June 20, 2024
Maybe I hurt their feelings, but they weren't considering mine.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I went on a group trip with some family and family friends. During the trip, I spent most of my time with the group that was my age. However, halfway through the trip, I decided to spend my time with a different group because the people my age could not simply stick to the itinerary.

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Several times, we would show up late or miss the activities altogether because nobody could make a solid decision, and nobody would listen to me.

Now that the trip is over, I feel like I may have hurt the feelings of my original group by abandoning them. How should I handle this?

— Stick To the Plans

DEAR STICK TO THE PLANS: Request a debrief of the event with your original group.

Ask them how they enjoyed the trip and what pitfalls they noticed. When it’s your turn, describe yours, including how too often you missed activities because of the group’s indecision.

Explain that you decided to travel independent of them at a certain point so that you could participate in the larger group’s planned events. See what they have to say.

You should not feel bad about your decision. It was wise for you to be proactive.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a friend who doesn’t respect my time at all, and it’s very frustrating.

We will make plans to go out for dinner or an event together, which I will have been looking forward to all day, and she’ll cancel on me an hour before we’re supposed to leave. If she doesn’t cancel, she will postpone for an hour.

I find it incredibly disrespectful toward me because time and being timely is something that I value. I find it interesting that she doesn’t respect my time since she gets very upset when people mess with hers.

All these incidents keep piling up, and I feel like I might snap at her and say something that I regret soon.

How do I approach having a conversation with her about this and avoid creating tension?

We are both in our early 20s, and I have learned that people around my age don’t like being confronted about topics like this. I consider her my best friend and don’t want this to ruin our friendship.

— Honor Time

DEAR HONOR TIME: You are overdue for a face-to-face.

Sit down with your friend and express to her how disappointed you are in how your interactions have been going recently. Explain how you look forward to activities that the two of you plan together and how jarring it is when she regularly cancels, postpones or delays plans that you have made together.

Tell her that it isn’t respectful of your time, and you do not appreciate it. Sure, she may not like that you are bringing this up, but you must.

Ask her if she will work harder to honor the plans you make together. Ask her what is making her late and fickle now. If she says you are her best friend so you should understand, reflect back to her that a best friend shouldn’t do this.

Set boundaries for the future. Tell her you want to agree to reconfirm plans the day before rather than an hour before an engagement. You expect her to keep your plans, barring an extreme emergency.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to [email protected] or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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