Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Woman’s Social Media Rant Worries Friend

DEAR HARRIETTE: A friend of mine, “Mary,” went on a rant on social media, saying really unpleasant things about people and even naming them. Obviously, she was upset, but I think this was an unwise thing to do. Who knows who all will see her posts? Plus, the people Mary was talking about don’t deserve to be talked about so poorly. I’m sure she is feeling stir crazy from being at home for so long.

In her post, Mary was mad at a couple of friends who hadn’t gotten back to her in what she thought was a timely manner while she noticed that they had been communicating with each other back and forth on social media. She felt left out, and she went off on them. I want to step in and get her to cool off and take these posts down. Do you think that I am crossing a line? We are good friends. I would hope that somebody would pull my coattails if I made such a big mistake. -- Having Her Back

DEAR HAVING HER BACK: If you think Mary will hear you, give it a try. Call her and check in. Ask her how she is doing, and let her vent before you get into why you called. She needs to feel heard and supported, so you offer that as a first step.

Once she has said her piece, tell her you have something you want to discuss with her. Point out that you have seen her angry post about your mutual friends. Acknowledge that you understand what she is upset about. Then give context that you wish she would talk to them privately rather than putting her feelings out in the public. Suggest that she take down her post as it could backfire on her if it gets in the wrong hands. Recommend instead that she reach out to her friends and work it out -- or simply let it go.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I can’t make any sense of this stimulus plan that was just passed. I feel completely overwhelmed right now, but I know that very soon I should be getting money, which I desperately need so that I don’t lose my apartment. Do you know how to figure out how to get the money? I’m told we were promised money for every single American, even people who don’t make a lot. Do you know how to get the money? -- Stimulus

DEAR STIMULUS: You are not alone. The bill was passed recently, and the government is working hard to make it clear to everyone how to get the money that has been allocated for them. Just as we are looking at the news on a daily basis to learn the progress of the disease, we also need to be vigilant about tracking this much-needed money.

My research suggests that if you are a current taxpayer, the IRS already has your address and bank account information. If that is so, you should automatically receive a disbursement to that account. To learn more, go to irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know.

(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.)