Dear Annie: I’m in a really bittersweet situation. I hit it off with a friend who happens to live quite far away. The time we’ve spent hanging out has been awesome, and I’m beyond thankful to have them in my life. But I’m frustrated by the distance. I’m not scared we’ll drift apart, but I am anxious about how little face time we have between meetups. I’ve lost friends due to distance before, and while those times weren’t pleasant, this one’s different. This person really just gets me in a way I have trouble articulating. Any tips for not going crazy? – Faraway Friend
Dear Faraway Friend: Just because a person is physically far from you does not mean that they are far from your heart. Finding a person in your life who really gets to you should not give rise to anxiety but rather comfort in knowing that there is someone out there who understands you.
Distance cannot take away a bond like that, especially with the technology that we have now. You could FaceTime often with the person or use other similar technology. The friends you lost due to distance were not the right friends for you. Real friends will be with you no matter how far away you are. The reverse is also true. You can be physically right next to lots of friends and not feel that deep connection you are talking about. It is the connection that is to be treasured, not the physical presence.
With all that said, see where it goes. Perhaps the more time you get to know each other you might organically move closer to each other.
Dear Annie: I am having trouble with my sister-in-law. Every time I try to talk to her, she interrupts me. I have told my husband about this, and he basically says that there isn’t anything he can do about it. In turn, I try to avoid her as much as I can. But it’s hard to do that at family functions. What can I do to make her stop? – Signed Annoyed
Dear Annoyed: Being interrupted can be rude and very annoying. But getting angry or avoiding her all together is not the solution. Try your best to be gracious and firm with her. Let some of the interruptions go. Sometimes the interruptions might be helpful or supportive of the conversation.
If the interruptions continue, you could politely say, “Let me just finish what I’m saying so I don’t forget my point.” You could steamroll the conversation by continuing to keep on talking until she gets the point that you are not going to stop until you are finished.
Lastly, I would speak to her privately. Be direct, kind and honest with her. My guess is that she is unaware that she is doing so. Some people are socially anxious and much more focused on the impression they’re making than on the exchange. The interruptions might be coming from a place of wanting to impress you.
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