Tag Archives: friendship advice

Dear John: Placard Abuse By Friend Irks Her

I have a friend who uses her elderly mother’s handicap placard to park in handicap spots even when her mother is not in the car. My friend is able-bodied. I think this is wrong. Handicap parking spots should be reserved for people who truly need them. When she offers to drive me somewhere, how should I handle it? — UNSURE IN CLEVELAND

Dear Unsure,

It is wrong. It is also illegal. If she offers you a ride somewhere you need to speak up and voice your opinion. Other than that, take public transit (if possible) or use rideshare apps (again, if possible) to reach your destinations. Or, you could just call the police on her – but then that could result in her losing the placard when her mom is the one who actually needs it.

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“Jaw With John” – Filter Your Friend’s “Alternative Facts”

An older friend and I have exchanged emails since last spring. Hers have been mostly political and disparaging toward minorities. I asked her to please not send this stuff since we have opposite opinions on the subject, and I don’t plan to change my mind. I enjoy our in-person talks because they are nothing like the emails she sends, which are “forwards” somebody else has put together.

I quit reading them, but is there a way to politely stop her from disseminating nasty propaganda? I have tried fact-checking and sending corrections to her and to those on the long list of people she has sent these emails. It doesn’t work. — Fact Checker

Dear Fact Checker,

There’s this wonderful new invention called the SPAM folder! You can filter alllllllllll her messages to that folder and then you can delete them all at once and be done with it!

Listen, there are some people who don’t want “facts” they want “alternative facts” that cover up the real truth and prop up a certain ideal situation that they think they’re living in…when it is in fact denial of the actual truth. Filter her messages and be done with them.

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“Jaw With John” -Friends Have Pregnant Pause In Friendship

“I used to be very good friends with a colleague. We regularly socialized outside of work, and I was a frequent guest in her home.

This all changed, however, when (in my supervisory role) I followed work protocol and notified our human resources department that she was pregnant.

Even as other colleagues knew she was pregnant, my friend was furious that I informed HR. I don’t think I did anything wrong, but to keep the peace, I apologized to her repeatedly and sincerely.

On the surface, she appeared to accept my apology, but her attitude toward our friendship changed overnight. All interactions outside of work came to an abrupt halt. I thought that she needed time to get over what she regarded as a betrayal, but after several months, this is the new norm.

She recently gave birth and invited me over to meet her new baby. My husband thinks that this is an opportunity to mend fences and has encouraged me to visit her.

I can’t imagine doing this. I have been persona non grata at her house, and in her life, for several months now. The loss of our friendship has been incredibly painful, but I am slowly coming to terms with it.

If I could wave a magic wand and resume our friendship, I would. But because I no longer trust this person with my emotions, keeping my distance seems like the right course of action. Yet I worry that perhaps my husband is right. What do you think I should do? – Upset

Dear Upset,

I can tell you right off the bat that you violated her privacy by telling HR yourself. That’s not your call to make. It’s hers. You should have told her to tell HR and then she could’ve dealt with it her way.

As for the “magic wand” you keep are asking for, her inviting you over is just that.

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“Jaw With John” – Best Friend Code Violated? I Think So!

Last year I introduced my long-time best friend and her husband to my new next-door neighbors. All of us got together as couples. Right afterward I found out that my best friend and her husband invited my new neighbors to dinner. She never mentioned to me that she would like to get to know them better.

Best Friend has also visited the next-door neighbors, bringing a bottle of wine. I found out after the fact from the new neighbor.

This secrecy has made me distrustful and somewhat confused and hurt by the actions of my old friend. I have always been an open book with my closest friends, but she’s not like that. She tends to blow off any concerns I express and act like it’s not a big deal. I’ve overlooked small (and some big) slights in the past, but this neighbor thing (on top of other things) has changed my feelings about our friendship.

Am I being overly sensitive or did she break the “best friend code” by pursuing a friendship with my new next-door neighbors/friends without even mentioning it to me? — Disturbed

Dear Disturbed:

It seems like she poached your neighbor/friend. That’s definitely a no-no in the Best Friend Code book.

The fact that Best Friend is meeting up with the neighbor in secret (you finding out after-the-fact would make it a secret) is troublesome. She could have easily said that she wanted to get to know her better and filled you in on it, but she chose cloak and dagger. That’s revealing.

Maybe she’s tired of hanging around with you all of the time and now she has some variety in her friendship circle. Maybe she figures that you two already live next door and must see each other all of the time so she feels that this isn’t a big deal. Whatever the case may be, you should bring it up with Best Friend. Camping out by the blinds to catch a glimpse of her going next door and then catching her red handed isn’t the way to do it…or maybe…

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“Jaw With John” – How To Be Anti-Social on The Social Network

I am a 60-something-year-old woman who, although I am very “up” on all technology, absolutely hates Facebook! I find it intrusive and a place where most of the posts I’ve read on other people’s pages are just downright bragging about kids, grandkids, money, etc., etc. Some of the posts are completely stupid.

I have a friend who decided it would be a great idea to become FB friends with my 30-year-old daughter.

Now she repeats everything that is on my daughter’s page and it drives me completely nuts. I have told her how much I hate Facebook but she just doesn’t get it. If I did go on Facebook, I would never go on her daughter’s page. I am not that nosy and I don’t need to read every little comment that is made or look at pictures of people I have no interest in. Any suggestions on how I should go about this without losing my friend over it? — Furious over Facebook

Dear Furious:

Facebook, and similar sites, are social networks. They are an extension of yourself into the digital realm. The difference between real life and the digital world is that you can control what you put out there for people to see, what you report on, and what you post. For someone who is “‘up’ on all technology” you seem to lack this basic understanding. You can be friends with anyone you choose, or not choose. You can even be friends with someone but unfollow them so you wouldn’t see anything they posted but still be their friend. Hell, you could be friends with TONS of people but unfollow them all so you would see nothing but still be “connected” on Facebook.

By joining you could also do away with the entire conversation you have with this friend. You could say “Yes, I saw that because I’m on Facebook now” and that could hopefully end the conversation. You could even lie about seeing said post to stop that topic from ever coming up again. This is pretty anti-social, but it would get your friend off your back.

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