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DEAR HARRIETTE: I feel like my good friend continually inconveniences me. She has no regard for my time. She has a ton of other friends she could bother to do favors for her, yet she seems to ask only me. If I don’t do these favors for her, she’ll give me attitude for days. I don’t like feeling taken advantage of. Should I say something about this? — Ask Someone Else
DEAR ASK SOMEONE ELSE: Stop jumping when she asks you to do something. Be willing to endure her attitude when you draw the line and create boundaries for yourself. Also, talk to your friend. You should definitely tell her that you are beginning to feel like she is taking advantage of your kindness. Give her concrete examples of what you mean. Explain that you are happy to help her out sometimes, but she is constantly asking you for favors, and it’s just too much. If she pushes back and says something like, “That’s what friends are for. Are you saying you don’t want to be my friend anymore?” counter with the point that being a friend is a reciprocal experience. Right now, this is pretty one-sided, with her asking you for favors and you fulfilling them.
In the end, your behavior will determine what happens next. You do not have to do everything this friend requests, so stop. If she stops acting like your friend, that means she wasn’t a true friend anyway.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently went on a mini vacation with three of my best friends. The vacation started out very relaxing, but soon one of our friends began to drink too heavily and needed to be babysat. This same friend continued to be the drunkest out of all of us throughout the course of the trip. None of us talked about the problem while we were together, but I feel like I should mention it now. Should I talk to her about her drinking? It’s possible that she behaved like that because she was finally able to let her hair down after quarantine, but she was still completely out of control. — Concerned
DEAR CONCERNED: You should have said something to this woman on your trip, but now will do. Sit down with her and ask her how she is doing. Tell her how worried you and your other friends were during your vacation because of her constant intoxication. Describe a few of the uncomfortable moments that occurred during your trip and what you and your friends had to do to care for her. Remind her how much you love her and that you are not judging her. Moreover, you want her to know that you think she needs some help. You believe she is developing a drinking problem. Ask her what she thinks. Do your best to get her to talk to you. Ask what’s going on in her life that may be prompting her to drink too much. Find out if she even realizes this is happening. As one of her best friends, let her know you have her back and that pointing out this behavior is how you are supporting her right now.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initia- tive to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to [email protected] om or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.