Life Advice

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Health

Reducing Spam Mail

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: With this pandemic and people out of work, this might be a good way to get a few people back to work AND to save a ton of money. Both small and large businesses need to purge their mailing lists. I get mail from places I may have sent for a catalog years ago but haven't done business with them for many years. I have even cut off mailing labels and returned them at my expense to companies asking to be removed from their mailing list, but I continue to receive their mailings. And yes, I am registered with www.catalogchoice.org and https://www.dmachoice.org.

Think of all the trees that are killed. Think of all the extra trash in the landfills. Purging the list could be as simple as reviewing their records and deleting all addresses of people who have not done business with them in some number of years. Or, perhaps send a postcard asking if the person wants to continue receiving the mailing. If so, they call the company. If they do not hear from the customer after a period of time, then they should delete the name. Let's stop the waste. Purge! -- Carol Lynn, The Villages, Florida

Dear Carol: This is a smart idea. And it would be fantastic if your plea reached the eyes and changed the minds of the bigwigs in a position to do something about this from the top on down. As it is, your letter includes two great tips -- Catalog Choice and DMAChoice. One more resource to add to that list is Opt Out, which prevents companies from sending you unsolicited credit card and insurance offers. To use this handy service, visit www.optoutprescreen.com or call 1-888-567-8688. The company notes that deaf and hard of hearing consumers can opt-out by calling 7-1-1 and referring the relay operator to 1-800-821-9631.

Dear Annie: When I read the letter from "My Mom's Death Is Causing My Friend Grief," I just had to write. I experienced a similar incident with my brother's mother-in-law, "Carol." My father died several years ago, and after the funeral, Carol took me aside to ask for my thoughts on why her youngest daughter was angry with her. I was an emotional wreck that day, having just buried my father, so I didn't have the wherewithal to walk away. So, I endured Carol's lamentations for well over an hour in total disbelief.

I told my therapist about this incident a few days later, and he said it sounded as though Carol suffered from a classic case of narcissistic personality disorder. NPD is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance. They are usually oblivious to the feelings, wishes and needs of other people. When I heard this, it was as if a lightbulb went off in my head: It explained so much about Carol's behavior throughout the years!

I have found that knowing (or suspecting) that someone who has hurt you may have NPD can help lessen the negative impacts of their behavior. -- Dale

 

Dear Dale: Thank you for this insightful letter. Knowledge really is power, and I agree that sometimes simply having such a context for someone's behavior can help you to not take it personally. I am so sorry for the loss of your father.

Dear Annie: There is an old saying by veterinarians: If you own one dog, you own a whole dog. If you own two dogs, you own half a dog. If you own three dogs or more, you don't own any dogs. -- Veterinarian

Dear Veterinarian: Your letter made me laugh. It is true that dogs know how to entertain each other. Thanks for your input.

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"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

 

 

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