I’m a man whose pet peeve is people who phone me to chat while they’re are obviously distracted by another task. If the other task is something mindless, such as dusting, I don’t care; but often I can hear people typing away at the computer or talking to their spouse or child. I find this incredibly rude – especially when they’ve called me! I know that life is busy, and it is for me as well, so if I’m not able to talk for long, I tell them so rather than try to do five things at once. I have one friend who’s particularly guilty of this and I’m starting to screen her calls. How can I handle this more appropriately?
- Ticked Off
Guilty. I confess that when I know I’m going to have a long chat with someone, I also start doing laundry. Two loads and a heart-to-heart is my idea of a great conversation! But, I take your point, especially when one conversant is repeatedly distracted. My advice on dealing with most relationship annoyances is to speak up before they expand into major rifts. Screening calls leads to avoiding a friend, and that’s a shame if the person has value in your life. You’re already talking when the “peeve” occurs, so say your piece. Try something like, “I’m finding it hard to have this conversation when you’re clearly busy. Call me later when you’re free.” After a few times, the message will either be accepted, or this is a friend who’s too busy to give you the undivided attention you desire.
I’m a female, 40, divorced with two kids - attractive and funny, also financially very stable. But I have a problem finding a companion. Most men I meet are screwed up, either in the head or on the financial side. So far, I’m having bad luck finding good quality men. I don't have a lot of friends, so I don't go out too much. However I’d like to meet someone with similar interests. I know you’re an expert, so maybe you know where to find good men.
- Seeking Mr. Good
It doesn’t take an “expert” to find the good guys… it takes you working on your own approach. There are decent, financially stable, responsible men out there just as eager as you are to have a happy relationship. You need to broaden your outlook, your network and your activities that take you out. Ticking off a list of interests when you meet a man, is shopping in the wrong way… it has nothing to do with chemistry or character. It’s far better to meet people when you are pursuing your own interests – so join a book, film or photography club or the like, take a course or workshop, get involved in a sport activity, or volunteer somewhere you can be useful. At each place you go, when you meet new people, be as open to women as men, young and old, as you never know whose family or friendship circle will include just the right man for you.
I'm always bored at work. In my last job as a junior manager I hated work, was constantly slacking off, and then pulling things off with minimal effort. I thought the problem was my workplace with some crappy colleagues, so I moved to a more focused role in another organization in the same industry. Six months later, I'm bored again. I hate this workplace, too. While the colleagues are not as crappy, they still annoy me. Maybe I need to get out of the whole office thing. But taking off for a year, or taking a big pay cut would be hard; my partner and I need both our incomes to maintain our lifestyle. However, I realize that making a change while I'm young and child-and-mortgage-less would be better than doing it later.
Stop blaming the workplace for not giving you exactly what you want. I suspect something else is making you unhappy. An individual therapist will help you explore whether you need to change more than your job. For example, a course of study could be a great investment in your future, despite some lifestyle sacrifices. You may have reached a plateau in your work life and settled for superficial rewards, too soon. Your relationship may also need a boost, since it doesn’t appear to compensate for work-day boredom.
Tip of the day:
If you let a pet peeve grow unresolved, you may end up with less friends and bigger problems.