Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ask Maxy

 Dear Maxy,
I used o be best friends with a girl in middle school , and our moms became close friends as a result .Years later , we have grown apart , but we are still close friends . I am happy my mother has a confidante and partner in crime , but both mothers do not seem to understand that their daughters do not share he same bond . They think setting us on "play dates" of sorts will work to rekindle our friendship . We grew apart because of a difference in values and interests , and i am happy with the current amount of friends I have . I am always cordial to the daughter when I see her , but I find this maternal meddling frustrating . Is there anyway to politely tell my mother to get over the end of my middle school friendship ?
No Old Friends
Dear No Old Friends,
The direct approach is the best  approach . Talk to your  mother and tell her  that you are happy that she  and  the other  mom have  become  so close . Then point out that the same is not true  for you  and her  daughter and that is OK . The  two of you do not  share  the  same  values , interests or  friends , so neither of  you is  trying  to cultivate  a bond . Always soften any point you make to your mother by telling her you love her and appreciate all she does for you. But make it clear that she should live and let live. After all, you are a big girl now.

Dear Maxy ,
I have a phobia of being on boats and my family has known about it for years . I get anxiety and panic at the thought of being on a boat . My other's new boyfriend has three boats and is in love with the sea . She constantly talks about how often we will be on boats in the summer . When I told her I would not be going , she decided I act this way because I get seasickness . It's incredibly frustrating to me that she trivializes my phobia and thinks a tablet can cure it . How do I make my mother realize I have a reason to not go on the boat while politely declining her boyfriend's invitations ?
Mal Voyage
Dear Mal Voyage ,
Your  mother is excited  about her life with her new beau and she isn't being sensitive to your problems at the moment . You know yourself better than anyone. Sit down with her in a quiet moment and tell her you need to talk to her about something important to you . Explain that you do not get seasick . Instead, you absolutely dread the idea of  going on the water in a boat.
There are two phobias at work here, Hydrophobia is fear of drowning in water...and this is tied to your fear of dying, which we all have in one form or another. The other phobia is called Amaxophobia, and this is a fear of being in certain forms of moving vehicles. I think a boat would qualify as a vehicle.
So, fear of dying in water and fear of being in an accident or situation you cannot control adds up to a fairly serious phobia that your mom needs to be informed about. Show her this letter, if you think it will help.
Also, you need to address your fears to help yourself. Try to think back to when you first became aware of this fear; what was the trigger? Identifying the cause will better help you to understand why you feel this way. Perhaps you witnessed, read or heard about somebody drowning or some other water/ boat related trauma, and this has stayed in your subconscious. Write down your thoughts/feelings about drowning and boating accidents and see if any patterns emerge. If you can't seem to get a handle on your fear, it would help to talk to a councilor who is an expert in phobias. The advantage of doing that is that your fear will not grow worse, as phobias tend to do if they go unaddressed. And in fact, you may overcome it.
Ask your mom to respect your wish to stay on land this summer .

Dear Maxy ,
I have recently made the decision to become a vegan due to ethical and healt reasons . Even though completely changing your diet is a difficult thing to do , the hardest thing has been communicating with other people about my new lifestyle . It has made it hard to go out for occasions with friends , due to the difficulty finding something to eat on the menu and constantly having to explain my new eating habits . Every time I have to explain my choice to become a vegan to others , I feel as if I am offending them on their food choices . I have enjoyed being a vegan so far and loves what it stands for , but it has caused such a rift in my social life that I do not know ho much longer I can keep it up .
How do I deal with others while maintaining my veganism ? 
Different Eater
Dear Different Eater ,
First of all, congratulations on making a personal, lifestyle choice and trying to stick to your principles. Stay with it if you truly believe in it. Your friends and family will gradually adjust to your choices.
In order to make your dining experience a little easier, before you agree to go to a particular restaurant, call and check out the  menu to see if there are any vegan offerings . On other occasions, suggest to your dining companions, restaurants  that cater to a broad  palate, so both you and they can enjoy the meal . Do not feel obligated to explain your food choices to anyone. Do you question theirs?
To reduce the amount of discussion you have in front of others about vegan menu options, you could speak to the waiter in advance, separately, so that you already know what options are available to you . When  you are  asked  about  your  new  way of  eating,  just say that it works for you. Bon appetit !

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