Dear Abby: Every year my brother and his wife visit us. They stay for two weeks. My sister-in-law's first words after "Hello" were "I'm on vacation so I'm not doing anything!" My answer was, "We are all retired, so every day is a vacation."
Abby, she is rude and nagging at her brother, asking if she took a shower, changed her underwear, etc. She treats her brother like a child and "reminds" others how smart she is. I expect to wait, I think 3 days is enough. This is not an acceptable length of stay. — No Servants in North Dakota
Dear Servants: Can I be frank? Someone like your sister-in-law With you, you should expect pain when you unwrap the welcome mat. You know that while you love them, you can't let them stay for more than three days, and that if they want to stay longer in your city, you'll need to arrange other accommodation. Tell his brother and his wife. Then slam the hatch and stick to the guns without further discussion or explanation, in preparation for the storm.
Dear Abby: I made friends on social media 6 years ago. We haven't met in person, but we keep in touch. About a year ago she started contacting me on a daily basis. I took a few years off work to take care of my baby, so it was great back then. As a stay-at-home mom, it was lovely to converse with another adult. She is a very nice woman, old enough to be my mother, but unfortunately she suffers from severe agoraphobia. She rarely leaves home. Her window to the world is her mobile phone.
Her family distances herself from her because she tends to be critical and condescending, and even downright rude at times. She's been directing me to this type of behavior lately. She is very sweet and I have always tried to be patient and considerate. I feel sorry for her because there is no one in her life. However, I am very disgusted by her negativity and her constant complaints.
I just got back to work with her and have less time to talk to her. You feel guilty because the less you talk, the happier you are. I still care about her, but she wants to reduce her contact with her. What can I do without hurting her feelings or gradually "ghosting" her? — CHANGE OF HEART
DEAR CHANGE: Not only have you had a change of heart, but your circumstances have changed since you returned to work. As kindly as possible, tell the woman that you cannot keep talking to her for as long or as often as you used to. If she responds in a rude, judgmental, or condescending way, tell her the truth, tell her you refuse to be treated that way, and end the call. Either her behavior changes orshe ghosts you.
Dear Abby was written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and founded by her mother's girlfriend Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.