Tem­per tantrum puts an end to long­time re­la­tion­ship

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. For an ex­cel­lent guide to be­com­ing a bet­ter con­versa

DEAR ABBY >> I am hav­ing to part ways with some­one I have known for 15 years. This per­son has done many good things for me. On the other hand, he has also thrown more in­sults at me than any­one else in my life­time. At the snap of a fin­ger, this nor­mally good­hearted per­son has in­sulted me, in­sisted I was wrong (when I wasn’t) or dumped cold wa­ter on some­thing I was en­thu­si­as­tic about.

A week ago, I ap­proached him calmly and told him I was un­com­fort­able with his put­downs. Well, he threw an over­the-top tem­per tantrum the likes of which I have never seen, ac­cused me of be­ing “weak-kneed” and stomped away. I have fi­nally had it.

I men­tioned it to a friend who is a psy­chol­o­gist and he said this per­son has all the char­ac­ter traits of a rag­ing nar­cis­sist. I’m now con­vinced this per­son will never change and I can­not un­der­stand the pet­ti­ness he re­verts to. Can you com­ment? — Break­ing away in Mi­ami


If you feel it is bet­ter for you to dis­tance your­self from this “friend,” then that’s what you should do. He may be a jack­ass; how­ever, it is un­wise to la­bel some­one who hasn’t been FOR­MALLY di­ag­nosed as hav­ing a per­son­al­ity dis­or­der.


A year ago we had a house fire. While insurance put us up in hous­ing, it took a while to find a place. That first month I didn’t know if I was com­ing or go­ing. Deal­ing with insurance, con­trac­tors, fam­ily and a job was al­most more than I could han­dle. The last thing I needed to hear was, “What’s for din­ner?”

If I have one piece of ad­vice to of­fer to peo­ple who want to help friends, it would be, “Give them gift cards from lo­cal restau­rants.” I know how much I hated to speak up and say I needed help, so don’t ask, just DO if you see some­thing needs to be done.

This idea also works well in lieu of flow­ers or home-cooked meals when some­one dies. We gave a friend sev­eral gift cards for area restau­rants when her hus­band died. When out-oftown com­pany came in for the fu­neral, she said they came in handy for her. — Hope­fully help­ful


>> Peo­ple are of­ten at a loss about how to help dur­ing a cri­sis, and this isn’t some­thing that usu­ally comes to mind. Your sug­ges­tion is a good one. Thank you for writ­ing.


Is there a proper way for a man to in­tro­duce him­self to an at­trac­tive wo­man in a pub­lic place like a store or a mu­seum? — Dan in San Fran­cisco


It’s not dif­fi­cult. If you’re in a store, ask for her ad­vice about a prod­uct. If you’re in a mu­seum, strike up a con­ver­sa­tion about an artist or a paint­ing, sculp­ture, etc. Then in­tro­duce your­self and keep talk­ing. If she’s re­cep­tive, she’ll give you her name.

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