Dear Queenie,

I have a friend who is always complaining about her appearance – she’s too fat, she’s too short, her hair is a mess, whatever.

Queenie, what’s the best way to respond to such remarks?—Worried friend

Dear Friend,

There is no point in lying about such things. If your friend really is overweight, for example, her mirror is telling her the truth and nothing you say can change it.

However, surely there is something else about her that you can compliment – she has good posture, her hair is a lovely colour, she has a beautiful complexion, she dresses well, whatever.

Dear Queenie,

My father is cheating on my mother. I found out by accident while I was using his computer and there is no mistake about it. I told him I would tell Mom if he didn’t make an end to it, but I know she will stick with him anyway.

Now I’m having trouble trusting my boyfriend because of the idea that all men are alike even though I have no real reason to doubt him.

Queenie, help!—Cheater’s daughter

Dear Daughter,

Not all men are like your father, as I am sure you realise in your calmer moments. Professional counselling probably would help you ease your mind on that issue.

Meanwhile, do not interfere in what is entirely your parents’ business. You cannot control what your father does or does not do, your mother may or may not know what he is up to and, if she knows, what she does about it is entirely up to her.

Dear Queenie,

I am afraid of birds, even small ones, and they are all over the place in St. Maarten. I know this is silly, but I am still scared every time one comes near me.

Queenie, how can I get over this?—Ornithophobe

Dear Ornithophobe,

Professional counselling might help you understand why you have this phobia. Some incident in your childhood may have triggered it.

Meanwhile, whenever a bird frightens you, try yellin at it. Getting angry may help you be less afraid, and the birds will usually fly away when you shout at them. Also, seeing that they are afraid of you also could help you become less afraid of them

Dear Queenie,

We have some friends who always bring us a “hostess gift” when they come to visit us, but it’s always something they got cheap because it is out of date. They even brag about how much they saved on buying it.

These people are very well-off and it’s not as if they can’t afford to pay the regular price.

Queenie, should we just accept the gifts, thank them and throw the stuff out after they have gone home or tell them not to bother?—Disgusted

Dear Disgusted,

Thank them kindly for the gift and then serve the out-of-date food to them and something more nourishing to yourselves. If they comment on the difference, tell them you prefer not to eat food that is past its freshness date.

Dear Queenie,
A friend of mine is being abused by her boyfriend. She even call the police for him once but it didn’t do any good.
She always comes to me crying and asking for advice. I try to help her but she never listens to any advice I give her.
Queenie, what more can I do?—Worried friend

Dear Friend,
About all you can do for her is be there for her when she needs you. If you have not already done so, give her the following contact information for Safe Haven and pray that she will use it:
Safe Haven (office 9277), 24-hour hotline number: 9333 or (721) 523-6400, e-mail address: info@safehavensxm.sx , Facebook: SafeHavenSt.Maarten

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