DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m in my 60s now, and I have had a chance to look back on things. I realize that I often hold a grudge against people. The few people who I used to consider my best friends are no longer close to me. We fell out years ago for one reason or another, mainly because something happened and I could not forgive them. I realize now how judgmental I have been. Nobody’s perfect, but somehow I thought that people should be kind of perfect when it came to being my friend. So many years later, I wish I could get some of those friendships back. The people are still alive, but I don’t know what I could possibly say to open that door. Any ideas? -- Down Memory Lane, Kansas City, Kansas
DEAR DOWN MEMORY LANE: Don’t underestimate the power of your own apology and overture to reconnect. Reach out to each of your old friends in the spirit of making amends. State how much you miss the friend, what you appreciate the most about the relationship you once had and that you hope it isn’t too late to rekindle it. Be honest about how your reaction to whatever happened years ago, coupled with your inability to forgive, helped to create a divide for all these years. Acknowledge that you all are getting older and that you want to make the effort to reconnect with your friends. Ask each friend directly if it is possible for you to get together in the near future.
DEAR HARRIETTE: All my daughter’s friends are getting double or triple piercings these days. I know this has been a trend for some years now, but I feel like this is not what my daughter should be doing.
We got her ears pierced years ago when she was an infant, but she has not been successful at wearing earrings without irritation up until this year. She recently has been wearing gold hoops, and she hasn’t had problems. I’m talking just a few weeks of wearing the hoops, though. I don’t think it’s wise for us to add piercings to her ears so soon. I think we should first determine if she can regularly wear earrings in the holes she has. I have expressed this to my young teenager, but she thinks I am being mean. What do you recommend? -- Protecting My Teen, Los Angeles
DEAR PROTECTING MY TEEN: You know your daughter’s medical history, and it is your job to reinforce what you know. You can also enlist the medical advice of your daughter’s pediatrician or even a dermatologist. Find out what the doctor’s recommendation is so you can share that with your daughter.
Beyond the practical, be prepared to talk to your daughter about peer pressure and how to make personal decisions that may be different from her friends’ choices. This is one of the toughest lessons to learn, but it is critical for your daughter so she can assess personally when the group choice should not be her choice. Your job is to help her to learn how to discern the difference.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)