Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Friend's Deceit Carries a Painful Sting

DEAR HARRIETTE: How do you handle a relationship with a close friend whom you admire, but who you think is jealous of you? My best friend has done a couple of little things that bother me. Last month, I was talking to her about narrowing down my choices for several internship opportunities I had received. She had the audacity to contact me the next day to see if she could have the contact information for one of my opportunities. She didn't ask if it was OK to contact the people.

I took the internship, and while working in the office, I noticed that she had sent her resume to them, even though I had told her not to. I am so hurt. I'm not sure what to do. -- Duped, Queens, N.Y.

DEAR DUPED: Call your friend on her actions. Tell her that you trusted her to be your sounding board and that you did not imagine she would try to steal one of your opportunities for herself. Make it clear that she overstepped her boundaries as your friend and that you feel hurt and violated.

Moving forward, keep in mind that she has issues with boundaries. She has proved that she cannot hold all of your information in confidence, so you cannot safely tell her things. The best way to ensure that you share less with her is to create some distance between you.

DEAR HARRIETTE: In today's column, you responded to a woman whose son didn't get into the college of his first choice. In addition to what you wrote, the mother could mention that the college likely accepts transfer students, often between their sophomore and junior years. There tend to be fewer applications for transfers than for freshman admissions.

The young man could look into the transfer requirements and schedule his first two years accordingly. It also may turn out that after two years at School 2, he will have made friends, settled into the college life there and not want to leave. -- Just a Thought, Washington, D.C.

DEAR JUST A THOUGHT: The notion of transferring is a great idea. You are right that often there are far fewer transfers than potential freshmen looking to enter a university.

The larger point, I believe, is that students who do not get into their college of choice at first should not feel stuck. There are options as time goes by, especially if students do well wherever they are in school.