Agony columns. They are all one and the same thing, a place where an agony aunt or agony aunts see problems and reply to them giving advice about them, giving support, understanding, sympathy and helping the person to get things into perspective and move on in a happier way.
This website offers you all of these and more with forums and magazine pages to give you free advice about a whole host of problems that people usually present to an agony aunt.
Why are these pages so popular?
Well one reason is that people cannot always talk to their family and friends about things. Maybe they live too far away, maybe they are not kind and helpful types, maybe they are the problem, maybe they are biased and would take over or interfere in things or tell you to do what suits them. It can also be quite embarrassing to talk to people you know about things and difficult to face them again afterwards. Maybe you know that your family or loved ones are not the best of people to give advice - perhaps they have messed up their own lives, maybe their wife or husband has left them and they cannot get a partner.
Another reason is that now that travel is far more common than it used to be with it being easy and quite cheap to travel from country to country it is more normal for your family and friends to be living a long way away or travelling about than it used to be. You might be able to talk to them on the phone or on skype or msn but that is not the same as sitting there with them face to face. And if you do not see them much you probably do not feel that you are really close and bonded with them. They do not understand you so well.
Fancy being an online web agony aunt expert yourself? Or just fancy pretending to be one? Want to practice on our problem pages set up specially for this? Go to Jobs and register with us properly then go to the special page. You can post to all of the fake problems and practice to your heart's content. You can also show us how good YOU are at being an advisor if you want to apply to us for a well paid job. We are the only site that employs people with no previous experience, training or qualifications to become paid agony aunts and give them a job if they are good enough.
When you pour out your heart to an agony aunt you KNOW for a fact that their main concern is YOU. You know they are always there for you, you know that they are very good at giving guidance and will not give daft suggestions. This is the best reason to consult one, consulting them personally is best but if you cannot do that through agony advice pages where you get help instantly for free! However, the truth is that sites that give no cost guidance are often not enough for someone who has a true problem. Hence the they tend to go onto the site, have a quick read, get frustrated that the qualified professionals are not instantly available (which as a bit of a fantasy after all) and then decide that it is important enough to consult them individually
in private. Their alternative is to make do with the "wisdom" they can get easily from people they know - which is rubbish usually and which also involves the risk of gossiping by them after or them talking about you behind your back to the person who caused the problem in the first place. Or you can write to one of the magazines or newspapers where they offer a free reply. But we warn you that they usually take about a month to respond and their responses are short and sweet - they would be - they are snowed under with people wanting free of charge guidance.
And if you write to say Deidre Sanders or one of the well known people it is not them that writes back, it is one of their hired helpers. Usually someone with the best of intentions but not much experience. Because as you are not paying they are not going to splash out for qualified experienced people. The reason they offer the free service is because they pick out the sexiest of the ones sent in and feature them. These are the letters that frustrated people read the publication for. And it is these people whoare the paying customers. And they spend most of their efforts on finding those and dealing with those.So if your situation is spicy and sexy such as "I fancy my mother in law" you have a fair chance they will select it and feature it - whether you like it or not. If you are asking them something boring about not being able to sleep at night, an ingrowing toenail giving you aches and pains or not being sure whether or not to get a divorce it will go undetected, they get loads like that. And very often they will only write back with the address of the Citizens Advice Bureau or some other organisation they suggest you go to, write to or phone. Agony columns.