Breaking PROMises

Dear Stephanie,

My 16-year-old daughter was dumped at the last minute by her boyfriend before prom after cheating on her. She had the dress and everything. Her older sister’s good friend ended up stepping in to take her, while the ex-boyfriend went with the girl he cheated on my daughter with. Late in the summer, the boy started  trying to make amends and wants  to get back together. So does she now. We’ve resisted her spending time with him and said no. Her personality even changed to being sad a lot, angry, and darker, but she and her sisters all think he is ok now, is sorry, and deserves a second chance. What do you, being young, suggest?

Sincerely,

A Momma Bear

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Dear Momma Bear,

Thanks for writing in. I really appreciate you seeking my advice on this but honestly, I am not sure at all how to approach this as a parent. I very bluntly want to say your daughters are being naive. Which is only a by product of their age. (Assuming they are all close in age.) Thank goodness they have a mom who is seeing that boy for the untrustworthy person he is.

If that were my sister I would hope that she would stay far far away from him. I’m a firm believer in forgiveness, but not everyone in every scenario deserves a second chance. Especially, in matters of the heart. Cheating, lying and public embarrassment are absolute deal breakers for me. Remind your daughters to maintain their high standards and  that even if he is truly sorry he does not deserve a second chance because what he did was too egregious. In my experience, a guy like him is only sorry and want’s to win your daughter back, because he thinks that’s what he is supposed to do. It’s a game for him.

As I said before, I don’t know what to suggest to you as for parenting advice but I don’t think you should force them apart, more than you have. Keep the boundaries that you set, but I think more than that will only push your daughter farther from you and the support of her family and into the arms of that fool. Even if they are “forbidden” to see each other, they will find a way through lying and sneaking around to be together. Which is the last thing you and your daughter needs.

In the meantime, keep talking to your daughters about how no one should settle for someone who hurts them in such a way. In these talks, be sure to make it clear that if and when it all goes south there will never be an “I told you so”, just a shoulder to cry on. It does seem like they need to learn the hard way, but hopefully they will just take your word for it.

With Love,

Stephanie

 

Working Like a Dog

Dear Stephanie,

Apologies if this is not the right way to write in. I’m having an issue at work where I’ve now basically doubled my hours. Writing in now, I’m still working on projects. ( Editor’s Note: I received this message on a Saturday at approximately 3pm.)

I’ve been asked to help out on something at work with 0 details and have basically been thrown in the shit. I didn’t mind at first, but one of the people on the account is disgustingly entitled and is so disconnected/rude that it is affecting my morale. I’ve been very transparent on how I feel, but at this point I think it is becoming something of an arms race. She knows I won’t take her shit, and she is not my boss, but seems to get more aggressive/passive aggressive as the weeks go by.

I’ve escalated but have been ignored and think I’m going to start looking for a new job because I’m honestly very angry but don’t want to hurt my team. How do I honestly approach this without looking like I’m over reacting. Am I over reacting?

Sincerely,

Unfortunately Angry

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Dear Unfortunately Angry,

Thank you for writing in. Your work situation sounds tough. I bet nearly everyone  can relate with a similar scenario. Doesn’t it always seem like the same miserable person works in every office?

First, I want to point out that you were brought on to this project because someone trusts you, needs your help and your particular skill set to get the project done. You may not have all the facts you want or need, but someone knows and believes that you will be a key player in reaching the goal. Try to remember that as a small motivator when you are in the thick of it.

I do not think you are overreacting, but I do think you’re feeling really emotional about this issue. Which I can totally relate to. I really allow myself to be defined by my career, and because of that, so much feels personal. So, when and if I am working with someone miserable and difficult, like your co-worker, I can easily end up walking away at the end of the day feeling frustrated, sad and angry at the situation. When that happens, I try to take a breath and look at what I am facing as an opportunity for success. Even if it is just the small, but personal success, that I can be proud of the work I did in less than ideal circumstances.

So plow ahead, and keep your head up. Make sure that this co-worker, has no real reason to give you a hard time because you are doing amazing work. She will just end up looking like a fool, after you prove her wrong over and over again.

In terms of looking for a new job, only you will know when the time is right  to move on. If you really love your job outside of this issue, do not let this or your co-worker push you away from something that you love.

Although, I think it might be time for you to ask for additional financial compensation if have been working this much overtime for an extended period of time, not just with this project. You are not a salve, you are an employee and they should care about you in that capacity, if they want to retain talent. Depending on their response and how you feel about it leads to my final point.

Before I left my last job for my current job I felt the same way, you mention above, in that my team needs me and I didn’t want to let them down. However, one event after another made it clear it was time for me to move on.  I realized that I deserve to enjoy my job. You and I will spend most of our adult life at work, and it should be as enjoyable as possible. So my advice is, don’t worry so much about the team, they will be ok. As important as you are, your not going to make or break the company if you leave. At the end of the day the company will be fine if you stay or go, but will you be fine? If that answer is no, start sending out your resume and meeting with headhunters. A better opportunity (more $$$) could be right around the corner.

With Love,
Stephanie

Please feel free to let me now below if you would approach this situation differently. If you liked my advice, submit a question of your own.

Helping a Sister Out

Dear Stephanie,

My sorority sister is bulimic. She came back to school this year and lost tons of weight over the summer.  Everyone is like “yeah you look great” but I think that the compliments just make her more bulimic. I don’t think she throws up every single time she eats, but definitely most of the time. Sometimes she does it when I’m in her dorm room, and she uses the in-suite restroom. She knows I can hear her. One time I tried to say something but she was just like “yeah, I have issues”, and the conversation ended there.

Honestly, I feel like she’s a really dramatic person in general and she’s always seeking some kind of attention. That might make me a bad person, I don’t know, but she clearly has an issue. Also, her boyfriend is Satan, so maybe that has something to do with it? Anyway, it’s not like we are best friends. So I don’t know if I am the best person to help her. I would if I had a solid solution but I don’t. What should I do?

Sincerely,

A Worried Sister

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Dear   Worried ,

Thank you for sending me your question. I am really sorry to hear about the different struggles that you and your sorority sister are facing. Please keep in mind I am not an expert on eating disorders, but I have done some research to make sure I am giving you the best advice that I can.

That being said, the only person who could come up with a “solid solution”  and strategy for her recovery is a medical professional. In nearly everything I read,  for a person in your position it is best that you continue to be a supportive and understanding friend. As you may know, bulimia, like other eating disorders, is some sort a coping mechanism to feel some type of control over oneself and their lives. There is something bigger going on in their life that they are trying to control through disordered eating. Since, you mention her boyfriend and that he is awful, that could be one of the reasons she is turning to this destructive behavior. His presence in her life may just exacerbate what’s already there. You might not be the first person she would turn to for comfort and advice, but let her know you are there for her if she wants to talk and continue to remind her how great she is without making any mention of her physical appearance.

When the time is right to confront her again, you could again be met with that cavalier attitude, but you also have a chance to plant a seed for recovery. Maybe, check and see if your school has eating disorder support groups? Print the info for her. Let her know what resources exist. I think that time will come sooner rather than later. I feel that she is loudly crying for help. The attention seeking that you mention and the fact that she purges with you in such close quarters, tells me she wants someone to do something with her or for her—or perhaps even confront her and ask if she wants help. When and if you confront her, do it without judgment and criticism and let her know she is not alone.

As for your peers who keep complimenting her appearance, I am sure not everyone thinks she looks amazing. More might agree with you than you think, but it also won’t help your sorority sister if you’re going around trying to rally troops of people who think she looks awful and is ill. That will do way more damage than good. As I said before, keep being a supportive and kind friend and when people are raving about her appearance, you continue to focus on what is inside. Eventually other people, with less tact, will speak up and it will be known most people think she needs help. She will need a friend in that time more than ever.

The advice that I am giving is certainly much easier said than done and would take a lot of patience and kindness to not blurt out that she should get help now, but like I said and according to the professionals’ advice,  this is the best thing you can do for her right now. Last but not least in the event of a medical emergency (if she faints, for example) call 9-1-1 right away and don’t keep any secrets about your sorority sister that could impede her treatment and recovery.

So, I hope this is helpful for you and in turn your sorority sister. If anyone else has a suggestion on how to help both of these girls even further, please leave a comment below.

With Love,

Stephanie