Sup­port­ive friend should leave ther­apy to an ex­pert

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY >> I am a col­lege stu­dent on the East Coast. A dear friend of mine who at­tends the same university goes home on break to the West Coast.

She was raped at a party. Over the sum­mer break she found out she was preg­nant and had an abor­tion. She’s now suf­fer­ing from some in­tense emo­tional and psychological prob­lems and sees a cam­pus ther­a­pist.

Abby, I want to be sup­port­ive, but I’m not sure how. I don’t know what to say around her or how to keep her mind off it, or if I should. Can you help me?

— Con­cerned friend

DEAR CON­CERNED FRIEND >> You are this young woman’s friend. Let her know you are there for her. Treat her as you al­ways have and talk about the things you al­ways have with her. It is not your job to dis­tract her from think­ing about what hap­pened to her.

If she wants to talk about it, be pre­pared to lis­ten and sym­pa­thize. But if she needs more than that, re­mind her that she has a li­censed ther­a­pist who is more qual­i­fied to help than you are, and en­cour­age her to contact the per­son if some­thing is drag­ging her down.

DEAR ABBY >> I’ve had three dif­fer­ent sec­re­tar­ial jobs over the last 10 years. At two of them some­thing has hap­pened, and I’m hop­ing you can help me deal with the sit­u­a­tion.

While at my desk, I’ve had bosses who enter my of­fice, come around to my side of the desk and stand very close to me. Some­times they’ll even start key­ing things into my com­puter — all with­out ask­ing. It feels like an in­va­sion of my per­sonal space.

I wouldn’t do that to them. Why do they feel they can do this to me? Or am I making too much of the whole thing? Please help.

— Silent sec­re­tary in Texas

DEAR SILENT >> Dif­fer­ent peo­ple have dif­fer­ent bound­aries when it comes to per­sonal space. Be­cause hav­ing some­one come around your desk and stand close to you with­out per­mis­sion makes you ner­vous, speak to your boss about it.

That some­one would reach over you to type some­thing into a doc­u­ment you are work­ing on seems to me to be rude, but your em­ployer may have been trying to add some­thing or cor­rect er­rors, and thought it would be a faster way of get­ting the job done than trying to ex­plain it to you.

It might re­as­sure you to dis­cuss this with some of the other sec­re­taries, ask if this is com­mon and whether it both­ers them, and let them ad­vise you.

DEAR ABBY >> I know food is of­ten de­scribed as “fin­ger-lickin’ good,” but I’m ap­palled at the num­ber of peo­ple who lit­er­ally do this at restau­rants. Didn’t they ever learn to use a nap­kin? What’s next — lick­ing each other’s fin­gers? Can you comment?

— Man­nerly out West

DEAR MAN­NERLY >> I will ig­nore the temp­ta­tion to give a naughty an­swer and of­fer a nugget of ad­vice. Now that you know not ev­ery­one has ta­ble man­ners that mea­sure up to your own — or even most folks’ — do less peo­ple­watch­ing in restau­rants or eat at home.

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. or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

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