DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently ran into a friend I had lost contact with some time ago. I invited her to a few events, and I quickly realized why I had distanced myself before. She always talks about how she wants to marry rich. I plan on getting married again, but money is not the priority.
We met two guys the other night, and she wasn’t happy with the way they looked and didn’t think they made enough money. I found her to be snobby, which was embarrassing. She isn’t the most polished, and even if she were, it’s tacky behavior. I thought to myself, no wonder she's single. The fact that she talks about money a lot and brings little to the table is so annoying. Do I mention this to her, or do I walk away, leaving her to figure things out herself? -- Friendship Etiquette, Atlanta
DEAR FRIENDSHIP ETIQUETTE: If this friend has consistently behaved in this manner -- as one who selects dates based on the thickness of their wallets -- you already know how she thinks. She has reminded you of who she is, and you should not feel a responsibility to persuade her to think otherwise. If you want to say something to her, especially since you have recently reconnected and are feeling shopper’s remorse (so to speak), tell her that her comments about status and bank accounts make you uncomfortable. Describe to her your criteria for a successful relationship. Then stop going out with her. Consider it a blessing that you figured out early on that this reconnection is not desirable.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I got my cousin a job a couple of years ago, and she has done pretty well in it. The thing is, she complains all the time about the pay. She says for the work she is doing, the job pays way too little. I think she’s right, but I’m not sure what she thinks I can do about it. I had heard about the job around the same time that she said she needed one. The skills seemed to be a match, so I connected her with these people. I cannot serve as negotiator for her; that is not my strength nor my role. I helped her, and now she has to handle things for herself, but she keeps calling me asking for my help. How can I get her to back off? -- Handle Your Business, Jackson, Mississippi
DEAR HANDLE YOUR BUSINESS: Have a direct conversation with your cousin. Remind her that you have done what you could for her: You opened a door so she could get a job. The rest is on her. If she thinks she is not being fairly compensated, she needs to speak up. But first, she may want to weigh all aspects of the situation. While she may feel underpaid, is she ready to be unemployed? This moment requires a positive attitude and a clear strategy for getting her to the next level. Coach her on keeping the right frame of mind to welcome success.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)