DEAR ABBY: I have a friend from college I'm really close to, but they have begun an annoying habit I need help addressing. We live more than 1,000 miles apart, and over the past six months, I've noticed that my friend has been giving me unsolicited advice on daily tasks that don't concern them. At first it didn't bother me. Now it's happening three or four times a week.
I think they mean well, but the "friendly" reminders are beginning to come across as condescending. Some examples: If I mention what I'm making for dinner, I'll be reminded to make sure the chicken is cooked to the correct temperature. I have a vacation planned, and I was just reminded that in order to go I need to have flights booked.
I'm afraid I may be overreacting, which is why I haven't said anything. However, these constant reminders are frustrating and leave me with the impression that my friend thinks I'm stupid or incapable of taking care of myself. What's your advice on how to handle this? -- NOT A KID AND NOT STUPID
DEAR NOT: A way to handle it would be to ask your friend why the advice was being offered. If you say you're making chicken for dinner and you are advised to be sure it's cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, calmly ask why the person felt it was necessary to say it. The same goes for your travel plans and any other unsolicited advice you receive. If you ask the question, you may find that your old friend isn't questioning your intelligence, but simply trying to be helpful.