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DEAR HARRIETTE: I’ll be moving across the country soon, and my female best friend really wants to make the drive with me for our last little adventure together. I have to transport some heavy items, and my friend and I aren’t the strongest or the most agile. I can’t afford movers at the moment, so it would just be a move-in crew of two. I have a large, strong male friend who offered to make the drive with me and help me move instead. I can bring only one person. I could really use my male friend’s help, but there’s nothing I want more than to spend this trip with my girl best friend. What should I do? — Tough Decision
DEAR TOUGH DECISION: Now is a time to be practical. You need to bring your strong friend with you for this move. When you reach your destination, it will not be fun or effective to be unpacking with someone who does not have the physical strength or stamina to do the job, especially when you have an alternative before you.
Talk to your friend and explain the situation. Think about another time when you might be able to have an adventure with her. Just because you are moving, it does not mean the end of your interactions with each other. Position it like that, and start planning for your next special time together.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My girlfriend recently picked up a smoking habit while living abroad, and she asked me to hold her accountable and push her to quit. However, whenever I bring it up or remind her of her goal to quit, she gets angry with me. I’m not sure what to do — I don’t want her to keep getting angry with me, but I also don’t want to stand by and watch her harm herself with cigarettes. What’s the best way to handle this? — Accountability
DEAR ACCOUNTABILITY: Smoking is an addiction. While your friend probably does truly want to quit, her willpower isn’t strong enough for her to accomplish her goal. It is also true that it is not your job to save your friend. Schedule a time to talk to her face to face. Remind her of her request for you to help her quit smoking. Describe to her the times that you have made the effort and how she has reacted. While you want more than anything for her to stop this nasty habit, tell her you are unwilling to suffer her abuse as you try to help.
Ask her again how serious she is about quitting. If she remains interested, recommend that she see her doctor for medical strategies that may help her to quit. From gum to the patch to medications, there are many ways to curb the desire. Ultimately it is going to be up to her and her will to fight this awful habit. Let her know that you will help only if she can communicate with you in a respectful way. Otherwise, she is on her own.