Life Advice



Friend's Flakiness Rubs Reader The Wrong Way

Harriette Cole on

DEAR HARRIETTE: An old friend of mine reached out to try to reconnect with me. She apologized for our estrangement and told me how much she's missed our friendship. I was honestly excited to hear from her, as it's been years since we last spoke, and I've pretty much moved on from any negative feelings I once felt toward her. We were supposed to catch up in person a few weeks ago, but she keeps canceling on me. We previously stopped talking because I felt like she would never really show up for me in the way I would show up for her. Could her flakiness be a sign that she hasn't changed? -- Flaky Friend

DEAR FLAKY FRIEND: Take a step back and do an inventory on your past relationship. Why exactly did you stop being friends? Jog your memory to determine specifically what happened. Though you should have no interest in harboring resentment or negative feelings from the past, you do have the right and responsibility to take care of yourself by recalling what happened. Her flakiness is surely a sign that she does not prioritize your relationship today, regardless of what happened in the past. Now is the time for you to remember that she reached out to you to get back together. You have nothing left to do in this situation. Live your life. If she decides to reach out again, respond if you are available.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I lost my last job because I wasn't honest about my criminal record. I finally found a new job after months of searching. I am understandably hesitant about disclosing my criminal record to my new employer. They did not ask during the application or interview process, but I do not want any surprises. When and how should I tell my new employer about my past? -- Hidden Past

DEAR HIDDEN PAST: Read the employee handbook to determine whether you are required to reveal your past to your employer. Some companies do not have a policy about one's past, including criminal history. If that is the case, you do not have an obligation to tell them. If, however, you believe that your history may have a direct impact on the work that you are doing, you must reveal it. Otherwise, just do your job. Be excellent. Provide no reason for anyone to consider you anything other than exemplary at what you do. If your past ever does come up, be honest and admit to your criminal history. Then add that you did not volunteer this information because your past does not have an impact on this role, and you were not required to reveal it. Make it clear, though, that you didn't lie. Now that you have been asked, you have been forthcoming. If needed, set up a conversation with your parole officer or another officer of the court who was part of your case who can vouch for your character.



(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

Copyright 2022, Harriette Cole



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