DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a friend who can be a real fake sometimes. She's a nice person, but when she dislikes someone, she acts like that person is her best friend. For example, if it's his or her birthday, instead of just writing "Happy Birthday" on Facebook, she'll write "Happy Birthday xoxoxo Love you!!!!!!" and then complain that the person acts like they're best friends!
I tell her that she's giving people the wrong impression and that there is a way to be nice and civil without making a person she dislikes think they're best friends, but she won't listen. What do you think? -- Friend of a Fake, Washington, D.C.
DEAR FRIEND OF A FAKE: Your friend is dishonest, which is not nice at all. It's actually manipulative, given that it makes the other person believe she harbors positive feelings when the opposite is true.
One way you may be able to get her to see the folly of her ways is to ask her about your relationship. Tell her you are a little concerned about how she feels about you. If she usually treats you nicely, is that real or is she faking it with you, too? Ask her. Tell her that you can't be sure what she thinks anymore since she says one thing and means another so frequently.
She will likely call you silly and say that of course you know how she feels. That's when you remind her that other people think she likes them, too, when it's really the opposite.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My friends wanted to set me up with a guy last year who they thought would be great for me. Nothing ever happened. We never went on a date and barely spoke, and I don't think he even knew they were trying to set us up.
But this year he always acts weirdly around me. We were both at a party, and he danced with my friend after seeing me there. Then he moved over to where I was so he could dance right next to me with her. It was really weird, and I'm confused why he acts this way. What do you think is going on? -- Confused and Single, Jacksonville, Fla.
DEAR CONFUSED AND SINGLE: I think this guy knew that your friends were trying to get you two together, but he was probably too shy to say anything. He sounds more shy than weird. Dancing with your friend but next to you suggests that he wanted to be in your line of sight.
I recommend that you speak to him. Break the ice. Strike up a simple conversation and see if you like each other. You may find that this guy is interesting one-on-one but unsophisticated when it comes to being assertive. You may also find that he is boring or uninteresting. That's fine, too. Figure it out by speaking up.