Di­ver­sity of view­points can be an as­set in our friend­ships

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - AN­DREA BO­NIOR

Q: A GOOD friend of mine is wildly into as­trol­ogy, su­per­sti­tions, the idea that if you vi­su­alise things hard enough, you can make them hap­pen, etc.

It makes her seem less in­tel­li­gent than she is, and I cringe when she is in larger groups talk­ing about these things. For in­stance, she sin­cerely be­lieves our per­son­al­i­ties are dic­tated by when we were born, and it’s among the first things she asks when she meets some­one new.

I get em­bar­rassed for her (or maybe of her?) when she is like this around oth­ers.

A: I can un­der­stand how cringe­wor­thy this is – maybe it’s the Sagittarius in me – but you’re tak­ing on too much men­tal re­spon­si­bil­ity for how your friend ap­pears to oth­ers.

Sure, if she was your wife, favourite pro­fes­sor or spir­i­tual ad­viser, then her world-view would re­flect some­thing more sig­nif­i­cant about who you are as a per­son. But as it is, she’s just a friend who you’ve em­braced for her other qual­i­ties, and you need not be de­fined by any given set and ev­ery­one is free to make up their own minds.

Q: I am look­ing to move away from a con­trol­ling re­la­tion­ship in the most seam­less way pos­si­ble. I know I need to leave, but I am un­sure about how to ac­tu­ally make this hap­pen, how to move on with­out hurt­ing any­one. A: Good for you. Of course you don’t want to hurt “any­one”, but the most im­por­tant thing I can do in this space is con­vince you that it’s you that you should be most con­cerned with. I am not sure where you are in this process lo­gis­ti­cally, or how much phys­i­cal help you may need, but it is so im­por­tant for you to keep mov­ing for­ward.

You will likely have sec­ond thoughts, fear, guilt and sad­ness – all natural re­ac­tions – but don’t get stuck.

Most peo­ple in con­trol­ling re­la­tion­ships have be­come used to wor­ry­ing about the well-be­ing of oth­ers at the ex­pense of their own selves. En­list a sup­port team that will help you put your own well-be­ing first. The more solid, hon­est and trust­wor­thy the con­nec­tions, the bet­ter. – Washington Post

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