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Formerly Infatuated Friend Ready To Move On

Harriette Cole on

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been infatuated with someone for far too long -- years, actually. Recently, though, I have come to see this man for who he is: an opportunist, a user, someone who thinks mostly about himself. This hurts to realize, but it also helps me create some distance. I heard from him recently, and I wasn't as responsive as usual. He said that in the past I was always immediately quick to reply. That's true. He acted hurt. I've been hurt for years. Do I have that come-to-Jesus meeting that we probably need, or do I just let it go and accept that we are in different places? Do you think that if I tell him how he has taken me for granted for years, he will understand? -- Next Steps

DEAR NEXT STEPS: From your newfound perspective, your behavior is already showing this man that you have changed. It may benefit you both if you say out loud where you are. Tell him that you know you haven't stood up for yourself enough in your friendship. Don't fault him. Instead, say that you have turned a corner and want more in your life, especially from someone as dear to you as he is. Ask if he is ready to step up and be a better friend. If not, you should continue to be reserved. Don't allow space for him to use you anymore. You may be pleasantly surprised that he makes a bigger effort to think about you, but it is important to remember that people are who they are. He's not likely to transform into a different person overnight, but his efforts may come to match your needs if he truly cares about you.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am growing closer to my brother now that we are getting older. It is really nice -- and somewhat surprising. A few years ago, I honestly thought we wouldn't talk again, because every time we would communicate, it would turn into an argument. I don't know why it was so bad or even what specifically happened to make things better now. I am curious, though. I don't think I am doing anything differently. What I see is that he is being kinder to me and far less judgmental. Do I bring this up to him and ask why he had a change of heart toward me? I don't want to start a fight again, but I am curious. -- Turning the Page

DEAR TURNING THE PAGE: Why spoil the moment? No need to rip off a scab while the wound is still healing. It will be much more productive for the two of you to rebuild your relationship naturally. Who cares why he has had a change of heart? In the end, being able to have your brother in your life in a positive way is making you happy. It sounds like he is enjoying it, too. Focus on the present moment. Find more ways in which you can authentically connect with each other. If ever past sensitivities come up, allow the conversation to follow its natural course, but resist the desire to place blame or to criticize. Just be in the moment.

 

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

Copyright 2024, Harriette Cole


COPYRIGHT 2024 Andrews McMeel Syndication. This feature may not be reproduced or distributed electronically, in print or otherwise without the written permission of Andrews McMeel Syndication.

 

 

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