Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Reader Caught in the Middle of Fighting Friends

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been friends with a small group of people for most of my life. Two of them had a falling-out about three years ago, and they have not spoken since. This has put me in an uncomfortable situation. I have remained close to both "Jim" and "George." Jim wants to reconnect, but he did something that crossed the line for George, who has said that he doesn’t want me to mention Jim's name to him again. I feel like I’m stuck in the middle of a divorce, even though we are all just friends. Do I relay to Jim what George is saying? I love them both, and I wish we were still close. I believe in forgiveness, but George says he is done with forgiving Jim. -- Odd Friend Out

DEAR ODD FRIEND OUT: Don’t get caught up in their stuff. To the best of your ability, you now have to be friends individually with each of them if you choose to stay connected to them both. Do not become the messenger who relays barbs or pleas back and forth. If Jim tries to get you to talk about George, just say he has to contact him on his own. You cannot get involved. You can express your sadness to each of them that their friendship has dissolved -- but that’s it.

Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Etiquette & Ethics

Reader Ponders Following Trainer to New Gym

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been going to the gym religiously for about a year now. I hired a trainer there who has been helping me to get stronger, and I am finally feeling better about my body and my health. In December, I got a notification that my trainer no longer works for the gym. This is sudden. I just trained with him before I went away for Christmas. I don’t want to work with anybody else, even though the gym offered to help me get matched to another trainer. I texted my trainer, who said he is probably going to open his own studio soon. But that’s not now. I don’t get it. This guy was by far the best trainer at this gym. I want to know what happened. Should I complain to management? Something happened, and I want to know what it is. -- Workout Blues

DEAR WORKOUT BLUES: Rather than complain, you can inquire as to what happened to your trainer. It's likely management won’t tell you, though. Until he sets up his new space, you should keep going to your gym and take them up on finding you a new trainer -- even if it is for a short-term commitment. You don’t want to lose the momentum that you have built up. Continue with your workout regimen, especially now as the new year has started. Motivate yourself to stay strong and focused.

Stay in touch with your trainer. When he opens his studio, check it out to see if he offers what you need before you leave your gym. Make a wise choice for your own body, not solely out of allegiance to him.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

Read more in: Health & Safety | Friends & Neighbors | Etiquette & Ethics