With my little sister?

Joey Garcia

I moved overseas for work five years ago and recently returned to California to live. In the last year, without my knowing, my best friend (a guy) hooked up with my youngest sister. My best friend visited me when I lived overseas. I introduced him to my girlfriend’s cousin, and they had a pretty hot time. I have since figured out that this was during the time when he was dating my sister. Now, my best friend and my sister are talking about moving in together. I love this guy, but I don’t think he’s right for my sister. She’s pretty innocent, and he’s always cheated on his girlfriends. Should I say something to her? The other side of this is that she is really in love with him, and I don’t want to hurt her.

Let’s investigate your feelings first. Were you hurt that your best friend and your sister kept their relationship a secret from you? Did you ask your sister and your friend, separately, why they made this conscious choice? If not, it’s time to do so. In the process, you will gain a valuable insight into yourself and an awareness of how the people you love perceive you. Be prepared to listen. Refrain from defending yourself. Express your gratitude for their input. Then, walk away and carefully consider what you have heard. Determine whether you need to change anything about yourself. If so, actively institute the necessary alterations in your character.

Now, let’s examine your concern that your buddy cheated on your sister. The first step is to make certain that they were actually dating and not broken up during the time in question. The only way to know this is to ask. I would start with your friend. If he admits that he was dating your sister and cheated on her, give him an opportunity (with a deadline) to tell your sister the truth. If he refuses, you should tell your sister about the overseas betrayal. Then, stay out of it. Let her decide what action, if any, she wants to take. You might buy her a New Year’s gift, though. I suggest a copy of He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. It cuts right through the fog.

I need a public forum for this problem, so I am talking to you. I was at church recently, and the man in front of me was picking his nose. The woman next to me was coughing into her hands. Neither of these people wiped their hands properly, but both reached out to shake my hand during the designated time for this in the service. I met their eyes and smiled but did not shake hands. The man seemed angry with me, but I didn’t care. I was disgusted. I could not believe their self-centeredness. Please let people know that the hands they extend to shake should be clean.

I’m on your side, but consider that some people are not conscious of their behavior. Actions such as nose-picking or nail-biting express anxiety and may fly below the radar of awareness. After all, if the individuals became aware of their nervous or nasty habits, they might have to address the neurosis behind them. So, wear gloves to church or pack a bottle of hand sanitizer. Or, fold your hands in prayer and bow in an Eastern-style greeting before others extend their hands in greeting.

By the way, here’s the habit I abhor: people who snort phlegm back into their system rather than blow their nose. Hey, it’s not food. Your body wants that stuff out, so why are you eating it? Ew! Yuck! Gross!

Meditation of the week
Former Senator Paul Simon once said that it was important to “learn to disagree without being disagreeable.” Is it more important to believe that you are correct or to respect differences?

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