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Dear Harriette

Overcommitting leads to exhaustion

DEAR HARRIETTE: I feel like I can never say no when I am asked to do something. This is getting to be a problem because I feel like I am stretched too thin. My job is stressful, and the stakes are high right now. As a result, my boss is piling on more and more…

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Friend demands apology after being kicked out of party

DEAR HARRIETTE: I kicked my friend out of my birthday party for being too rowdy, and now she expects an apology from me. I believe I am the one who deserves an apology. She was ruining my special day. She showed up drunk before the night even started and caused trouble immediately. She was so…

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Family discord arises around dementia care

DEAR HARRIETTE: My mother-in-law has dementia, and she recently suffered a massive stroke. She is not doing well. We have hired around-the-clock care for her and are even paying my husband’s sister to lend an extra hand. As my mother-in-law’s condition worsens, my sister-in-law and the nurse we hired have had to take on more…

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New employee struggles to learn new technology

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am having so much trouble keeping up at my job. I am new here with lots of skills that are needed, but what I don’t have is hurting me. I have limited facility with technology. I find it impossible to keep track of ever-changing passwords and struggle to use certain devices and…

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Employee does not accept feedback

DEAR HARRIETTE: One of my employees cannot take constructive criticism or own up to her mistakes at all, no matter how minor. She is a great employee, but every time I attempt to correct her on her mistakes, she gets defensive and argues with me. I am not sure if this is an ego problem…

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Friend with memory loss may need support

DEAR HARRIETTE: A friend of mine has been telling me for a while that she is losing her memory. I spent the weekend with her, and now I know what she means. She asked me the same questions over and over again. I would answer them, and a couple of hours later she would ask…

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Wealth disparity need not hamper friendship

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been spending time with some new friends who are kind and generous. Whenever we go out, they pay for meals, which is nice because we are not rich and they are. They never make us feel any kind of way about it, either. What we do to show our appreciation is…

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Vulnerable moment leads to moment of doubt

DEAR HARRIETTE: I spent time with some good friends I hadn’t hung out with in years. Over the course of the weekend, we had some pretty serious conversations that were healing, in a way. We were able to talk about some things that had been on our chest, so to speak, but never resolved. Even…

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Younger co-worker tried to boss around peer

DEAR HARRIETTE: One of my younger co-workers — who has no authority or rank over me — attempted to boss me around the other day. He told me to “get back to work and make better use of my time” while I was talking to another co-worker on my break. It was uncalled for, and…

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Parent worried that daughter has started biting nails

DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter used to have a bad habit of biting her nails down to the skin. Over the years, she has done much better, which is why it is worrying me now that she is back to this behavior. I don’t know what is going on with her, but I’m sure that something…

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