I didn’t start this as a journal, because that’s what my FB is for. But no one says I can’t do both. And “they” said I need to talk more, so I am. Here, for now.
DEAR DEPRESSED: One way would be to be more honest with your friends and fake it less. If they are good friends, they’ll be willing to listen and give you an honest perspective or the benefit of their life experience. That’s what friends do for each other.
You are lucky to be vital and active, because it means your world doesn’t have to shrink any more than you want it to. Because you say you’re lonely, perhaps it’s time to consider enlarging your circle of acquaintances.
The loss of your sister is probably what started your re-evaluation of your life and choices, and that’s normal. But please remember that regret is the cancer of life. You can’t change the past, and you mustn’t allow it to cloud your future. While you may be having second thoughts about choices you made when you were younger, the lessons you learned from them have made you the person you are today.
DEAR ABBY: I think our culture is severely lacking when we don’t teach our children how to politely and non-aggressively stand up for themselves when the need arises. People suffer in all sorts of relationships — work, family, friends — because they’re afraid of confrontation. Raising a subject that may be embarrassing and risking angering someone isn’t fun, but it’s communication.
If you have a problem, large or small, address it in private with the individual. And if someone tries to talk to you about something you’d rather not hear, be an adult, listen and respond civilly instead of reacting childishly.
We teach children to respect authority, be kind to others and be leaders — but we don’t teach them healthy confrontation, which is something we all encounter in our lives. — TALKING IT OUT IN INDIANA
DEAR TALKING IT OUT: I agree with you. The kind of communication you’re describing is a skill. It requires not only a strong ego on the part of the “confronter,” but also tact and diplomacy. And the “confrontee” needs to have the ability to listen without responding with hostility to what is being said.