Reader Doesn't Like Best Friend's Music
DEAR HARRIETTE: I truly don't like my best friend's music. I'm a very honest person. Every time he asks me for feedback on a new song he's dropping, I give it to him and I tell the truth; usually, I don't like it. He thinks that I'm hating or being negative on purpose, but the truth is that I just don't care for his music. I think he can do a lot better, and the music he comes out with is annoying and mediocre. Everyone else around him says that his music is great, but I think they're just not keeping it real with him. I am scared that he can't handle my blatant honesty and he's going to write me off as a hater. What should I do? -- Music Critic
DEAR MUSIC CRITIC: You have stated your case to your friend. Stop repeating yourself. If he asks you again for your opinion on his music, resist bad-mouthing it. Instead, give him credit for sticking with it and following his dream.
For the sake of your friendship, the next time he asks for your opinion, you might want to refuse.
DEAR HARRIETTE: Nowadays, when I chat with my friends and family, I can't help but talk about my job all the time. I can feel people around me getting annoyed, but I can't help it. It's the most interesting part of my life and pretty much the only thing that I do with my time. My question is, what else would I even talk about? I don't date anymore, and since COVID-19 hit, I stopped going anywhere or doing anything besides work -- so what should I do? I don't want to become the boring, work-obsessed friend, but I literally have nothing else going for myself. I have tried asking about my friends and their jobs when we chat, but the question always comes back to me. What should I do? -- Work-Obsessed
DEAR WORK-OBSESSED: You are the doing best you can. Give yourself a break. You can attempt to listen more, as you say you are doing. Continue to ask people about their lives and experiences. Generally, people do like to talk about themselves.
When it comes to your turn to talk, talk about what you care about. If that's your work, so be it. If you choose, you can admit that right now, work is all you have. You pray that when things open up and you are able to be back out in the world, you can find a partner or cultivate new friendships. It's OK for you to be yourself and talk about your life as it is. Just make sure you do not monopolize the conversation. No matter what the topic, you don't want to take up too much oxygen. Pay attention to the flow of communication. Ask a question when it seems like it's time for the conversation to change.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)
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