Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Reader Explodes in Anger Over Small Slight

DEAR HARRIETTE: About a week ago, I invited a friend of mine to hang out with me. We planned the day out and everything. Then, completely last-minute, my friend canceled on me. At that point, I don’t know what became of me; I exploded. I was so angry for no apparent reason and said some nasty stuff to my friend. I realized my mistake and apologized immediately. Luckily, we are still good friends, but I don’t know why I would get so angry over nothing. I am scared that I might not be able to control my anger in the future. What can I do so that I won’t explode again? -- Super Angry

DEAR SUPER ANGRY: Before you beat yourself up, take a moment to review what happened. You and your friend planned a day together. It’s not like you planned something and forced it on the person. What was your friend’s reason for canceling? Did it sound valid to you? Or do you feel that your friend blew you off?

Clearly you were looking forward to getting together with this person. It hurt your feelings that your special day was dashed. Perhaps it was extreme to go off on your friend, but it sounds like it is not without some cause. You were disappointed.

Yes, it is good to control your emotions, but I wouldn’t be so fast to convince yourself that you got angry “for nothing.” Being dumped for the day is something. Acknowledge that and accept that it is natural for you to be disappointed, if not also upset. In the future, you can decide not to retaliate in the moment with venomous words. But it is OK to let a person know that you don’t appreciate the change in plans at the last minute, especially if the reason doesn’t seem legitimate.

DEAR HARRIETTE: One of my best friends may be into me, and I don’t know what to do. I have been friends with him for over a year, and we are pretty close. We have a lot in common, and whenever you see us, chances are, we are dying laughing in a corner. He is a great friend. He always offers to pay whenever we go out. He is the person I go to whenever I have a problem. He is my best friend, and I want it to stay that way. However, lately he acts a bit too close. I don’t want to ruin the friendship that we have. What do I do to tell my friend that we should stay friends? -- Friend Zoned

DEAR FRIEND ZONED: I think you should step out of your comfort zone and see what happens if you let your guard down. You can tell your friend how much you appreciate him and want to ensure that your friendship endures. You can admit that you are skittish about going to the next level because you don’t want to risk the bond that you treasure. Talk to him about your trepidation. See where his mind is. You may want to agree to see what happens if you date. He could turn out to be your best friend AND soulmate. Isn’t that worth a try?

(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.)