Dear Annie: I am a college student who is about two years from graduating. I have been living with my parents while I am in school, because it’s cheaper than living on campus.
A few years ago, I decided, for several reasons, to move from Ohio to Florida when I graduate. Although my parents have told me my entire life to do what I want to do, they are against this move. When I first told them about this decision, they thought I was just dreaming. However, as my college education is winding up, they are trying to convince me to stay. They will not let up with their reasons for me to continue to live here.
I keep telling my family that moving is not a final goodbye. They are welcome to visit anytime, and I surely will return to Ohio now and then. But this information hasn’t convinced them to stop badgering me. I don’t think I can take the pressure anymore. What do I do?
— Pressured Family
Dear Pressured: Your family wants you to stick around because they will miss you terribly if you move away. They foresee you marrying someone from Florida and raising a family there, where you will have only periodic contact. You see this as developing your independence. They see it as a permanent separation. If you can understand their underlying fear and sadness, it will help you respond more compassionately to their “badgering.” But this is your decision to make, whether or not they agree, so please have the courage of your convictions, which includes the ability to withstand the pressure.
Dear Annie: I have an account at a local bank. Every time anyone enters the bank, a greeter meets us with good wishes, hellos and “What are your plans for the day?” The tellers chitchat with customers at the window, asking “How are you?” and “What are you doing for the holiday?”
This takes up time when people are waiting for service. How do you tell them to shut up and get the line moving when you only want to do business and get out?
— Waiting for Your Answer
Dear Waiting: Most of this friendliness does not take up as much time as you think. Employees can be both friendly and efficient. You can say hello to a greeter without stopping to tell your life story. Tellers can chat while they cash checks, enter deposits or do any number of things. It only becomes a problem if the teller cannot multitask or when the chatting continues after the transaction is finished. If you notice this happening, you should register a complaint with the bank manager.
Dear Annie: You gave good advice to “Lonely for Friends.” I have been fortunate to make and keep many friends. Here’s my advice:
To keep friends, they must be nurtured like a garden. When you are with a potential friend:
1. Ask about them. Try not to be self-absorbed. Show interest and care when they speak.
2. Discuss books, movies, current affairs (without the politics).
3. Invite them to your home and make another date while together.
4. Send a note by email, snail mail or even text message letting them know you enjoyed being together.
5. Remember their birthday or the next big holiday.
6. Be there as a friend when life’s difficulties happen and celebrate the good times.
7. Be lighthearted and fun to be around.
To have a friend, one must be a friend. This also makes for better relations with co-workers. Friends are the chocolate chips in the cookie of life.
— A Good Friend
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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