DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a cousin who is getting up in age and who seems to be incredibly lonely. She calls me several times a week, obsessing over one thing or another. She is retired, and I am still working. I do not have time to listen to her endless worries about this or that, but I know that she needs a lifeline.
Though she is in her late ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a new assistant who is a recent college graduate. She is eager to do a good job and has a positive attitude, but she is messing up big-time. I give her clear instructions for her tasks, yet she keeps missing important details. When I point out her mistakes, she says she hears me, but so far, she continues to make the same ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a contentious relationship with the other most senior leader in my company. I know that the two of us need to get along in order for us to have harmony at work, but something about this guy rubs me the wrong way. His tone is abrasive. He is way too playful, and his timing is terrible. I am sensitive and somewhat serious. I...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am an introverted woman who is dating a socialite. Surprisingly, we complement each other well. We hardly ever argue, and it seems we have an endless number of things in common. The only issue that I'm having is adjusting to his extroverted lifestyle. I get anxious being around large groups of people I don't know, and I have no...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: My girlfriend and I ended up in the middle of a chaotic fight at a bar the other night. When things started to get too rowdy, I asked her if we could leave, but she insisted that we stay and continue on with our evening as if nothing was wrong. One thing led to another, and she ended up in a full-blown physical altercation with ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I get along well with a woman who has hurt a lot of my friends in the past. Although it happened decades ago, my friends made a common enemy out of her and haven't let it go since. I believe that it's time for them to move on. I have kept my friendship with this woman a secret to spare my friends' feelings, but the longer I hide ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: My contract wasn't renewed at my job, and I have no backup plan. I'm devastated. This was my dream job. I know that there was plenty of room for improvement on my end, but they really made it seem that I would have at least another six months to learn and grow within the company. Severance pay was not in my contract, so I have no...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I just got together with an old friend. As we were talking, I complained about the quality of my marriage -- not terribly, but I was honest about what things are like these days. She reminded me that I had said something almost identical to her more than 20 years ago. That was chilling. Before I had my child, I was upset about my...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently put myself out there and started dating again. I have been a single mom for most of my son's life. He is now a junior in college, so I thought it was time. I have used a reputable dating app. Already I have met two interesting guys, but it hasn't turned out very well. In each case, the guy acted like he was head over ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: A man that I met on a dating app is much shorter than he let on in his dating profile. I feel that it isn't right that he wasn't honest about his true height. We ended up hitting it off very well, but it still bothers me that he lied to me during the chatting process. Is it rude of me to mention this? -- Deceptive Date
DEAR ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: My co-worker cannot do a single thing correctly. I have had to take the helm for him time and time again, but I only do it because I like him so much. He is a really sweet person, but he is not a competent worker. He is simply not capable of doing the work he is required to do. I've considered having a talk with my boss about ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: When you first look at me, you probably cannot tell that I am biracial. I am definitely white passing. I have very fair skin and straight hair. I don't really feel the need to tell new people in my life that I am half-Black unless it comes up naturally in conversation.
The other day I was having a conversation with a new friend,...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I honestly feel that I have been bending over backward to make my partner happy, but they haven't done the same for me. I realize that I am constantly asking them what they want from our relationship, but they never reciprocate. Should I be worried that my partner has not asked me what I want out of the relationship? There are so...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: Many of my friends are about to be empty nesters, including me. My son is graduating from high school and moving away for school. The same goes for the kids of three of my closest friends. We are all in a bit of a panic about what life will be like after our kids are gone. We are all married, but that doesn't necessarily mean ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend is struggling in life, but she didn't bother to tell me. I recently met up with her for lunch and found out that she had been evicted from her home. When I asked her why she didn't tell me that she couldn't afford to pay her rent, she said she had been too embarrassed to say anything.
I wish she had said something to ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I don't have a close group of friends or a social circle. I don't normally care, but the friends that I do have all have their own groups of friends outside of me. I am not sure if I would be happier with or without a go-to social circle, but I wouldn't even know where to start. How can I find a social circle as an adult? -- Want...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: Is it bad that I want my friends to pick a side after my breakup? I started dating my best friend years ago. We worked so well because we had all of the same friends. Dating came naturally to us. Now that we have broken up, it definitely makes hanging out in the same friend group awkward. I think that to avoid the discomfort, our...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been with my girlfriend for almost a year now. She recently told me that she still has a lot of the gifts that an ex-boyfriend gave her. I got a lot of pushback from her when I told her that it made me uncomfortable that she still has the gifts. I think that her unwillingness to part with them may signify an emotional ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a self-employed hairdresser. A little while ago, I gave an acquaintance a new-client discount because I am good friends with the girl who referred me to her. Not long after, she complained to our mutual friend that I overcharged her for my services. What I charge is very reasonable considering what other hairdressers in the ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: My child has duped me, and it doesn't feel good. She has always been an excellent student -- up until this semester. One class in particular has been tough for her, and her grades reflect her struggle. I have asked her about it repeatedly, including trying to find out if we should get a tutor to help her do better. She has ...Read more