Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Recently Divorced Friend Is Acting Out

DEAR HARRIETTE: I went to a holiday party with a bunch of people I have known for some time. One woman who recently got divorced was “hanging from the rafters,” so to speak. She was obviously drunk. She wasn’t obnoxious, but her behavior was a bit much.

I typically give people a pass at parties with lots of alcohol, but I am a bit worried about her. She is in a vulnerable position after getting divorced. Her husband is the one with the dough. If she acts out too much, who knows if it will affect the alimony? Should I say anything to her? -- Drunk Night Out

DEAR DRUNK NIGHT OUT: If this woman’s behavior is out of the ordinary, it may just be that she consumed a bit too much that night. Because you know that she has been going through a difficult period, it would be kind of you to check in with her to see how she’s doing. Don’t bring up the inebriated night. Instead, talk to her about her new life. Ask if she is doing OK. Find out if she needs anything.

If you see this woman act out again at a public event, you should say something specific about the alcohol consumption. Know that if you have to go down that path, people don’t usually respond well to criticism about drinking too much. If you do say something, express your concern for your friend’s well-being -- again, without passing judgment.