THE WAY OF HARRIETTO: All my friends and I have children of the same age. So many of their experiences are similar.
I have found that whenever one of the children is not doing well, one of the parents is quick to tell us what his “perfect” son has done, which ours could emulate. It makes you sick.
Before this guy joined the conversation (we share a group text), we all felt quite comfortable sharing our fears and situations. Nobody judged or bragged about their children. We’ve really helped each other through difficult, difficult times.
This guy and his bloated ego are destroying our group of friends. How can we reclaim our core group?
Throw him out!
Dear THROW IT AWAY: This may sound cool, but as a group, you can decide to create a new text group and not include it. It’s really that simple. If the rest of your group feels the same way – that this man is destructive and has negatively affected the group’s intimacy – get him out of it.
You don’t have to tell him anything at all. Just deactivate this group and create a new one.
Understand that someone in the group may be telling him something. This is fine too. Perhaps he should know that his selfish way of involving the group was bad for people.
THE WAY OF HARRIETTO: My parents are in an argument and have been going on for a long time. I usually sneak out of the room when they start with each other, but things have gotten worse lately.
I live at home this year as I haven’t found a job yet after graduating from college during the pandemic. I feel terrible that I’m not independent yet, and even worse, that I’m stuck in the middle of a firestorm between my parents.
Often I just hide in my room. But the constant arguments drive me crazy and hinder my motivation to do something positive for myself.
How can I get out of this routine without interfering with their interests? They regularly try to get me to take a side. I don’t want to be part of their drama at all.
DEAR Come OUT: You have to make a plan for your life with a timeline. Focus all your energy on preparing for success. Let your planning support your ability to experience the negative energy that you witness between your parents.
Find out what you want to do now and in the long run. What work can you do right now that will generate money for an independent life? What job vacancies are available in your field of interest? What are the prices of apartments in your area? Do you know anyone who might be a good roommate? Work hard to answer these questions so you can be prepared to make your move.
Check back monthly to evaluate your progress. When you reach the deadline you set, do something.
Meanwhile, be nice to both parents. Do not express your opinion about their positions or behavior. You can let them know that their constant arguments make you uncomfortable. Otherwise, stay away.
Harriette Cole is a lifestyle stylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. Questions can be sent to email@example.com or to Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
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