Neighbor Wants too Much Information
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DEAR HARRIETTE: My neighbor is super nosy and always oversteps with her questions about my personal life. She’s a nice woman, but her questions about my life and curiosity about what’s going on in my home is a bit annoying. I caught her staring into my window one time as she walked past it on her way to work. On another occasion, she couldn’t stop asking me about every single one of the guests I’d had over since moving in. How do I respectfully tell her to mind her business? — Nosy Neighbor
DEAR NOSY NEIGHBOR: While remaining cordial, you have to reinforce your privacy. Start by closing your curtains so that she cannot see inside your home. Sadly, you need to make your space seem less welcoming – – to her — so that it is harder for her to access information about you. When you see this woman, you can greet her, but keep your banter to the simplest of pleasantries. If she asks you about your life, your friends or anything else that you do not want to discuss, simply do not answer her. Just because she asks you a question does not mean that you are required to respond. This may seem rude, but it is effective. If you literally stop engaging her when she crosses a line, over time she may stop crossing it.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am in a friend group consisting of seven girls. We love to go shopping and thrifting together, which is so fun. I’m more overweight than the rest of my friends, so it becomes uncomfortable when I have to pull a bigger size than them in stores, or when I can’t share clothes with them. I have also been stressed out recently, so my acne has gotten pretty bad. I’m trying to learn to love my body, but it’s just so hard. Do you have any tips? — Hating My Body
DEAR HATING MY BODY: It can be hard to feel comfortable in your own skin when you are physically different from your friends. What’s key here is knowing that your friends love you for who you are. They already know that you can’t swap clothes the way that they can. It’s OK. That doesn’t mean that you can’t shop together. Embrace your curves, and look for clothing that showcases your assets. When you adopt the attitude that there is a perfect garment there for you, it will be easier to find it. Think of full-figured women and girls who are confident. Remember them when you are feeling a bit low.
Start tending to your body more. Stand in front of the mirror and begin to adore yourself. Tell yourself that you love yourself just the way you are. Practice looking in the mirror and offering yourself love and acceptance. Point out your assets to yourself. Compliment yourself on something every day — your hairstyle, your sweater, your curves — something. As you begin to see yourself for who you are and look for the beauty in you, it will be easier for you to take care of yourself.
Develop a skin care routine that will help with your acne. Also pay attention to what you eat and drink. Make adjustments over time that will promote better health. And don’t stop hanging with your girls!
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist 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.