Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lean On Me: How and When to Give a Sister Some Help

Excerpted from my advice column, Like Sisters, for Cville Weekly.  Please click here to read the whole column.

You want to save her, don’t you? You’re a good super-friend. You probably inherited it like I did. I’ve got a good bit of my grandmother in me. Not the part that ate like a bird, but the part where she squinted her eyes and helped you plan your escape. Hardship made her crafty. Until she died at 91, she held onto a thank you note from a friend who she helped elope circa 1935. In this issue, I answer three tough friendship questions using the skills passed down to me from Kitty Kane, my awesome grandma.

What do you say to a friend who seems to be dissatisfied with her job?
Get her a card—a funny one about friendship or cats. On the inside, include a handwritten message: “You deserve the best. Can I help you find a new job?”
Her: I complain too much about my job, don’t I?
You: Nope. You complain just enough for me to know that it sucks. I’ll help you find a new one. Do you daydream about walking away from it all, like you might quit at any moment?
Her: Yes. I feel like I don’t even know who I am.
You: I want to shake you by the shoulders, but I don’t want to make a scene. Start picturing your last day, and when that starts to sound good, I’ll help you.

Read on...