Short Answers

By Jeff Johnson and Paula Forman


Dear Short Answers:
How do you stop a person from constantly talking about herself?  No matter who is talking, she interrupts and makes the story about her. If you say “I am going to France this summer,” she’ll jump in and say “I just saw a movie that took place in France, blah, blah, blah.” Fortunately, she is very attractive so the men just stare at her chest. But it drives the rest of us crazy. Suggestion?
Sick of It

Dear Sick:
This behavior screams “needy” as loudly as it screams “rude.” Ignore her interruptions and continue with your conversation. Responding to her gives her just what she wants — MORE ATTENTION.


Dear Short Answers:
My brother makes a LOT of money and is very generous. He helps support a number of family members including our parents who are in their middle 80
s.  I’m far from poor but just finished putting a child through college. I haven’t contributed in the same way.  He never asks for help, but I feel slightly guilty. Should I put in the kitty?
Less Money

Dear Less:
Talk to your brother about your concern. Our guess is that “help-in-kind” may be the answer and the time and manner will present itself if you are paying attention.


Dear Short Answers:
I have a friend who interjects “you know” into every sentence. I want to say “I don’t know” every time. It drives me nuts. I’ve mentioned it once or twice with little result. I’m sure I’m not the only one who notices and it hurts his ability to communicate. Should I just keep reminding him?
A Friend

Dear Friend:
We’ve been on both sides of this — the person with the annoying tic and the recipient of well-intentioned counsel. Although having someone “correct” what is undoubtedly unconscious behavior may ultimately be effective, it is also irritating beyond measure. Ask your friend if he wants your help — or better yet, forget about it.


Dear Short Answers:
I lost my job a couple of months ago and my roommate has been paying all the bills. He doesn’t complain but I think he may be expecting more than just being “roommates” if you know what I mean. I’m not gay and I didn’t think that he was either. I joked about it with him and he was furious and defensive. But I still get a weird feeling and I’m not sure what to do. I can’t afford to move out and I still like him as a friend just not as a lover. How do I clear the air?
Feeling Awkward

Dear FA:
Out with it! Ask him if he has something on his mind he wants to discuss — it may not be sex at all. Maybe he just wants to know when you will get a job and pay him the money you owe him!


Dear Short Answers:
How do I know if I’m engaged or married to the “right” person or the “best” person for me?

Dear Un:
If you don’t know, we don’t know.

Life is complicated.  Short Answers isn’t.

Send a question about whatever is bothering you to or go to and a psychologist and sociologist will answer.  A selection of the best questions will be printed every week in KonkLife.

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