DEAR HARRIETTE: I had a birthday party a couple of months ago and posted some of the photos on social media. Recently, I was at an event and saw a woman I’ve known peripherally for a long time, and she wished me a happy birthday. I commented, thanks, but that was a while ago, to which she replied that she saw pictures on Facebook, so it didn’t seem that far away.
This woman was a little snippy, which made me think that she felt snubbed that she wasn’t invited to my party. While I like her, I don’t think she has ever invited me to anything. I don’t see why I should feel bad for not including her in my private celebration, nor do I feel like I should have hidden it from social media. Other people who weren’t invited liked some of the photos and made pleasant comments. Do you think I should have handled her differently? -- Outside Looking In
DEAR OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: People react in different ways to finding out about activities to which they were not invited. Exposing your experiences on social media creates an open invitation for people to know what you are doing and to react to that in different ways. In the case of this woman, what you might have done when she pointed out that she saw the birthday party photos on Facebook was to say, “Yes, we had a great time!” or something like that, which acknowledges the fact that you celebrated and enjoyed.
In the future, if you post images from events where others are not invited, you may want to add in your comments that you know not everyone could join you, but you appreciate their love and support. You have to craft it so it is specific to the event, but it’s worth considering how to make other friends feel more comfortable about not being there. You might also avoid posting a group shot that shows everyone who was there and also points out who was not there.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband makes comments about my weight all the time, but in subtle ways. I catch onto it, but I am struggling to tell him that I feel he is attacking my image. He prides himself with being "real" all the time, but I think the comments are unnecessary and they hurt my feelings. This also opens the door for him to look at other people who are more fit than me. How can I nip this in the bud so that I can feel comfortable in my marriage? -- Feeling Heavy
DEAR FEELING HEAVY: Let’s start with you. What do you need to do for your own health and well-being? If that includes losing weight, make that a priority. Get a physical and work with your doctor to create an eating and exercise plan that will help you to reach measurable goals.
Tell your husband that you need his support instead of his ongoing commentary about your weight. Admit that you are struggling to manage your weight and what you need most is his support. Tell him that right now it feels more like he is disparaging about your looks, and that it hurts your feelings. Ask him to support you by being a cheerleader rather than a naysayer.
(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.)