For the past couple of years, I have, alas, been put in the middle of my parent's disagreements . Whenever they butt heads , they each come to me and vent how horrible the other is . Every time this happens , it makes me feel uncomfortable since it puts me in the middle of their fights , making me feel as if I have to choose sides . I have tried to talk to my siblings about this, but I am the only one my parents do this with, so I was unable to get any help from them . How should I go about getting this to stop ? I still live at home because I go to a college nearby . I feel like I need to move out in order to have peace of mind , but I can't leave yet .
Out of the Middle
Dear Out of the Middle
I think you already know that your parents' fights and their decisions have nothing to do with you. They sound like dissatisfied people who are afraid to confront their problems straight on, deal with each other and sort out their differences, one on one. It is much easier for them to avoid one another and burden you with things they don't say to each other.
You can’t solve their problems. Although they may not be aware they are upsetting you....you have to speak to them, together or separately. Choose a time when they are not arguing. They will be more reasonable and receptive if they are not angry.
Another option would be to write a letter to each of them about your feelings concerning the awkward position they put you in. Explain how upset and stressed being in the middle of this situation makes you feel; how it is affecting your personal and scholastic life. Make it clear that you love them both and will not take sides, nor do you wish to know about their personal issues.
If the situation does not improve, make an appointment with the student councilor at your school and get hands on advice. He may speak to your parents, if that is what you need.
Dear Maxy ,In the world of college students , the social life can get pretty tough . While on this journey, I have come across some kids who are more well-off than others . One of my friends continuously shows off what she has and spends large amounts of money in front of another friend who is not as fortunate . It has been bothering this friend of mine . I do not know whether I should confront my flashy friend or continue not saying anything when these moments occur . How do I approach this situation without losing my friend ?
Hush Her Up
Dear Hush Her Up ,
Do not be a bystander in this situation . By all means, speak up. Take your well-off friend aside and tell her that you are disturbed by the way she throws money around in front of other people. Although she may not be conscious of what she is doing, it is insensitive to people who are less privileged, particularly your friend, who has to live much more modestly . Inform her that her behavior makes everyone uncomfortable and the only thing it proves is that she has bad manners. You can turn the tables and ask her how she would feel if the situation was reversed...and she had to watch someone spending lavishly or wastefully, while she had to watch every penny.
I have a distant cousin whom I do not know well . Her family has asked for me to allow her to stay with me for two weeks over the summer . While I am all for helping out family , I am hesitant to agree to this , considering that I do not really know this girl well . She also does not speak much English . She is visiting the United States from Japan . It would be like allowing a stranger to live with me half a month . I am leaning toward not having her stay with me, mostly because I do not have time to show her around due to my job . How do I deal with this situation without causing any rifts in my family ? My brother stayed with her a year a while back when he visited Japan . Oh , it's complicated .
Taking Family In
Dear Taking Family In ,
The answer lies in your own letter : (My brother stayed with her a year, a while back, when he visited Japan). You probably know what I am going to say;
You should welcome your cousin with warm hospitality . Make it clear to her, before she comes, what your schedule is like, so that you can manage her expectations . Make a genuine effort to get to know her and don't worry about the language barrier ; those things generally work themselves out and can be a fun learning experience for both of you.
Make a schedule that allows for you to show her a few things and give her information on tourist attractions she can visit by herself. Arrange for a family member or someone else who speaks fluent Japanese to be on call if you need help . Other family members can also take a turn at entertaining her. It's only two weeks. Choose to enjoy this time .