I don’t know if you can help me with this, but I have a friend who always interrupts me when I talk and forever changes the subject to herself. She does this with everyone. She’s a nice person and I value her opinion on many things, but get very tired of trying to tell a story only to get sidelined by this friend. For instance, if I’m talking about what I did over the weekend, she’ll jump in and say, “Oh yeah, I did that too, but I also went to this party and that movie and then… “ blah blah blah.” I find myself clenching my fists and wanting to hit her. What to do?
Dear Frustrated Friend,
There are several tactics. The first is to very pointedly regain control of the conversation and take it back to your original statement or thought. You might preface this with a kindly, “I was talking first and would like to finish what I had to say.” The second tactic is to out and out confront your friend about her bad habit. “I love hanging out with you, but with all due respect you change the subject to yourself when anyone else is talking, and this makes conversation difficult.” The third tactic is for several of her friends to sit down with her and to gently and with humor bring her awareness to the situation. Many people with this problem are unaware of their habit and really do need feedback and guidance. Some not only have the need to talk constantly about themselves, but have the need to talk compulsively whether their words make sense or not. Often these people are unable to read social cues, as in they don’t stop to check whether or not people are even listening to them. If your friend is in that category she would do well to seek professional help.
All the best to you (and your friend),
REACTIONS TO SECRET ABORTION
Dear Worried Mother,
You should be ashamed of yourself colluding with your daughter against your husband. First, abortion is wrong under all circumstances and there should be no law protecting it. Second, it’s wrong to lie, especially about such an important issue. You may not believe in hell, but if you do, that’s where you’re going.
Martha G, Nashville, TN
Dear Worried Mother,
I’m so sorry for you that you’re in this position. I agree with Knowles that in the end it’s your daughter’s decision. It has to be her decision and completely hers. Otherwise, years from now she might have regrets and blame you or set you against your husband. Most importantly she has to understand the ethics of the situation, that abortion is stopping a life that is not yet conscious or viable, just a bunch of cells, as opposed to killing a living breathing creature that can exist outside the womb. Once she understands that, it’s up to her. She’s old enough. All the best to you,
Sandra P. Orlando, FL
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Disclaimer: CD Knowles is not a doctor or psychotherapist. Any opinions expressed on Knowles Knows are just that — opinions.