Dear Feelings Doctor: Please give me your sage advice with my dear women friends. We are so close and have shared years of experiences with each other and our families. Lately all they do at our lunches — all five of them — is GOSSIP!
Please tell me what to say. I don't want to be around it anymore. Help me stop the madness!
— Enough Is Enough in Montecito
Dear Enough: Let’s face it. Gossip may seem fun at the time — you giggle through someone else’s bad haircut or silly mistake they have made — and then, the merry-go-round comes right back to you. Gossip is a swift ride to a dead-end road! To put it gently, “Why seek your friends with time to kill? Seek them with a passion for living and a joy for loving!”
Explain to them your feelings about the type of hurtful discussions that have been filling your lunches lately. Perhaps pointing out to them the shift in pleasant conversation that has given rise to a negative vibe will help everyone get back to what gatherings are really for — making memories that help us feel better about who we are and what we are doing in this world. Not causing harm requires staying awake.
Dear Feelings Doctor: I have a neighbor who is struggling and raising three children on her own. I would like to give her some things that I know she could use, but I don't want to step out of line in any way. How shall I go about giving to her? She is a very respectable woman, and our casual relationship is a nice one. Thank you.
— Stacy in Santa Barbara
Dear Stacy: Your sentiments toward your neighbor are very nice to hear. What would be a casual approach to open this discussion would go something like this: “I have been doing some spring cleaning and have several things that I need to let go of and make room for others. If there is anyone you know who could use them, please let me know.”
This is just a nice, unassuming way of opening that door, just in case she feels like saying yes or no, it’s up to her. I’m wondering how old her children are? Perhaps your lawn needs mowing!
Your kindness is a welcome treat ... blessings.
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