DEAR ABBY: I have a pet peeve I haven't seen addressed in your column before. I use my debit card often at the grocery store. Many times when I'm entering my PIN number into the machine, I realize the person in line behind me is hovering close enough to read it.
Is there any way I can politely ask someone to step back? Or better yet, will you please make people aware that they should give the person ahead of them some privacy? Last week, I asked a man who was looking over my shoulder to please move away. He didn't move, and acted like he didn't understand what I was asking. Please help. -- NERVOUS IN SUNNYVALE, CALIF.
DEAR NERVOUS: In these days of identity theft, many people are nervous (and rightly so) about having their personal information stolen. Perhaps the individual hovering behind you did not understand English. However, had I been in your situation, I would have repeated my request in a louder tone. If he or she still didn't move, I would not have proceeded with my purchase until a security guard or the store manager had been summoned.
DEAR ABBY: I'm 15 and go to a good school. I have a great relationship with my parents, but my sister is another story. She is 13, and sometimes she makes me so mad that I hit her or shove her against the wall. I know it's wrong, but I can't help myself.
For example, today I couldn't find my key in my backpack. I remembered that my sister had it last. I told her to go and get the hidden key, but we fought about who should get it. She made me so mad I shoved her against the wall. Then I discovered that she'd had the key in her backpack all along, and I got really angry and scared her half to death.
She tattled and now I'm grounded. I know what I did was wrong, but how can I stop myself from hitting or shoving her in the heat of the moment? -- ABUSIVE SISTER
DEAR SISTER: One way to control an explosive temper is to walk away before you "blow." Take a 10- or 15-minute jog around the block until you get a grip. And while you're at it, meditate on the fact that your sister wasn't put on this Earth to get your goat. One day your parents will be gone and she may be the only family you have. Learn to forgive her for her imperfections because when it comes right down to it, none of us is perfect.
DEAR ABBY: I was the victim of a violent crime. The attacker was caught and sent to prison. I am returning to work after being absent since the attack, and I do not wish to discuss what happened with my co-workers.
What is a good response when I'm asked, "Were you raped?" Thanks for the help. -- SURVIVOR IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR SURVIVOR: Say to the person, "If it were any of your business, you would already know the answer to that question." And then change the subject. There is no end to rude and nosy questions people will ask if you don't stop them in their tracks.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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