Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Upperclassman Wants More Confidence in Public Speaking

DEAR HARRIETTE: A couple of close friends and I are planning a weekend getaway to a very natural area. Some of these friends plan to play video games and stay inside the entire time, and I don’t want this getaway to be an event like that. How can I convince some of my more introverted friends to go outside and experience something new? -- Weekend Getaway

DEAR WEEKEND GETAWAY: You cannot control your friends. What you should do is figure out which friends want to spend time in nature, and connect with them. Plan to do activities with them to ensure that you enjoy your time this weekend.

You can also attempt to coax the friends who have decided they will stay inside to come out for particular activities. You might point out that some of the games that they play on those devices they can actually do outside. You can also ask them, quite seriously, why they decided to come on the trip if they had no intention of going outside. Perhaps you can spark an honest conversation about choice and get everybody to open up about how they spend their time.

Gaming is popular and can be addictive for some people. While you aren’t trying to get your friends to stop their gaming habit, you can point out to them that gaming doesn’t have to consume every waking moment.

(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.)