DEAR HARRIETTE: I used to work with a life coach a few years ago, and it was helpful. We stopped working together a while back, in part because I couldn’t afford to keep hiring her. She does not accept insurance, and the weekly payment was too much for me. Now that some time has passed, though, I miss working with her and getting her sound advice on things. I am thinking of contacting her again to find out if we can make an arrangement that is more manageable for me. Do you think it’s rude for me to ask for a price break or some other kind of deal? -- Discounted Coaching
DEAR DISCOUNTED COACHING: For starters, it’s great that you recognize the value of this woman’s services for your life and smart for you to try to figure out how to work with her again. Rather than asking for a discount, why not think outside the box? Do you offer any services that might be of value to her? Perhaps you can barter with her so that you both benefit. You might also ask her if you can work together once a month rather than once a week. That would keep the cost down. Let her know your thoughts. By offering a menu of options, you will be letting her know that you value her expertise and time, and you are watching your wallet.
DEAR HARRIETTE: One of my closest friends moved back to town recently, and we have been trying to get together, but our schedules are completely different. She is an early-morning person, and I am a night owl. I have missed a couple of planned meetings simply because I didn’t wake up in time. The time that she can meet in the afternoon is smack dab in the middle of my workday. Even though I work for myself, it is tough for me to be available at that time.
I really want to spend some time with my friend, but as I have been thinking about it, I realize that the only times that we try to get together are on her terms -- when it is convenient for her. I don’t think that’s fair. I love her and want to be able to use this valuable time that we are in the same city to be together a bit, but I need her to be more flexible. -- Work With Me
DEAR WORK WITH ME: Your friend may not realize that she has been calling the shots in your relationship. Perhaps that’s the way she has always been, or could it be that she is the more active one in terms of trying to organize get-togethers with you?
Whatever the reason, you don’t need to bring up what bothers you about your getting together. Instead, become proactive. Start inviting her to do things with you at times that are convenient for you. Talk to her about your schedule. Make it clear how much you want to see her and spend some time connecting. Look at your schedule, and offer a bunch of options for seeing each other. If you both hold that intention, you will get together eventually.
(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.)