DEAR NATALIE: I am invited to the wedding of a close friend. The guest list also includes a man with whom I had a serious fling of sorts. I'm worried about being seated at the same table as him. I'm concerned because we have not spoken in quite awhile. The last time we did speak, things did not go very well. I want to say I would be on my best behavior, but I'm not sure I can make that promise. And I'm not sure he could, either. The bride and groom are aware of the situation. I hate to back out of going, but I would really hate to ruin anybody's celebration with our bad blood. Any advice? -- No Promises
DEAR NO PROMISES: While I don't know exactly what happened between the two of you, it sounds as though neither of you have really let "it" go. You have three options: 1. Don't go to the wedding and resign yourself to letting your emotions control your life and decisions you make. 2. Go to the wedding and keep your distance from him. I doubt that the bride and groom would seat you near each other with such bad blood. This may be something you talk to the bride about, and it sounds as though you are close enough to do so. Request sitting as far from him as possible and do not engage him. 3. Contact him before the event and try to resolve this. I don't mean you have to be friendly but make a pact not to engage with one another so as not to disrupt an otherwise wonderful event.
I would go with No. 2 and have a good look in the mirror before leaving for the party. Who is in control here? If you are in control of your own life, that means taking ownership of your feelings, acknowledging them ... and then let them pass over you. Realize that after this night, you never have to look at him again. So brush him off and have some fun. (Also, don't drink too much ... emotions take over when the champagne starts flowing!)
Natalie's Networking Tip of the Week: What are your arms doing while you are talking to someone? If your arms are folded, they may be signaling that you are feeling defensive or bored. If you are playing with your hair or picking your nails, it may come off as anxious or flighty. Try keeping them tucked behind you while you listen, which shows interest and engagement.
Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)