybody other than himself. Sometimes, parents stay away because their presence could actually do more harm than being absent, but this does not alleviate the hole in your heart. Right now, you are filling that hole with more damaged people.
Adulthood is about learning to evolve from the damage that was done to us as children. We are all experiments in some way because parenting does not come with a how to manual, but the jewel is realizing the root of the damage in order to create a plan to address it. With the compassion that you expend on people who leave you, you could use that same compassion to be a wonderful advocate for at-risk-youth who grew up without a parent like you. Be Well, Orlagh. DH.

Reaching out is such a courageous thing to do, Orlagh. It's often so much easier to help others with the challenges they're going through, and much more difficult to ask for guidance when we need it. The core of what you're going through likely stems back to feelings of abandonment at such a young age. When we experience traumatic events, so much of it gets stored deep within us, without our awareness. We unconsciously continue to play out patterns that reflect those earlier wounds, such as the situation with the guy you helped recently.
Just being aware of the root cause, as you are, is the most powerful step to take in choosing a different pattern for your life. Feel the feelings that are coming up, let them pass through you, allow your emotions to be there without judgment or the need to push them away. Emotions are simply "energy in motion." They need to move up and out in order for us to heal.
It's often helpful to talk these things out with someone as well. Remember that you are not alone in this. We're all here for one another, even across the seas. Sending you love and intentions for healing. Alia, USA.


Thanks to all those who replied to this week's question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.



June 6, 2014 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom
Q.  WHO'D LIKE TO JOIN TEAM ORACLE?

As you may know, we have a weekly feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday we open questions of a personal nature to all of you to answer too. Then, the following Friday, I post a selection of the best answers, alongside my own reply.

ANYONE can join in so, if you'd like to, please email your response to the following question, in no more than 250 words, to theoracle@coldplay.com before midnight Thursday 12 June.

My husband and I are from two different countries. When we got married we chose to stay in his birth country because it would be easier for him to obtain a job. We love each other and are soul mates. Though, everyday is misery for me living in another continent and country. I feel homesick and get depressed easily.
I'm struggling to learn the language and to get a job. I feel like an alien with no life here. I have made friends but I continue to feel this emptiness inside, torn and confused. I love my husband so much but living here is so difficult for me. I keep believing I'm just on an horrible vacation that's going to end soon but that's far from the reality.
Is it normal to feel like this? Will I ever be able to accept that this is going to be my life forever?? Of course true love is about sacrificing your happiness for the people you love - I'm doing it, but I feel like I'm dying everyday. Help. Trina, Spain.


Look forward to seeing your replies.

The Oracle.

Please email your replies to theoracle@coldplay.com
Including your twitter address may result in a follow back.



May 30, 2014 / submitted by Bradley, United States of America
Q.  TEAM ORACLE QUESTION #170
I have had an absolutely wonderful experience sending in answers for Team Oracle, and it's something that I am very thankful to have been a part of, but now I come to you with a problem that has really affected my life. Back in December of 2013, I told my best friend that I was in love with her, because she was dating my other best friend. He was present when I told her.
You see, I told them because I had been hiding these feelings for two years, which had put me in a deep depression, and it hurt them seeing me like that, and I didn't want my problems to get in their way, so I had to tell them to fly on without me.
It's been six months since that happened, and so much has changed in my life leaving me at the lowest I've ever been. I took the previous semester off from school to try and get myself where I need to be, and I cannot fix things with my friends.
She refuses to speak to me, and I can't look him in the eye knowing I hurt her. They have written me out of their lives.
I thought I was ready to move on, but now as I'm getting ready to move back out and back to school, I've fallen apart completely. I've lost all of the confidence I've had to build up in the past six months in a matter of days, I'm horribly insecure, and I'm very anxious all of the time. I hate myself for running off my best friends, and I'm afraid that if I somehow manage to find new friends, I'll run them off too.
I have absolutely no idea how to try to put things back together. Any help or insight would be extremely valuable right now. Thank you for everything.

Firstly, I want to thank you for all the help you have offered to others in the Team Oracle feature. I hope we can now offer support to you in your time of need.
Usually when you hear about love confessionals, they're done to the object of one's affection. I think it's brave to confront your feelings as you did in this way. You didn't do anything behind anyone's back; you were simply honest with both of your friends. I know it doesn't feel like it now because you're hurting but you must have been feeling so conflicted hiding your feelings that it will get better.
At least by putting your cards on the table and opening up, you all know where you stand. Right now they may still be feeling uncomfortable and not how to treat you in this situation. Perhaps they don't want to rub your nose in it. Maybe they just need longer to adjust. Perhaps they're trying to protect you by distancing themselves. I'd hope that's the case but if it isn't, you did what you felt was right and if they really can't accept that then I'd argue they're not really friends at all. That said, being around someone you love when they're with someone else is very hard. Why would you want to put yourself through that just now.
What you need to do is focus on putting this behind you rather than putting it right.
I suggest you look into coping strategies for your anxiety. Don't try to rush it, take small, manageable steps.
When you're back at school, hold your head up high knowing you're a good person with a good heart. We all know that from your Team Oracle answers so I'm sure others see that too.
Don't be too hard on yourself, Bradley. You WILL make new friends and they'll be luck to have you.
Over to you.

I'm so sorry for the terrible situation you're in! You've taken a very brave decision when you decided to open your heart to your best friends and I honestly don't now how you've been able to keep those feelings inside for two whole years. But I also think that it's not fair how your friends have treated you, because, even in such an uncomfortable situation, a good friend would have been able to forgive you. So, I believe that the time has come for you to go on. I really hope you can leave the past behind and try to make new friends, without thinking that you will run them off too, because if you keep thinking this way you will never find a way out, which you have to do instead! I understand that in this moment you're afraid of making new friends as you don't want to disappoint people anymore, but life is about relationships and dealing with people, even if sometimes it seems the hardest thing to do. I'm sure you will be able to overcome this period of your life! I wish you the best. Ilaria.

Do you know anyone that has been through a similar situation? You could talk to them and find out how they got through it. If you don't know anyone, you could watch a movie or read a book about someone that was in a similar situation.
A good movie would be Bridge to Terabithia. It's about a guy that lost a friend and learned to move on. You can really put yourself in his shoes and feel empathy for his loss. While your still in his shoes the movie will help you get through it like he did in the movie.
I know Bridge to Terabithia is about death and your story is about just being left behind, but you can make enough connections for it to help. Eric.

I know what you're going through. A couple years ago I had these really good friends. We were close. Then something happened and I haven't talked to them since. How I delt with it was I had gotten in to a new school,
The year started and I didn't know the place. A really nice kid who had started going there a few years before took me under his wing. We became good friends and I almost forgot about my old friends. Don't worry I'm sure you'll find new friends. Remember: No matter what happens in life look on the positive side. Good luck. Hailey.


I know what it's like to have lost friends like that. I'm currently in a rut with now a former friend of mine because of the same guy we like. I backed off because of being a good friend, and she didn't tell me they were going out until I found out from another friend. There were some other issues that also starting to distance our relationship and this added another level, so we are no longer on speaking terms.
I think that it was brave of you to confess to the both of them about your feelings. It is very sad that they, instead of looking at it as a way understanding why were you depressed and as a sign of respect and honesty in your friendship with them, just turned a blind eye to you. They are not really true friends of yours if they did that and do not support you. It may be hard, but a fresh new start is the best way to go. Try something new, like a different hobby or a fashion style. Do not be afraid to do so because it is important to see these kinds of obstacles are reflections to make you a better person. For me, I understood that friends come and go and regardless of the circumstances, you cannot stop such things. Embrace your life and friends as they come and go, just remember the good and reflect upon the bad. MeiT. USA.

I'm pretty much sure your means are you were trying to be honest to her and your best friend as well. That's one good point, you have to be true to yourself and others, you did the right thing. But, even the smallest action have its own result. You don't have to be sad because they written you out of their lives, you can do good things to make them accept you again, and as time goes by, they will learn to forgive you. Be happy and carry on.
Syifa, Indonesia.


Wow. Let me just say that you've been through a lot. Much more than I think we expect to ever go through in our lives - and you're doing okay. It's hard; I know what you're feeling and the pressure and the helplessness you can be feeling is immense. Nobody can judge you for being honest and though maybe what happened was a little bad, it's a little good too. I think the best thing for you to do is to find someone close to you and let it all out - tell them why you're anxious and what happened. Although it might be tough to share these things with people close to you, it's better in the long run. Make sure this person is someone you trust and love, that way they have your back and with either catch you if you fall or support you while you battle on. I think you should lighten up on yourself - I know that it's easier said than done but you're a beautiful person no matter what you think of yourself. If you can be happy with yourself, even for just a little while, people can be happy with you too. You were a good friend, and told the truth - just like friends should and perhaps the pair were not as 'best' as you think. You're a good person and deserving of better friends, just remember; your heart is beating and the world is alive - be aware of the little things. Good luck. Paige.

Your question really touched my soul. Here is what I think:
you were very courageous to tell them your feelings. Even if they actually decided to keep you out of their lives, you made the right choice. Because this is feelings. You can't control them, and maybe your friends are keeping you away so they don't hurt you. Now, just move back to school. You ARE courageous, you proved it, and so you won't run off new friends. You're someone true-hearted, and everything will be fine.
Finally, don't worry about the future, Don't Panic, this is the best advice I can tell you. Your friends will be there for you when you'll need them, they aren't your best friends for nothing. Maybe they're simply waiting for you.
I hope I helped you,
Matthew J.


When grieving the loss of a friendship, especially if you blame yourself for them no longer being in your life, it's painful, and there is a natural tendency to want to go in hiding or try to anesthetize your pain with food, alcohol or other harmful behavior.
It took guts to come clean about your feelings and taking risks aren't easy, so you deserve some major credit on that front. However, if you don't let go of people who let go of you, you can't make room for new friendships and new love. The origin of your insecurities and anxiety may stem closer to home from family relationships which may be manifesting negatively in your extended relationships.
I would encourage you to do two things. When you go back to school, connect with your counseling support services center to help you identify the root cause of your insecurities/anxiety. Until you can view yourself the way you want others to see you, you will have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships. Secondly, volunteer with an organization using the compassion you have shown to Team Oracle. Helping someones less fortunate than yourself is the best medicine for helping to heal yourself. Be well Bradley. DH.

Relationships are tough to build; harder still to maintain. And honesty is of paramount importance in any relationship. You were honest about your feelings and how it was affecting you and your relationship with both your friends. You were not wrong in doing so. Lying and pretending that everything was fine would have been far worse.
You have done your part by being honest and open about what troubled you. If they truly are your friends they should have at least understood the predicament you were in and realized how hard it was for you. You can only try and tell them why you did what you did. Even after this, if things do not change then you need to let go.
When something affects not just the way you feel but the way you function, you have to seriously evaluate your life. You need to be 'the core' of your own life. Without you everything else will fall apart. Your life cannot revolve around someone else. Understand that everyone else is a part of your life. Trust that in time, the right set of people will surely be drawn to you.
Our lives are a series of choices and the priorities we choose to give to certain aspects of life. You have your dreams and a whole lot of life ahead of you. Follow the light inside you and know that you'll get through this too.
"Leave a light on".
Rex, India.


First and foremost, I have to say that what you did, in my opinion, was amazing. It was incredibly courageous, and despite the fallout from the event, you should be proud that you were so truthful both to your friends and, most importantly, to yourself.
I personally think that it is a real shame that neither of these individuals talk to you any longer. You have been hurt by an incredibly hard situation.
My advice for you now is to force yourself to get back on your feet. You feel awful, most likely heartbroken, but you cannot spend the rest of your school life feeling like this. I am 17 and also still at school.
Try and get back to acting normally. Do the things that you would have normally done before all of this happened; if some of the stuff that you would have normally done was with these two friends, try and do it with other friends. Mix with more people.
It was be incredibly hard to begin with, but you will get there.
You're not alone in this situation, Bradley.
Best of luck, Orla x

The story of loss you have told is indeed a sad one and I am sorry you are going through such a difficult time, yet grateful for you sharing it with the Oracle.
I believe the answer to your question is that you seek to gain insight and understanding of what happened, rather than anyone else.
Chris Martin asked himself this very question in a recent interview, around the album Ghost Stories.
"How do you let the things that happen to you in the past - your ghosts - how do you let them affect your present and your future?" & "if you sit with your experiences and the things you've been through, they alchemize."
I invite you Bradley to sit with your experience, with compassion, and trust that your answers will eventually come. Allow your 'inner guide' to seek the insight you are looking for, whilst understanding You are the best friend you will ever have.
To arrive at your own clarity, rather than someone else's, will then resolve your feelings of insecurity and anxiety.
Go well. Steve.


I know there's nothing any of us can say that will take away the pain you're feeling. Know that it's okay (and part of the healing process) to allow yourself to fully feel the hurt and sadness. Let it move through you and crack open any barriers you've placed around your heart. This is how the light gets in.
You deserve to "fly on", just as you wish for your friends. You are so much stronger than you may believe right now. "Speak your truth, even when your voice shakes." Your courage to let honesty take center stage is remarkable, even with the pain that followed. This is the process of true inner transformation. The extent of joy we experience is in direct proportion to the extent we're willing to sit with the pain, and allow it to flow through us. We cannot have one without the other. It is all a beautiful part of this journey of life.
I admire your courage, honesty, and willingness to open up to guidance and support. Know that you are loved, and are never alone. Alia I. USA.

First of all, you did the right thing by telling them. You were only being honest about your feelings, and their is nothing wrong with that. They should not have written you out of their lives - they were you're friends and they should have tried to help you get over her.
Don't worry about your confidence. It might take a year, it might take a week, but it will return. The only thing you can do now is not be so hard on yourself. They were your friends and you told them what was wrong with you. Also, as long as you never tried to make this friend cheat on her boyfriend then you are blameless and there is nothing wrong in what you did.
Finally, you need to learn to trust yourself. You were being honest. People won't judge you for that. You will find new friends, and you will not run them off. If these two friends of yours rejected you like this, then they don't deserve to be your friends. You need to believe that everything will come together. It won't be easy, but it won't be fruitless. If you have done mistakes, learn from them, but don't beat yourself up over them; everyone does mistakes. Just trust yourself, and it will be ok. Much love and I hope everything goes well for you. Emily.


Honestly best friends are going to come and go. If they truly are your best friends they should try to understand where you're coming from, if they can't do that they either just need more time or they aren't really as great friends as you think.
I've had a similar thing happen to me where my best friend completely out of nowhere stopped talking to me (I found out later it was because her boyfriend was jealous of our group of friends). I was devastated at first, I never thought I would be able to find a friend as awesome as her (oh how wrong I was). And like you I thought that if I did find another friend I would just make them leave me too (I was wrong once again). Now I have some really amazing people in my life that help me and understand me and truly care about me. So don't be in a rush about getting it solved it takes time to get to know people who really are amazing.
Don't beat yourself up for saying how you feel, you have every right to feel it and every right to say it especially if it is hurting you not saying it. Just try to focus on good things and do good things and you will feel much better. Sofia.

First of all a hug for bravery, it takes courage to talk about all this and put it all out there. That is the first step to coping with this. The second depends much on you. Clearly you need some help to deal with this, and to realize that not all your friendships will end in disaster. We make many friends in the course of our lifetime, and you will too.
You were in an impossible situation with no way to please anyone, you did what you thought was best. No regrets. Now mentally you are paying the price. It will get better. You may need to get some help, talk to a counselor or other professional, because you sound like this is maybe a major depression. You would do well not to ignore it because you need to get better for yourself first and because you have a whole life left to live, and many more lasting friendships to make. Take care, Laurie.


First of all allow me to offer some form of sympathy for your situation. It sounds like an incredibly tough thing to have to go through, and to lose two great friends through the process can't have been easy. Unfortunately, you can't change how your friends feel about this awkward situation, but I think it was incredibly brave of you to tell them, rather than stewing in your own depression which could well have lead you down an even darker path. Perhaps with time they will be able to forgive you. I don't think you've done anything wrong here. You can't control who you love, and it wouldn't have been fair on them or you to have gone through life hiding your feelings, especially when they may well have emerged further down the line causing more damage.
I think your best course of action now (easier said than done, I know) is to get back to school and finish what you started. Try to put the past behind you and focus on the future. Yes it might be awkward to be around mutual friends, yes you may even bump into your friends at times, and yes it absolutely will be painful if you have to see them together. As much as it hurts to lose these friends, perhaps it will be good in the short-term while you deal with these unrequited feelings, but try to shift your efforts into your work, or a hobby, or whatever else takes your mind off these things. Speaking from experience of unrequited love in close quarters, it may feel like you'll never love again and can't deal with seeing these people happy, but just when you think it will never end, it does. One day you're going to wake up and feel just a little bit less sad about the whole situation. And then a couple of weeks later you'll feel less sad again. And then after time, it won't hurt quite as much and you'll wonder why you ever had such a huge problem with it. It's funny, but trust me, that's how time works. But time takes time. Nobody said it was easy, as a famous songsmith once crooned, but dig in and focus on the rest of your life and I promise you, this will pass.
Good luck & God bless. Peanut, UK.

I'm afraid I have to confront you with this: that it probably has no sense to try them make your friends again. And that's not your fault, it's theirs. Knowing someone is in love with your girlfriend is no reason to ignore him. Accept you have no reason to miss them.
Now we arrive at the second thing: finding new friends. Well, try to remember how you met them and how you made friendship with them. Those will also work with other people, it's just how humans work. If you don't remember, here is some advice: join a sportclub or something like that. There you'll find people with the same interests. Be nice, and you'll find someone (or some guys) who like you. Isabelle.


I think the best you can do right now is focus on yourself. Confidence is not achieved overnight, and it seems to me like you need to be making some changes. First of all, don't blame yourself for what's happening; you fell in love and that is something no one on earth is able to control. Then, try to see the situation differently; you are guilty of nothing, therefore you should not blame yourself for what is happening. I think it's in your best interest to go and talk to your two friends, and explain the way you have been feeling. You should also know that self confidence is not achieved overnight. It takes time to win it back. Try to practice something you're good at; a sport, and art thing, whatever will make you feel better - even though it has nothing to do with the situation, it will make you feel powerful, and you might gain more strength to confront your issues. You can also talk about it to somebody - a friend, a parent (a pet?) you'd be surprised how much good this can do to you !! One last thing- keep in mind that through life, friends come and go, but best friends stick together. And even though you might be in a bad place right now, they just might get over it, and soon things will all go back to normal.
Valentine B, France.

I'm sorry you're feeling so low. What's happened between the three of you is unfortunate, but its important to remind yourself why and how it started. You opening up to them was you trying to accept the reality of what you'd been feeling for so long. It was you being vulnerable and hoping for growth in your friendship. It was you being true to yourself. That itself is incredibly brave, and I don't see how you could have done anything differently. Them not knowing the truth would have only distanced them from you anyway, so I feel you only made the best of that situation. You should accept that its not your fault and you didn't really do anything wrong, it's just something that happens in life. That being said, you'll still feel that emptiness until you find ways to fill it. You've chosen to acknowledge the darkness in your life,(taking a semester off to work on yourself), which is great because it means you are working to be in touch with your emotions. But, you have to learn to accept the light in your life as well. You have to work on knowing that you're worthy of feeling happiness, and that this isn't the end of your life, its just a chance to become a stronger person that is whole all by themselves. This will help you in future relationships. Right now you are broken, and you have to fix yourself before you can fix your friendships. I myself have also lost friends and people I love, but I've also found love in other things, even myself. There's nothing like feeling magic with another person. But you have to know there's magic within you, apart from anyone else. Be your own best friend. Hope this helps. Wish the best. Love, Darem.

First, I admire you. It took quite a bit of courage to be open and honest about how you were feeling to your two best friends. However disappointing the consequences may have been, it was the right thing to do.
I am surprised by their reactions though. I would have thought they would be more understanding.
This is one of those times when you have to realize that you have no control over how they will react. You only have control over your heart and your mind. Now, comes the time when you have to think less about the past and more about the future your future.
I think getting back into school will help you move forward. It is a positive step and will give you something more to focus on. Please remember that putting your life back together takes time and patience, but it is possible.
Since you are a Coldplay fan, perhaps you heard Chris talk about Kintsugi or Kintsukuori - the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken. As painful as the consequences have been, you know you did the right thing and that took courage. The confidence you have been building up is still there, but you also feel vulnerable and that is ok, because that honest revelation has set you free to become who you were meant to be.
Go for the gold and be well, Dawn.

First of all, I think it's very brave of you that you told them the truth about your feelings.It was the right thing to do. But it sounds to me like you did all those things for the sake of your best friends(telling them what caused you to be depressed, telling them to go on without you), which makes me wonder; what about YOU?! what about your feelings? It's really nice that you don't want to hurt your best friends feelings, but sometimes you just have to be a bit selfish and put your own needs first.Who knows maybe your best friend wants to talk to you and work things out, but is just afraid to make the first move. Try and reach out to him. If you're afraid to face him, start with a text or a phone call and see what happens from there. And if he won't talk to you: We can't help who we fall in love with and if being honest about that makes your friends write you out of their lives, you should wonder if they were ever truly your best friends to begin with. Please don't be afraid to make new friends, I'm sure there are plenty of people at your school who'd love to talk to you, if you give them a chance. You can do it! Amanda.

I would like to congratulate you for your courage, you were true to yourself and took a huge risk by telling your friend how you felt about her. I'm really sorry it hasn't worked out but don't let this stop you from being brave and sharing your beautiful soul with the world. Somewhere there is a special one for you and perhaps in time you will be able to patch things up with your friends too.
Much love, Sanet.

Thanks to all those who replied to this week's question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.



May 30, 2014 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom
Q.  WHO'D LIKE TO JOIN TEAM ORACLE?

As you may know, we have a weekly feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday we open questions of a personal nature to all of you to answer too. Then, the following Friday, I post a selection of the best answers, alongside my own reply.

ANYONE can join in so, if you'd like to, please email your response to the following question, in no more than 250 words, to theoracle@coldplay.com before midnight Thursday 5 June.

I'm completely lost at the moment. It seems as if every person I know leaves me. My father left before I was even born because he didn't want me. I just helped a guy get over self-harm; he said that he loved me then promptly ditched me after he was better. I keep trying to look after others and block out my own feelings. I bury my head in academia and yes, whilst this is good as I could, potentially, have a shot at getting into a university such as Oxford, I feel that I am placing no importance on my emotions whatsoever. I don't know what to do. Orlagh. UK.

Look forward to seeing your replies.

The Oracle.

Please email your replies to theoracle@coldplay.com
Including your twitter address may result in a follow back.



May 23, 2014 / submitted by Daisy, Indonesia
Q.  TEAM ORACLE QUESTION #169
I'm so sad, very sad. What do you feel when somebody look down on you just because you never had boyfriend. Now you are 23 years old. They asked when will you get married, and I answered I don't know and they insist to get the answer. I have not thinking about marriage and more. I don't care but I feel so sad.

Are you sad because you're single or sad because of the way people treat you being single? If it's the former, don't worry. Love will come but it doesn't matter whether that's at 23, 33 or 83 - if you're happy. You don't need to be in a relationship to have a wonderful life.
If it's the latter, don't worry. What's it got to do with anyone else? NOTHING! People do expect people to couple off and put pressure on anyone not doing that. When you're in a relationship they ask when you're getting married. When you're married they ask when you're having children. It's intrusive and nobody's business but yours.
You answer "I don't know" and you don't, so what else are you supposed to say? NOTHING!
You don't have a crystal ball so it's an impossible question to answer however, as people are making you sad, maybe you could add that their questioning makes you uncomfortable and you'd prefer them not to ask. Or simply ignore them!
It's your life, live it your way and take things at your pace regardless of people's expectations and questions.
Over to you.

I'm only 17 but I surely can give you an advise. My friends also has the same problem as you but on a different situation. They're still young and still on their college years like me. But one thing I tell them every time they nag me about having a boyfriend. I just tell them to "Let love find you." I find this appropriate to you because you don't need to rush things because you know rushing just leads to heartbreak and mistakes in life. So yeah just tell 'them' you haven't found your true love yet and he will come soon. Very soon.
Princess, Philippines.


Tell them you don't know when you'll get married. When will we get married is our destiny and no one knows anyone's destiny. But believe that you will get married someday because everyone will meet their partner of life even if it feels like forever and remember that everyone's is unique and important in their own way. Khansa.

I lived in Indonesia for 10 years, and understand how difficult it can be for Indonesian women who feel pressured with the social and cultural expectations on marriage. Only you know what is truly best for you, Daisy. Your feelings and opinions may differ from family and friends, yet it is "sancta penting" that you believe in your own decisions and do what you know reflects your truth. Percaya diri sendiri, saying. Nothing true and lasting can be forced. Know that you have support. Alia I. from Oregon, U.S.

I know in your culture getting married is more important then in mine. But what I also know is that everyone should marry when he/she is ready, not earlier. It's your marriage and your life, after all. Your friends/family should respect that.
Isabelle.

I'm from Indonesia too! *waves at you*
I think you shouldn't be worry about you being single. I had been in relationship once, and it was good, but it wasn't as good as being single. Actually, you can do more when you're single than when you're in relationship. You wanna know the perks of being single?
1. It is a great time to do your hobby explore your passion.
2. You can save more money. Believe me, dating costs a lot of money that should've been spent on our favourite things, such as a nice backless dress, a John Green novel, or even a Coldplay vinyl album!
3. We have more time on our beloved family and friends.
4. No boundaries and limitation.
5. You can focus more on your education and career.
6. And most importantly, you have more time for you to love yourself and know yourself more, because you can't love someone else before you can love yourself.

There's a quote I remember, "Fall in love when you're ready, not when you're lonely." So, don't listen to those who look down on you, just enjoy when you're still single. The right person will come on the right time.
Love, Ira.


I know how it feels, but let me tell you this: we all have our own way to fall in love, I mean, there isn't any rule on love. If your first love is at the age of 40, who cares? The idea of having a boyfriend at a young age is just an idea society has, because, seriously, who wrote rules on love? who said you have to get a boyfriend at an early age? NOBODY, absolutely nobody. Some people may have their first love at the age of 13, others at the age of 20; we are all different, and we all have our ways to live life. Some may think it is not okay, some may think it is, but hey, you live your life for you, not for others. Let love come, don't make it come. The wait, is worthless.
Sofia, Argentina.

Don't be sad, You're ONLY 23 years old and when you meet Mr. Right, you'll have the rest of your lifetime to be a married couple. Besides there's nothing wrong with being single either. There'll always be people that talk down to you for one reason or another, but please don't listen to them, be yourself and live your life at your own pace. Maybe you just haven't met the right guy yet or maybe you you prefer to stay single for the rest of your life. Everything is possible just as long as you are happy! Good luck. Amanda.

The world is full of people, and they all need love. You may love them all. Just and some action to your love and you will be amazed. It is in giving we find joy. Britta.

No wonder you are sad. You are misunderstood. No one has the right to judge or condemn you. You are not a criminal! You may be a shy person. You are an honest person. You may be a meek person. There is nothing wrong with you! Is there a law in Indonesia that obligates you to marriage? There are economic and financial realities that impose the necessity to making a family, because it is hard to support yourself alone. Maybe they are looking down on you because they don't want to support you forever. Every generation has a maiden Auntie who is never courted, who never marries, who never leaves her father's house. She serves her father and her elders; she helps with her nieces and nephews. She has self respect; she deserves a place in this world. Some of them tell their father; "Use my dowry, or the funds that will not be spent for I will not have a wedding, and invest in my education so I may have a career and contribute to my father's house." Your depression is serious and you must get turned toward living happily. Ishtar.

I think Daisy shouldn't think too much about what other people said. She can have her own opinions and people must respect her for that. And also I think not having any boyfriends when you're 23 years old is a bad thing, I mean there's so much things in life you can look forward to! Your source of happiness is not from what people told you to do or what they think of you. So I suggest for Daisy to just hold her head up high and put a smile on! Hope everything's alright.
Syifa, Indonesia.

Societal and cultural pressures can present many challenges for women in any country especially when marriage is intertwined with inheritance, family assignment, and value which is amplified as we age. You are at an age where external voices will affect the self-reflection of yourself no matter what the issues are, but this will dissipate as you get older if you learn to listen to what you want and need.
You could succumb to the external pressures, get married, and expose yourself to a live-time of unhappiness or abuse. However, if the external disapproval is the worst harm as a result of not getting married - I say wait.
I just turned 40 years old in March, and I have never married. I have friends on their second and third divorces, and they have the nerve to ask me whats wrong with me. I am waiting for that person that makes me feel like I don't want to run in the other direction. We all deserve to be in love and give love unconditionally at least once in our lives. Be Well, Daisy. DH.


Life has been socially designed so that individuals get married and procreate, and if somebody doesn't, it is seen as something unexpected or unusual. We, human beings, are without a doubt animals which seek survival like any other animal, and that's why our instinct tells us to pair up with another human being. However, thanks to discoveries made in the medical field, for example, the planet has now been overpopulated. Moreover, couples break up every day. As a consequence, my personal belief is that: as I have been born, and as I exist, I wish to bring happiness to this world, I wish to heal people's wounds, I want my life to be significant to others, not only to myself. I am a 21 year-old girl from Argentina who isn't very keen on marriage, at least not at the moment. Only God knows what will happen in the future. As cultures in our respective countries may be different, in Argentina there's no hurry to get married at a young age, so I don't feel pressured to "take action". To sum up, is it that important to get married and procreate? I don't think so, I think that it is important to contribute to this world ANYWAY, by being a good person. I recommend you to search on YouTube a Nigerian female writer called Chimamanda Gnozi Adichie, she's my role model, and in one of her speeches she mentions her opinion on marriage. Much love, Caro.

First of all, the only right time to start dating is the time that you want to start dating; no one can decide that for you. When you feel comfortable and ready to have a boyfriend, it will not matter at all that you are new to the dating scene. If you decide you never want to start dating, that's great too. It all comes down to what you feel comfortable with.
However, I don't want to simply give you the obvious "you'll find someone!" pep talk, because this issue seems to go deeper than that. If marriage is something you are not thinking about at all, try your best not to let other people bring you down with their negativity, and outright nosiness. How you handle your personal life is no one's business except for yours. If this person continues pestering you about the issue, try answering something along the lines of, "I don't know when I'm getting married, but I'm not worried; I'm happy with the way things are going for me right now." If this doesn't work, you can always go with the traditional "butt out!"
In general, try not to worry too much about the future, because what will happen is going to happen whether you torture yourself over it or not. Just enjoy the ride while you're on it and ignore anyone who tries to put their own obstacles in your way.
Rose (NY, USA).


I am also single and close to your age. At 21, people expect that I have been in relationships by this point, and are confused and sometimes combative when I tell them that marriage and children are simply not in the cards for me. People are going to ask why, and going to try to force answers from you, but this is what you must remember: your relationship status in no way affects your value as a person. The things that make you whole, and human, are your passions, your intelligence, and your ambitions, and these things do not have to include marriage. Your dreams are entirely your own to create and build and grow, and if there comes a time where another person is worthy of altering these plans to fit into your life, then that's wonderful, but if that time does not come, it does not make you a lesser person. Daisy, you are strong and beautiful and worthy of compassion exactly the way that you are. So next time someone asks you why you don't plan to be married anytime soon, you should ask them why you ought to be. There is no good reason for that question, and perhaps you can help the people asking it to reshape their perspectives.
With love from the United States, Melaney.

I've gone through the same situation with my family until I was 18. Maybe my relatives/friends didn't insist as much as yours do, but I felt all their expectations over me until I found my first boyfriend. He was perfect for them, exactly everything they desired for me, but I didn't like him: I wanted so badly to get rid of their expectations that I was dating someone I didn't like. I left him because I wasn't able to play that role, and 5 years have passed before I met my present boyfriend, whom I LOVE and CHOSE. The point is that, after trying to support my relatives' desires, I realized I couldn't sacrifice my happiness - and a boy's happiness - because my family couldn't understand I need my time! I was happy as well during those 5 years and I learnt that I can manage my life without a man beside me.
I know it's hard but don't give up fighting for your right to choose when and who to date, because it influences your whole life! Search for the company of those who can understand your feelings and find strength in their support, it will help you through this. And without even realizing it, you'll show to those who want you married with children that you can be happy in a different way.
Hold on! A big big hug! Giulia.

Often people look at marriage or being in a relationship as a status symbol. We should not believe this or give into pressure from others. Rushing into relationships is harmful to both us and our partners. There is plenty of time and Daisy, you are still very young.
There are many advantages to being single. It allows you the time and space you need to become a complete and happy person by focusing on your own interests and needs. You will also better understand what to look for in a partner when you have a fuller understanding of yourself. When you are ready to open your heart to someone, the opportunity will present itself. Until then, do what makes you happy. Continue to grow and learn about yourself. Be honest and true to yourself. Find ways to help others in need. In doing this, you will send out positive energy and attract the right kind of people to you. Being single or alone is not the same as being lonely. What other people feel they need is not necessarily what you need to be happy. Love is all around us every day. Take a deep breath, breathe it in, and take your time. You'll be glad you did. Tracey.


I am unclear as to whether you are sad because you don't have a boyfriend or just sad because people keep asking and making you feel sad about it. Since you stated that you don't care, I am assuming it's the latter.
If that is the case then know that there is nothing wrong with you just because you have not had a boyfriend. It is perfectly ok to be alone. Learn to be happy independently and then if you find someone you like then they can become part of your life and not become your whole life.
Wouldn't you rather be alone than be in a relationship, just to have a boyfriend, or to make other people happy?
Live your life on your own terms, because it's your life - not theirs.
Be well. Dawn.

Thanks to all those who replied to this week's question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.



May 23, 2014 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom
Q.  WHO'D LIKE TO JOIN TEAM ORACLE?

As you may know, we have a weekly feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday we open questions of a personal nature to all of you to answer too. Then, the following Friday, I post a selection of the best answers, alongside my own reply.

ANYONE can join in so, if you'd like to, please email your response to the following question, in no more than 250 words, to theoracle@coldplay.com before midnight Thursday 29 May.

I have had an absolutely wonderful experience sending in answers for Team Oracle, and it's something that I am very thankful to have been a part of, but now I come to you with a problem that has really affected my life. Back in December of 2013, I told my best friend that I was in love with her, because she was dating my other best friend. He was present when I told her.
You see, I told them because I had been hiding these feelings for two years, which had put me in a deep depression, and it hurt them seeing me like that, and I didn't want my problems to get in their way, so I had to tell them to fly on without me.

It's been six months since that happened, and so much has changed in my life leaving me at the lowest I've ever been. I took the previous semester off from school to try and get myself where I need to be, and I cannot fix things with my friends.
She refuses to speak to me, and I can't look him in the eye knowing I hurt her. They have written me out of their lives.
I thought I was ready to move on, but now as I'm getting ready to move back out and back to school, I've fallen apart completely. I've lost all of the confidence I've had to build up in the past six months in a matter of days, I'm horribly insecure, and I'm very anxious all of the time. I hate myself for running off my best friends, and I'm afraid that if I somehow manage to find new friends, I'll run them off too.
I have absolutely no idea how to try to put things back together. Any help or insight would be extremely valuable right now. Thank you for everything. Bradley H. USA.



Look forward to seeing your replies.

The Oracle.

Please email your replies to theoracle@coldplay.com
Including your twitter address may result in a follow back.



May 22, 2014 / submitted by Kirsten, New Zealand
Q.  Hey there Oracle.

What started the Team Oracle questions? Did you decide to do it or did someone say '... you're good at giving advice, go help the fans out!'

Hope you're having a marvelous day!
(the word 'marvelous' isn't used enough these days is it...)

I was already answering questions from fans that were more on a personal level - matters of the heart etc. What I noticed was that fans would then write to me after I'd posted the reply and add their comment. I thought it would be a nice idea to once a week, open it up to everyone.
We've had 168 questions now with the first one being answered on 26 November, 2011.



May 16, 2014 / submitted by Marina, United Kingdom
Q.  TEAM ORACLE QUESTION #168
Recently I've been on the internet a lot and I saw a post about social anxiety and because I related a lot, I searched about it. I think I may have this disorder but I don't know how to tell my parents because I don't tend to tell them about my problems. I'm afraid they will think I'm exaggerating but if I don't tell them my problem will just get worse to the point that I will not longer be able to marry/socially interact and that is why I am looking for your help. What should I do? Thanks in advance.

Self-diagnosis isn't wise, Marina. It's ok to read about things and though you may recognize symptoms it doesn't mean you are suffering with that particular condition. I recommend you speak to a doctor. Once you know what you're dealing with, it may make the next step of talking with your parents easier.
I don't know how old you are so if you're an age where you can't see your doctor without a parent present, you will have to be strong & find a way to tell them of your concerns. It is a big step to ask for help but as you came to me, you've shown you can ask. Ask your parents - that's what they're there for.
There is no point suffering in silence. Write down your feelings / symptoms. Talk with your parents about how you are struggling with them. You can't know what they will say so don't be afraid of that unknown. They may be supportive. They may have questions. They may take you to the doctors. They may be reluctant. Whatever their reaction, you know if something doesn't feel right. Get to the root of the problem and seek the help you ask for.
Don't worry about social interaction or marriage - tackle the issues first and hopefully there will be a path for you that will help you overcome those issues.
Over to you.

Speaking up, taking a stand, that's a huge challenge sometimes. Maybe you can speak up to a more "neutral" person first. I'm sure there's a safe place somewhere around you, where you can share this part of you with a trustworthy listener. It might be easier to feel someone's concrete support to then talk to people more important and close to you.
Just keep in mind the very real fact that there is a solution for you. If you feel the need to share this, you will, one way or another. Ending up with no social life is only a nightmare hovering on your shoulder. It's not going to happen. Now that you're this far, you can only succeed.
Speaking up is speaking up, even if it's only to an Oracle just yet. A.R.


There was a 'phase' in my life before when I felt the same thing - like I don't want to surround myself with people. And back then, like you Marina, I never told anyone even my parents. Because I felt like it's weird and they'll never fully understand. Social anxiety is never easy to overcome - you feel like it's safer to be just by yourself. But the fact is, life is so much better when you surround yourself with people, believe me! One day, you'll find it in you to open up to people and make good friends like I did. I can't explain how I overcame that 'phase' but one thing is for sure, I did overcome it. So can you.
Whatever you're going through, it'll get better. Sounds cliche but true. Then in the future you'd be like, "Yeah, I've been through a lot but hey I'm stronger now."
Don't think too much (the more you psych yourself about it, the harder it would be).
And try to communicate with others (if you don't want to talk to your parents, talk to us).
And this is a personal advice, try to look for your own emotional outlet (example, look for a hobby; in my case, when I get lonely I try to sketch my favorite people & I listen to Coldplay.
Stay strong, Marina! People are here for you Sheena.

Before you say you have a disorder I think you should try a couple of things. My advice to you is to start focusing on you. Stop worrying about how you look on the outside. Remember that models on magazines are photo shopped and therefore we have no chance. I wish I could say I'm a super confident person, but I'm not. We all have our insecurities which are like our little secrets and if you work too hard to hide them you only attract more attention. Try joining a small club at school or at your local park you will find that we all deal with similar things. Try telling your mom. See we tend to under estimate our parents, but I have learned so much from them. Find a friend that's the outspoken one they tend to bring you out without you knowing. Be yourself. People like that, you'll be surprised.
P.S Don't worry about people judging you if one person doesn't like you there's like 7,999,999,999 that you can try but start with yourself. Yesenya.


As hard as it is, you should talk to your parents. They love you. In the event you don't feel they give you the proper support, call the Mental Health hotline for Mexico. The no. is 0180-0472-7835. Stay strong, it wont be like this forever.
Karla K. Vancouver, Canada.

Oh Marina how sad for you. Yet how common in this day and age when we all spend so much time with our heads down, nose in a screen. My 17 year old son is very similar to you, and the first thing I'd say to you is please tell your parents how you feel. I assure you they'll only want to help. My son finds it very difficult to interact with others in his peer group and spends too much time alone in his room, but we gently encourage him to come out and do 'things' with us and spend time with the few friends he does have.
As an adult who also feels insecure and shy even as a mother of 3 children, I know sometimes in life you must put on a brave face and put yourself into situations you don't feel comfortable with. In time, you will be glad you did. Is there anything you enjoy doing? Music, swimming? Anything that you can go and join in and try to be a part of. It will become easier and you will find like minded people. Just never give up.
The world isn't just full of 'out there' people who want to be in your face and shout from the rooftops. Being quiet and introvert doesn't make you any less of a person. Just a different type of person. And if the world was made up of people who were all the same - and loud - wouldn't it be a boring and noisy place?
To try to give yourself some emotional determination try watching a You Tube clip called Look Up which has had millions of hits over the past few weeks. I hope it will give you some incentive to not let life slip you by and go out there and be part of it.
Lucy, Cornwall, England.


It seems to me that you may have a case that is similar to the Medical Students' disease (and it's nothing to worry about). The Medical Students' disease says that you tend to believe you have the symptoms in which you are studying.
First, you should tell your parents about your problem in a normal manner. If they think you are exaggerating, then maybe you should go see a professional. There must be services around where you live to go and receive help. Some of these services may include: a clinical psychologist, a psychiatrist, or someone specializing in anxiety disorders.
The main thing to keep in mind is that when you go and see these professionals, it shouldn't affect you. Don't let it change who you are and make you think that you are weaker, or worry about what others might think. So many people use these services - it has become normal to go for a check up.
If you don't feel comfortable going to a specialist right away, talk to a friend or a cousin. They might be able to comfort/help you and point you in the right direction.
The main thing is to not do this on your own. You must seek help from others in any way, shape, or form whether it be a professional, a friend, or a cousin.
You'll be alright Marina!
Enjoy! Matthew.

The most important thing in about this situation is that if you feel this way, you need to tell your parents. If you treat it seriously, then they will too. Ask if they can help you to schedule an appointment to meet with a psychologist to get a diagnosis and then and only then seek treatment. As a psychology major and a personal anxiety sufferer myself, I can tell you that a lot of this is in your head and what's important is to keep cool right now and relax a bit. Everything will be all right!
Steven, USA.


I am sorry to hear that you are anxious in social situations, however, I am happy to hear that you are ready to talk to your parents about how you are feeling.
I am responding because I understand what it is like to become anxious in certain social situations, but while most people become anxious when speaking to strangers, I am most anxious when I am speaking to someone I already know.
I can tell you what has helped me the most and that is doing the very thing that I am anxious about. The more I talk to people, the better and more comfortable I feel, which makes me more confident.
I have read about people who practice role-playing as part of therapy in a controlled environment, if you are more comfortable with that. Either way, it takes a lot of practice, but it has helped me personally.
Social anxiety can be exacerbated by conditions such as communication problems like verbal processing and/or speech impediments. I also have the former and practicing speaking (which my job has forced me to do) has helped me the most.
Social anxiety can be triggered when you feel inferior to the person or people you are speaking to, which could be due to low self esteem. Practicing will help you build confidence.
As a parent, I am thrilled to hear that you willing to confide in them and ask for help.
Be well. Dawn.

I understand your position. A friend of mine had a similar situation, and I think I'll give you the same advice: visit a psychiatrist/psychologist. They did study about it.
If it is true, and you have it, that's ok. then you can tell your parents, because then it's not a thought, but a truth. If you don't have it: great. Then there's nothing to worry about.
Goodluck, Isabelle.


Just because you related to a subject, it doesn't mean you suffer any form of disorder from it. Your interest could be a form of empathy as you can see aspects of yourself in other people's stories. Rather than tell your parents that you have a disorder, talk to them about what you've read and how you've found yourself relating to it. Allowing them to take an interest in what you've been researching will make them aware of the thoughts you've been having, and will allow you to talk and discuss the issues your worried about with the people who love and created you.
The best way to overcome fears of social interaction is to head out and try new things. It sounds cliche but taking up a new sport or hobby will allow you to meet and interact with new people in new ways. Sitting on the internet and looking in to what you are worried about may only feed your anxieties. There are masses of welcoming people out there who will be patient in getting to know you and share great times with you. One of them may even become more than a friend one day.
As the boys would say: 'life is for living'.
Struan, London, United Kingdom.

I myself recently, in the past 5 years or so, have been dealing with anxiety. I know it's hard to first come out to those that you love and ask for help and support, but in the end you'll be glad you asked for help and know that you need it. Anxiety is treatable and the first step is to seek that help. Try taking up some meditation too.
Hope it goes well and thinking of you! Rosalie.


In my opinion you should tell to your parents, because sometimes we don't share our feelings but our parents have always the curiosity to know how we feel, I think that because of their experiences they can help because, you never know maybe in the past they used to have the same disorder but there was nobody to hear them. So don't be afraid, I sure you that they are disposed to give you a hand.
Maria, Guatemala.

I would say to talk to people that truly understands you first, someone that will give you a push towards the right direction. Talking to your parents, to your best friend, or to anyone that's close to you is actually a step towards breaking away from social anxiety! It helps you to interact and to talk out your problems to someone else.
Talk to a close buddy so that they would be by your side in support, so that if you were to talk to your parents, it would come out as a serious topic in which everyone would try to help you overcome this disorder. Start small, like a friend, then work up to family. I know how it feels like when family needs to be involved with our lives; they seem to not take our problems seriously and view us as children (but we are their children, so they try to care in an appearance-sense of thinking). But, if you work with a small group, people who supports you and encourages you, then you can overcome this obstacle.
I leave you with this: just because you cannot communicate with your parents doesn't mean that you can't share your problems to anyone. The world is here with open arms, and we're here to help you, and to encourage you to overcome this problem!
#YouGotThis
Lawrence.


Thanks to all those who replied to this week's question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.



May 16, 2014 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom
Q.  WHO'D LIKE TO JOIN TEAM ORACLE?

As you may know, we have a weekly feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday we open questions of a personal nature to all of you to answer too. Then, the following Friday, I post a selection of the best answers, alongside my own reply.

ANYONE can join in so, if you'd like to, please email your response to the following question, in no more than 250 words, to theoracle@coldplay.com before midnight Thursday 22 May.

I'm so sad, very sad. What do you feel when somebody look down on you just because you never had boyfriend. Now you are 23 years old. They asked when will you get married, and I answered I don't know and they insist to get the answer. I have not thinking about marriage and more. I don't care but I feel so sad. Daisy, Indonesia.

Look forward to seeing your replies.

The Oracle.

Please email your replies to theoracle@coldplay.com
Including your twitter address may result in a follow back.



May 11, 2014 / submitted by Anon, United Kingdom
Q.  TEAM ORACLE QUESTION #167
I recently broke up with my ex. I can't even count the number of time we've broken up, but it was an intense, passionate, on and off for the last two years. I know why I kept going back, but I also know why I shouldn't/deserve more. How do you know when you're supposed to keep trying because that's what love is and when you're supposed to let go because love shouldn't be that difficult?

Sometimes we repeat cycles out of habit, out of love, out of fear or because we simply don't know how to break it. There are times we hope that things will change and improve. Sometimes they do but the reality is that rarely happens.
Some people say that love isn't easy but I'm with you, it shouldn't be that hard. I don't think love means you have to keep trying - sometimes it's also about knowing when to not.
I'm not saying that love doesn't require work or effort but when it's hard work and too much effort, what is the point?
If what you get back isn't near enough what you put in, you have to step back and try to look at it from a distance.
I bet if your friend was going through the same, you'd advise them to walk away. Try to take the same advice for yourself from yourself.
If you spend your time wondering how it would be if you weren't together, you probably shouldn't be together. Unless you let go of this love, you will never know if you did the right thing.
You get one life. Don't waste it.
Over to you.

I don't think there is a set standard for when to know whether it is right to let go or keep trying because I think you must search inside yourself to find that answer. Relationships are rarely close to being perfect and there will be arguments, troubles, and pain involved. However, if you find you both always understand where one another is coming from, you can get through troubles together as a team, and if the happiness you find from being with them outweighs the pain, then hang on to them. Only you can know if this is true. Close your eyes, do some deep breathing, forget all the passion and emotions going on in this very moment, and imagine life a year or so down the road without them or perhaps life as just friends... are you happier there? Or lost? Now, if you really think you deserve better like you said, then you are right. Whatever you do, don't settle for darkness that overcasts the light. Best wishes, Alex.

It's okay to love a person but love there are many difficulties, Love is not easy and is better to leave someone that you know will make you hurt. What I try to say is that a relationship is based on respect for each other but you're like two years in this situation and that's not good for you or for other person.I know it will be difficult to understand at first but in the end will achieve overcome. You deserve someone who loves you and who have passed all do not give up.
I wish you the best, Andrea.

My advice is that you fight to be with the person that love and trying to eliminate all the differences that have but but works to let it go, I have had problems similar to yours because all the girls who are interested in does not feel the same as me, and for this reason the relationships have not lasted, I would find my soul mate and feel all the intensity that feels. In short:If you believe that, you will never feel the same on the other person looking for the way to be with that person, but everything is difficult and never know if true love is easy or difficult because it depends on different circumstances. Axel, hugs from Argentina.

The fact of the matter is that you could get back together with them but you'll most likely end up breaking up again; patterns become habit, and when that happens there's really nothing you can do to stop it. You need to figure out how you truly feel about this person, if this keeps happening, most likely one or both of you has doubts about the relationship, and you should discuss this with your loved one. Whatever the outcome, it will be the best for the both of you no matter what.
"Settle for nothing less than certainty in matters of the heart." -Ichabod Crane; Sleepy Hollow. Colin.

I am not the type of person to do this sort of thing but this struck a chord in my heart. In my eyes Love is joined by Hope and Faith. Your love is the most powerful thing and if someone is blind enough to not take your gift they do not deserve your time. You are special for not giving up on love and your heart may be too big for him. Sorry if this was not what you were looking for, it is just how I feel and live your life. Drew.

Yes. Love shouldn't be difficult, love is not a guessing game that whether he/she still love me or not. Love is a thing you should ask from the bottom your heart, whether you really in love in she/he or not. If you really in love in her/him, you will never questioning yourself that should I give up or should I still go for it.
Ask your ex! What was she/he intention for breaking up with you! If she/he say its complicated and can't tell you that she/he love you deeply too, then say GOODBYE. Don't waste time on somebody that don't appreciate you. Find somebody that you both really love each other and appreciate you in every single moment of life.
Regards, Elisis.

Well, I wouldn�t say there are set rules to test whether someone is good for you or not, rather it�s the story your heart sings to you. That being said naivety is a huge vulnerable aspect in a relationship but it�s the risks that you take that weaves you closer. you really wouldn�t want to be fighting in the little time you both will have on this earth. You know, being passionate is great but it�s not the only ingredient of a relationship, you have compassion, understanding , love, trust. These maybe just words but the ability to complete them actively will make for a better and happier relationship a one worth staying for. May you find peace and bliss.
Yours sincerely, a soul that cares, Salma.


I myself hasn't been in a relationship before, but there's something I know that which is live is always full of contradiction. Live is full of hows and whys and I believe that deep inside your heart, you have made the decision on whether to keep going or let it go. You shouldn't think too much or question yourself too much, (You only live Once) just follow your intuition and enjoy your life. Zi.

I'm not a judge of love and I'm assuming you're unmarried, but in my experience the relationship you describe wasn't worth continuing. Not that it didn't have value. It will resonate in your heart forever, even when you begin to love someone new. I've been there, I know but how did I learn? When I realized I did not like who I was with him. When he no longer made time for me. When, despite my lifelong insecurities, I owned up to the fact that, yes, I did deserve more. It's one thing to be ignorant about that in a relationship - that's excusable - but when you KNOW you deserve a healthier, better commitment, well, then that's just plain foolish, isn't it? Love is compromise, teamwork, respect - a choice. Passion may fade, yet love's intensity grows. And we all need someone with whom we can trust our heart in their hands. That best person is out there for you, the passion may be different with your next love. That's the beauty of it, that each person leaves a distinct mark but it will be there. Move on! Now, if you're married, this advice would be have to be thrown into the trash bin...
Best of luck, Robin.


It's hard to know when a relationship is worth saving. You may think that you are in love with someone when in fact the person is just a familiar face that is hard to let go of. Every relationship has it's flaws, but I live by this saying: "True love is putting up with someone's flaws because somehow, they complete you." Don't save a relationship that is destined to fail, but don't give up the person who makes you happy. Love is all about give and take and only you can decide if you are putting in more than you are taking out of a relationship. If you were not truly happy in that relationship my advice would be to move on, there are plenty of fish in the sea. Catherine.

Love is NOT that thing you said. Love is about respect, confidence, trust, making the other person feel better with himself, wanting his/her happiness. It can be difficult! Nobody said It was easy! My bf lives in another city... It's not easy for me! But he makes me feel so well that I think it is worthy to hold on until we can live together.
I think you talk about passion, sort of addiction to that person. And that's ok! But you should keep this in mind so you won't suffer!
Believe me, there is plenty of people who would love to make you happy, even if you don't think it's possible now! Mar.


Nothing worthy would be easy and if it's easy it then it wouldn't be worthy. Keep this always on mind, specially about love. You have nothing to think about. If you have been on and off and breaking up several times but always getting back it's because something inside you tells you that beside the other person is where you belong. Love is though and even though it's supposed to be great, sometimes, it's painful, but that's not a reason to give up. If you are really and truly in love, you don't give up. If your feeling are real and that loves comes from the bottom of your heart, then, even if you want to be apart, you always end up together. That's why despite many break ups you keep getting back with each other, because if it's true, you can't help it, you can't give it up no matter how much you think it will be better for you and no matter how much you try. Eva.

Wow, heart-breaking, torn experience that can be. For me, I knew it was time to let go when the feelings of disappointment, hurt, anger, guilt, shame, etc. outweighed the times we spent in pleasant feelings. When the past couldn�t be let go cause it was still the present. When actions rarely spoke louder than words; time and time again. When we had driven down that same road one too many times! There is a difference of hard times, working together, making changes versus talking about change but not making any or just continuous, unhealthy communication.
When I said good-bye it was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. I thought, I'd never again find such a love. I wondered how I would do it? I made a plan. I stuck to it. I asked friends for support. I took it day by day. Every day it got easier and life reminded be in subtle ways that I made the right decision. A year later and I am now in the healthiest, happiest, most loving and sexiest relationship I have been in all my life.
Maybe good things in life comes from hard work and patience. Not only can relationships be hard work but saying good-bye to them can be, too. And you have to have the patience to see it as for the best�but it is worth it. Doing what you know to be true in your heart, always ends up being worth it. Nina.


A relationship is a journey we travel be it with a friend or a lover, not everyone is lucky enough to meet their soul mate. It is hard to recognise this when you have become familiar with someone and feel a sense of security with. There comes a time when you have to find YOU again as you can become morphed into the person you are with and lose your own identity. Taking time aside to replenish your soul and learning to love yourself is good as without love for yourself you can't give it. We must learn from people that come into our lives and by taking a lesson from each we begin to build ourselves and our standards and morals. Once we know ourselves it is easier to get to know someone else and what we expect from them.
When you can no longer make each other happy anymore then it is time to take that time out whether temporary or permanent to reassess yourself and what you want from a relationship or indeed life.
Love isn't difficult but we just expect to get it from another person when love is in us all so if you start to love yourself and your life as an individual it opens up a whole new experience that is Love.
Once you have found this then you will attract the people that love you for who you are.
Don't be afraid of new starts think of it as a Spring clean. Angela.

To know the answer, you need to look back at your relationship very critical. Every relationship has its ups and downs, but if you have a true on/off relationship (with arguing or something like that in the 'off'-time), I say it has no sense anymore and it's better for both to break up. When your love feelings are sometimes stronger and sometimes less, that's normal. Like I already said, every relationship has its ups and downs.
One more thing: If only one of you doesn't feel in love anymore, is it important to let go. This will be very hard, but it's the best. Half love is no love. Don't worry when that happens. You will find someone else.
Isabelle.


I had been struggling too for two years just to move on from my ex.
Even after we broke up, we were still dating. How do we know if we
should keep trying or let go? For me, I'll just ask myself, is he
worth it? I thought all the good side of him and all the bad side of
him, and decided if his bad side is tolerable or not. And knowing that
you deserve better than him is also helpful. I eventually moved on
when I knew I was tired of the drama, tired of kept going back when I
knew we would break up anyway, and I was tired of crying. I know it's
not easy to move on. Instead of thinking of him, you can hangout with
your best friends, look for a new crush, find a new hobby, make new
goals for your future and try to make it comes true. Keep being
optimist, okay? Ira.

Thanks to all those who replied to this week�s question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.



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