DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend has been broadcasting his recent breakup all over social media, and I’m concerned about him. I do not agree with the fact that he’s posting all of these things as he seems extremely hurt and is being unkind to his ex, who is my also my friend. I want to approach him; however, I do not know how to comfort him effectively in a volatile situation like this. How should I reach out to him and tell him to maybe avoid making these posts, but without crossing a line? -- Friend to a Public Breakup
DEAR FRIEND TO A PUBLIC BREAKUP: Ask your friend if you can get together. Start by saying how sorry you are that his relationship ended. Explain that it is hard for you because you are friends with both of them, and you don’t want either of them to be sad.
Then go for it. Tell him that you have noticed the many emotional posts on social media and how disturbing you find them. Acknowledge that you know he is upset and hurt, but point out that what he is writing is only making things worse. Suggest that he take a time out from social media while he is dealing with the pain of the breakup. If he pushes back, let him know how upsetting you find his posts and that others feel the same way.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My grandma is afraid to fly on an airplane, and it prevents her from going to all of the important family trips and events we have. I remind her that more accidents happen in everyday life than on airplanes. But when something goes wrong with an airplane, it’s highlighted and covered more since it doesn't happen too often. My grandma still won’t budge and prefers to take trains to different states if she needed to. She wants me to accompany her. I love her, but I won’t take a 14-hour train ride when taking a plane would be only a few hours. How can I resolve my grandma's fear of flying? -- Time to Travel
DEAR TIME TO TRAVEL: I’m going to make a suggestion that you won’t like at first, but hear me out: Consider giving your grandmother the gift of traveling once with her on that 14-hour train ride. Just once. Instead of thinking of it as a horrible experience, consider it a perfect opportunity for the two of you to spend quality time together. Plan with her what you will do during the ride. Maybe you can bring some playing cards, family photo albums, books to read out loud and a few special dishes to eat. Make it a memorable occasion.
On the way home, invite your grandmother to try the flight the next time. And promise to ride with her both ways and to bring some of the fun activities that you enjoyed on the train trip. She just might budge.
(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.)