The Punxsutawney Spirit

Boyfriend won't change himself to meet family

- Harriette COLE Harriette Cole is a lifestylis­t and founder of DREAMLEAPE­RS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriet­te@harriettec­ or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndicatio­n, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am dating a man who regularly gets his fingernail­s painted and has a lot of facial piercings. I didn't care for the piercings much when we first met, but as we grew closer, I realized that they were a form of self-expression, and now I really admire them. He will soon meet my family for the first time, and we've already started bickering about his piercings and nail polish. I don't want them to judge him or say something hurtful to him. I asked that he simply remove the piercings and nail polish before meeting my family, and he won't do it. He says that they should accept him for who he is, regardless of his appearance. I'm hurt that he wouldn't honor my request to make me feel comfortabl­e. Is he wrong for refusing to remove them, or am I wrong for asking him to change? — Piercings

DEAR PIERCINGS: I can understand why he does not want to change and why he is pushing back. You had a choice when you met him as to whether you could accept him for who he is and the way he presents himself. Did you ever talk to him about your initial reaction to him, or how you previously felt about piercings and nail polish on men, for that matter? Is your reluctance to expose him as he is to your parents something you ever told him about before? If it is brand new, your boyfriend probably is feeling hurt.

You need to tell him about your family values, how you grew up, what your parents expect and your thoughts on how to bridge that divide. Since you really like him, you want your parents to accept him. If you believe that removing his piercings and polish will ease him into your family, say so. On the other hand, you may also want to prepare your parents by describing your boyfriend to them and letting them know that he presents differentl­y from what they expect. You can ask them not to be too judgmental and to get to know him before passing judgment.

DEAR HARRIETTE: The regional manager at my job fired someone, and I've been picking up the slack while we find their replacemen­t. It hasn't been easy, but I was promised that the work increase would be only temporary. We still don't even have any real candidates

lined up, so there's no telling when my workload will go back to normal. Even though this won't be a permanent change, I am still doing much more work. Would it be fair to ask for a permanent raise for a temporary increase in work? — Heavier Workload


WORKLOAD: You can ask for what is justifiabl­e — a raise based on what you are doing now. If your boss agrees, even if it is only temporary until they hire someone else, you will be able to receive fair compensati­on for the work you are doing.

Your approach should be from a team perspectiv­e. Point out that when you were asked to pitch in and handle your former co-worker's workload, you did so enthusiast­ically. Point out that it's a lot of work over a prolonged period of time. Ask for a fair wage increase and see what your boss says. If they refuse, respectful­ly tell them that you would like to go back to your former duties.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States