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by Abigail Van Buren

Neighbor Is Taken Aback by Block Party Proposition

DEAR ABBY: I don't understand why people need others to take sides in an argument. If someone is upset and wants to cut someone out of his/her life, why does that person expect family and friends to do the same -- even if the disagreement had nothing to do with them? Some of them lie to force the issue. I just don't understand -- especially because we're talking about adults. -- PUZZLED IN COON RAPIDS, MINN.

DEAR PUZZLED: They do it to punish (and isolate) the person they're mad at. However, if you make plain to the manipulator -- because that's what the person is -- that you will not be dragged into the middle of something that's not your business, you'll be better off.

P.S. What makes you think that all adults act like adults? Surely I'm not the only person who has seen a grown-up behave like a 5-year-old.