Dear Feelings Doctor: I have a friend who I drive to work with every day. He always takes calls when I’m riding with him in the car. He doesn’t tell the people on the phone I’m there, and I’ve overheard a lot of personal conversations. It makes me uncomfortable. I’ve told him it bothers me, but he’s just fine with it. What should I do?
— William in Santa Barbara
Dear William: Ouch. That’s kind of uncomfortable for sure! Sounds like you need to mention that to your friend again, and perhaps again.
Explain to him the stress that it puts on your relationship, and if the two of you are solid buddies, hopefully he will get the message. If not, it may be time to take the bus. Setting boundaries with others is a constant; if you don’t do it now, it will keep coming around again. You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop and what you reinforce.
Dear Feelings Doctor: The new year is just around the corner. I know I’m going to make the same resolutions I always make — to get in shape and live a healthier, happier life. Can you give me a few tips to help me turn this year into the one where I really do that? Thanks.
— The Same Old Me
Dear Same: This year what will truly make the difference in all those promises and resolutions that you have made in the past is this: take action!
One baby step at a time in the direction of your goal, and guess what? A fresh start just happened! After the fresh start comes a pattern. After the pattern of healthier choices comes a habit, and before you even have time to realize it, you have made the change that you’ve wanted for so long.
Here’s a toast to a promising new year and a new you.
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Imagine This ...
Music: the other nonaddictive, mood-altering non-substance. Ask your doctor if music is right for you. Common side effects include but are not limited to: uncontrolled head bobbing, toe tapping, selective hearing impairment and persistent melody flashbacks. Happy Friday.