A: No, first you try to handle it yourself. Go to the boss and tell him you will not allow him to dishonor you again, and if it continues, you will proceed with a formal complaint. Take ownership of this problem, and don’t involve your husband unless you are unable to solve it on your own. You are a big girl. Big girls take care of their business before running to hubby.
Q: How can you get siblings to share in the care of your elderly mom?
A: Talk with them and explain how you and their mom need their help. That’s about all you can do. Unfortunately, you can’t make anyone do anything. You’ll just have to accept it if they don’t step up to the plate. I know this situation seems unfair, but darlin’, life is often unfair. Some folks would rather be selfish than grow.
Others are afraid of what the situation is asking of them. That said, I don’t give up on people either, so pray and ask for guidance. Be at peace knowing that YOU are doing the right thing despite the burden you are bearing.
Q: My neighbors are a bunch of old busybodies and don’t have enough to do. So how should I respond the next time one of them asks me, “Honey, other than the fact that your husband makes you work, does he treat you OK?”
A: Here’s what you say, “Unless and until you witness me running bloody and naked across the front yard, fleeing from him as he swings a baseball bat at my head, rest assured that he’s treating me just fine.” Be sure to say this in a way that makes them wonder; that should keep their tongues wagging for some time, and perhaps they will begin to keep their distance.
Q: What do I do about a co-worker who gets on my nerves?
A: You control your response to her. Decide that you won’t permit her to drive you crazy. You are the one in control of how you react; don’t hand over your power to her by letting her push your buttons.
I once worked with someone who really chafed my hide. A friend suggested that the next time he irked me I should visualize a halo above his head. This was supposed to be a reminder that he’s a child of God, too and someone who has good traits as well. This exercise didn’t work for me because as I was imagining the halo, little devil horns suddenly started sprouting out of his head and overtaking the halo.
So what’s the most effective way to preserve your nerves? By refusing to allow your nerves to be affected in the first place. As with all things, it’s all a matter of a made-up mind.
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauretta Hannon, a resident of Powder Springs, is the bestselling author of “The Cracker Queen — A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life” and a keynote speaker. Visit her at thecrackerqueen.com.