You Are the Answer Lady: July 2012
I got laid off and people constantly ask me how the job search is going. I can't stand the moment of awkward sympathy when I answer truthfully ("Not well"). How can I shut down these questions?
By answering "not well" you're encouraging sympathy. It's a natural response. Be more optimistic and upbeat if you want a different reaction. Say, "Nothing has come up yet, but I'm hopeful that it won't be too much longer."
Try not to let it bother you -- remember to be grateful that folks care enough to ask. And try using it as an opportunity to ask if the person knows anyone who's hiring.
Annemarie Kimm Ford
If you're not feeling up to fake optimism, "It's a process" with a shoulder shrug works. Then change the subject.
I was unemployed for three months after being laid off. I found that you really have to tell these "concerned" people what they can do to help you -- whether that means helping find leads, having you over for dinner, or watching your kids while you're interviewing.
I let my 15-year-old daughter and her best friend see an R-rated movie and now her mother is mad at me. I feel terrible. I don't want to ruin their friendship (or be that mom)! How do I fix this?
Apologize to the other mom in front of both girls to let them see that you understand and respect her wishes. It also never hurts for kids to know their parents are checking up on them!
Oh my gosh, it's a movie and she's only two years away from being 17! Get real -- your kids could see more than 200,000 violent acts on TV by the time they're 18. I'd rather let my 15-year-old watch an R-rated comedy like Step Brothers than some violent cartoons and TV shows.
The movie ratings are there for a reason. Even if the kids think they're old enough, they're probably not.
Sincerely apologize and make sure she understands that you're truly sorry. Tell her you should have asked beforehand and explain that it didn't even cross your mind -- and that you'll never let it happen again.
My husband and I had a party and a few of our friends brought several unexpected guests. It was cramped and we even ran out of wine! Is there a polite way to prevent this next time?
I bet if you sent the people who brought extra friends out to buy more wine and food, they would cure themselves of that habit!
Sherri Lynn Swalinkavich
When you invite them, tell your friends, "We're keeping this small and intimate. We'll be happy to see the two of you."
I have always prepared a little more food than we need, just in case extras show up.
How rude! It wasn't an open house. Spreading the word should help next time.
I agree that it wasn't polite, but if they were good guests, then what's the harm? Everyone gets to meet a few new people.
You be the Answer Lady! Just go to facebook.com/LHJmagazine.