DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a client who constantly reprimands me about everything. Just the other day, I sent her a report about a project that we had just finished. All of the information was clearly articulated in an organized and succinct manner -- as I do after every project. Her response was to thank me for it and to point out that I should be providing written reports on a regular basis to her so that she can share them with others. Duh. That’s exactly what I had just done. Why did she feel the need to state the obvious?
It was a little confusing because it didn’t make sense that she would seemingly chastise me when I had just done what she wanted. Should I say something to her about this? I was wondering if I should ask her if what I sent is what she wants, just so that there is no room for misunderstanding. What do you think? -- Point of Clarification
DEAR POINT OF CLARIFICATION: Assuming that your client believes she had a legitimate reason for highlighting your action as something you should do regularly, you can ask her if she is requesting a variation on what you normally offer to her. You can clearly ask if what you typically provide is adequate or if this note is suggesting that she wants more. Without attitude, you can request clarification to ensure that you both are on the same page.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have never been one with a particularly active libido. Now I am taking a series of medicines for a chronic condition, and a side effect is reduced libido. My husband was already mad that I no longer seem to have the desire for intimacy, and now this. My doctor says I have to take the medicine. What can I do to stimulate arousal, or should I just tell my husband to get over it? -- Unstimulated
DEAR UNSTIMULATED: Start with your doctor. Tell him or her about the unwanted side effect of reduced libido, and ask if there is another medication that you might be able to take to balance yourself out.
Besides that, it may be time for you and your husband to rekindle a bit of romance. What did you enjoy doing together when you were more intimately engaged? Did you like to go on dates or watch certain programs together? Did you split a dessert or read passages from a book? Think back to your more romantic days, and draw upon memories to help stimulate even a passing interest in romance. You may find that small gestures can lead you home. You don’t have to jump into the sack right away, but a kiss now and then, a back rub, things like that may lead to a closer bond between you.
(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.)