September 20, 2019

What’s Wrong With Three Women Going Camping?

What’s Wrong With Three Women Going Camping?


I start work at 7 a.m. I am not a morning person, but I’m usually in a good mood by the time I make it to work, and I try to pick nice outfits and do my hair and makeup. Still, a few times a week, my boss tells me how tired I look. Often, it’s the first thing she says when she strolls in 30 minutes after I do. I don’t think she says it to be mean. Sometimes, she seems genuinely concerned. But I find it insulting. I try to joke it off, but it’s getting old. Help!

ANONYMOUS

As ever, where bosses are concerned, your next move depends on the kind of boss you have. Is she a person you can be candid with? “I appreciate your concern, but I’m fine. In fact, I put effort into looking nice, so it upsets me when you tell me I don’t. Can you stop commenting on my appearance, please?”

Talking to someone in human resources, if such a department exists in your workplace, is another option. But often, we can’t be sure how our bosses will respond to criticism, and it’s not worth the risk of finding out. If that’s the case here, say nothing. And if this really bothers you (and you feel silenced), consider finding another job where speed rounds of “Hot or Not” would rightly be frowned upon.

Every Labor Day weekend for the past six years, I have visited my sister and her family at their country house. I hate everything about it: their bragging and conspicuous consumption of wealth, their showy friends, and my now-irredeemable relationship with my sister. What to do?

L.S.

Call your sister and tell her you’re not up to a visit now. Or tough it out and acknowledge that you may be being a trifle extreme about her.

It’s your decision. But in my experience, confrontations without affection or respect rarely go well. Can you work on finding some love for your sister and talk about your issues then?


For help with your awkward situation, send a question to SocialQ@nytimes.com, to Philip Galanes on Facebook or @SocialQPhilip on Twitter.





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