DEAR ABBY: I have a colleague with whom I share an office. We are cordial, but not friends.
The problem is that most of the day she chews gum with her mouth open, and occasionally she lets it go. The noises she makes are extremely disturbing and disgust me. I’ve started wearing headphones and listening to music as often as possible to muffle her sounds, but it feels a bit rude and isn’t practical for all day.
I’m about to snap at her. Is there a friendly way I can alert her to the problem without disrupting our working relationship?
ABOUT TO POP
BEST POP: Have a nice chat with this colleague and ask her to let you know when she’s going to take a piece of gum so you can put on your headphones. It’s better than letting your cork pop out in frustration.
DEAR ABBY: I have been with my boyfriend for 11 years. In all that time, he has never asked me if I’m okay if I’m injured. I got used to it, you could say.
Well I recently lost the ability to walk and ended up in a nursing home for rehabilitation. My friend would come to visit but would never ask about the progress. Besides, when I showed him my progress, he didn’t act cheerful.
Now I’m home, and he treats me like garbage. I do not know why. When I brought it up, he said he didn’t know why.
Should I end this relationship so I can find someone who will support me and help me get back to 100%? Or should I stay and work on this relationship? I am less and less happy every day.
PAIN IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR PAIN: Your 11 year old friend is not a caretaker. That he doesn’t ask if you are hurt or hurt shows that he lacks empathy.
If I had to make a guess I’d think he’s treating you like garbage right now because he’s mad at you for needing his help and support.
No amount of work on this will fix what is lacking in his character. Unless you want to be treated like this for the rest of your life, get rid of him.
DEAR ABBY: I am friends with a man in his late 70’s, 20 years older than me. He is an independent spirit that lives alone.
Lately I’ve noticed his strength and balance diminishing, and I know falling is serious for seniors. I have shared my concerns with him, but he is proud and will not change his habits.
Can you recommend a way I can constructively talk to him about my concerns?
YOUNGER GUY IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR YOUNGER GUY: You have already tried to discuss this with your friend. If you do, you may be able to reach him narrate him you have noticed his balance problems and that there is help for them if he tells his doctor what happened.
A physiotherapist may be able to help him solve his problem, but only if he asks.
Dear Abby was written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.