DEAR HARRIETTE: My four best friends and I have been taking annual vacations every spring since we were 23. We’re planning another vacation now, and my friends want to bring new people I’ve never heard of before. I don’t think it will be the same if we bring a bunch of new people. I want to tell them that I’m not comfortable with adding new people to our longstanding tradition, but I don’t want to sound rude or awkward. Should I tell them how I feel? -- Changing Traditions
DEAR CHANGING TRADITIONS: I wonder why they didn’t discuss this with you, as it sounds like they talked about it amongst themselves. Of course you should express your thoughts and feelings. Change is always challenging, even when it is a good idea. How you handle change is what’s at issue here. Sit down with your friends and tell them that this idea makes you uncomfortable. Ask how and when it came up and why they like it. Hear them out.
As you are all maturing and your lives are expanding, it is natural that some of you could want to expand the group invited on the trip. But there could also be a compromise option. What if you keep your intimate friend trip every other year, adding the bigger group in the off year? That way you save space for the five of you as you also welcome others. Float that idea.