DEAR HARRIETTE: I live with two of my college buddies. We’ve been living together for almost a year now, and things have gone smoothly because we are used to each other. One of my buddies has a girlfriend, and the other one is dating around. Recently, he’s been seeing someone and has brought her over a couple of times. When he goes to sleep, she will come out and watch TV with me in the living room. I didn’t think much of it at first, but it's starting to weird me out. She asks me personal and invasive questions that I don't answer. A few times, I felt like she was coming on to me. My buddy is starting to get serious with this girl, and I want to warn him about my encounters with her. Do you think it’s selfish of me to bring up some of the things I found alarming? -- Friend Found a New Girl, Syracuse, New York
DEAR FRIEND FOUND A NEW GIRL: I would start with her. The next time she comes out and starts the grand inquisition, turn it around on her. Ask her what’s up. Tell her you don’t understand why she’s trying to get in your business. Ask her what her intentions are with your friend. Make it clear that you have his back and that you want to be sure she does, too. Ask her to stop with the questions and stay in her lane.
Talk to your friend and let him know that you have a few doubts about his girlfriend. Do not be an alarmist, though. Just tell him what you have experienced -- including your talk with her. Give him space to be comfortable staying with her if he chooses. Don’t be judgmental.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m 17, and I have always compared myself to my sisters and friends. My parents are hard on me about my weight. I’m normal-sized -- not too thin, but not fat. I recently developed an eating disorder. I have been seeing someone about it, but it hasn’t been helping. I know it doesn’t help because I am still comparing myself to my sisters, who are naturally skinny. I can’t stand looking at Instagram and Snapchat and seeing all these skinny girls. My parents think that I’m better and that my disorder has been controlled, but I'm not and it’s not. I don’t think it will ever go away. Am I ever going to feel good in my skin? -- Eating Disorder, Shreveport, Louisiana
DEAR EATING DISORDER: Keep going to your counselor, and be as honest as you can about what you are doing and how you are feeling. Being compared to others can be stressful and can push you toward unhealthy behavior. I'm sorry that your parents are making it harder for you, even unknowingly. Tell them that you need their support, not their judgment about your body size. Stop looking at social media and making unhealthy comparisons. Focus on your studies, and look to build friendships with positive people. Don’t give up on counseling. That can be your lifeline to better health. If you feel you need to talk to someone immediately, there is a helpline. Call 1-888-232-6949. For more information about dealing with eating disorders, visit bulimia.com/topics/eating-disorder-hotline.
(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.)