Q: I'm an adult who recently moved back home. I'm having a hard time adjusting to the loss of independence. The one thing that really drives me crazy is that almost every time my mom speaks to me, she uses a pet name or a childhood nickname. I'm not financially independent, and I know my parents love me and do so much for me, so I don't want to seem unappreciative. The obvious answer is to just talk to my mom about it, but in past conversations of a similar vein, I could tell she felt hurt by my asking her to treat me as more of an adult. Do you have any suggestions on how to approach this?
A: No. You are an adult asking to be treated as such, so just be direct about your misgivings. "Mom, I love you and I'm grateful to be here. The loss of independence is hard for me, though. One thing I think would help: Would you please not call me by pet names or nicknames? I get this will be an adjustment, but we're both finding our way."
Friend is entitled to her post-divorce bitterness
Q: A friend divorced her husband three years ago. He was verbally abusive and had an affair. Since then, she bashes her husband and men in general. This is making me uncomfortable. How do I tell her to ease off on her opinions, without ignoring her feelings of what she went through?
A: It's not your place to tell her to ease off on her opinions. They're hers and she's entitled to them. You, meanwhile, are entitled to yours: "Your ex deserves every bit of your anger, but he's just one man. I expect that if a man publicly bashed all women out of disgust for his ex-wife, you'd be outraged by that."