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DEAR HARRIETTE: My sister has been studying abroad this semester. She’ll be turning 21 soon. For months I’ve been planning to visit her in Europe for her birthday. I’ve already paid for my ticket and planned an elaborate weekend of birthday festivities for her. We’ve been arguing a little bit lately, and the other night she said something particularly hurtful to me. She hasn’t apologized, and we haven’t spoken since. My feelings are so hurt that I am now considering canceling my trip. Am I overreacting? — Change of Plans
DEAR CHANGE OF PLANS: You need to communicate with your sister now. Reach out to her and schedule a video call so that you can be virtually face-to-face. Talk to her about your recent blow up and how it made you feel. Note that you two have been radio silent since that conversation. Point out what seems obvious to you — she hurt your feelings.
Tell her the truth: You are reconsidering coming to visit her. As much as you have looked forward to it, you are uncomfortable given how she left things, having hurt your feelings and still not apologized. Check in to see what’s on her mind and how she feels about what happened between you. She may have a different opinion; find out. Talk through this challenging moment and decide together if you should take the trip.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend has been working hard to build her brand from the ground up. I’m so proud of her, but some days she acts as if she’s too important to hang out with me. One time I literally had to make an appointment to speak to her. Am I taking this too personally? Should I lay off? — Scheduling Calls With BFF
DEAR SCHEDULING CALLS WITH BFF: I think you may be taking this too personally. You said that your friend is working hard to build her brand. That means she is super busy. To build something from scratch takes intense focus and commitment. That means she doesn’t have much free time, if any at all, right now. This doesn’t mean that she will never have time again. At this moment, she is consumed by her work.
Rather than bemoaning her inability to be available to you, support your friend. If you want to spend more time with her, find out if there is anything you can do to help her develop her brand. That may be the only way that she will have time to spend with you. But even then, it would need to be about the work, not your friendship.
Apart from that, having to schedule an appoint- ment to see your friend makes sense to me. It means that she cares enough to want to ensure that she can show up to see you. Putting you on her calendar is not a diss. It’s an indication that she values you.
Stop pouting and start understanding more. Be a good friend by being patient and supportive.
Harriette Cole is a lifestyl- ist and founder of DREAM- LEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharri- firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.