Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Performer Gets Angry When Friends Don’t Show

DEAR HARRIETTE: I had a performance recently, and although I invited my friends, none of them came for some reason or another. It hurt me that nobody showed. Whenever any of them has something going on, I’m there. This was a big deal for me, and I just don’t understand how everybody could bail.

I got really mad at my friends the day after my performance, and now I do not know what to do. I think I should apologize about my outburst because I did say some strong words to them about loyalty and friendship, but I’m still upset that nobody came. What do you think I should do? -- No-Show

DEAR NO-SHOW: If your friendship bond means that normally you and your friends are there for one another, it’s understandable that you would be hurt that they didn’t come out to support you. Go back in your memory to verify what normally happens. Do they actually make the time to be there for you? Or is it more that you make the time for them? Unconsciously, you may be the one who is always present, not realizing that the relationship is unbalanced.

Another possibility could be if your performance came with a price tag, which may have been prohibitive for your friends. That’s not to say that your performance isn’t worth people paying to see, but I learned long ago not to count other people’s money.

Your next steps should include apologizing for your heated comments. Tell your friends you were upset but meant no harm. You can add that you still do not understand why they weren’t there for you.

If you choose to build a performance career, you will need to build an audience of people who are genuinely interested in what you are offering, not just people who love you.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend just came back from his second stint in rehab for drug addiction. I do not know how to treat him nowadays. I’m afraid if I act like nothing has happened to him, it may result in him backsliding or even worse. However, I also think that being too cautious and overbearing is inconsiderate. How should I act? -- Proceed With Caution

DEAR PROCEED WITH CAUTION: Don’t act like nothing happened. Talk to your friend. Ask him how he is feeling. Ask him if he wants to talk about what he experienced while in rehab and what his plans are now that he is out. Do your best to get him to talk. Let him know that you don’t mean to pry. What you want is to be there for him and to support him in whatever ways you can so that he can be successful this time.

You must also recognize that you are not responsible for his sobriety. This is his journey. He has decisions to make and actions to take in order to fortify himself. What you can do is indulge in nothing, including alcohol, around him. Be sober and clear-headed. And be a support to him.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)