Navigating friendships, marriage, or talkative masis – Aunty Dolly’s got you covered.
Log Off the Logorrhoea
Dear Aunty D,
I don’t know how else to put this – my masi has a bad case of verbal diarrhoea. She will not stop talking about anything and everything – even some topics better left unsaid. If she’s not complaining endlessly about the most boring parts of her day, she’s giving unwarranted opinions about all our lives, or worse, revealing something totally TMI! I really want to tell her to put up or shut up, but instead I’m the one putting up with her not shutting up. What to do?
Dear Log Off the Logorrhoea,
Since she’s your masi, you’ll never be out of listening reach. Nevertheless, her incessant nattering might be hiding a very lonely person, unseen and unheard most of the time. Also, her social skills seem lacking since she doesn’t realise that her desperate attempts to interact with whoever lends her an ear makes her an annoying nuisance. So, while exercising kindness and patience, help her unlearn her ranting habit by asserting enforced boundaries. Set up a monthly chitchat time, when you’ll listen to her with respect and undivided attention. Everybody has something of value to say, and she might even become your favourite aunt to go to…
(Like An) Old Married Couple
Dear Aunty D,
My hubby and I have been together for 10 blessed (and long) years. And yet, we still bicker like kids! I remember in the beginning, everyone thought it was cute, and I enjoyed our banter. However, I thought that the longer we were married, we would grow to be more on the same page, but a decade on, and we’re still fighting like cats and dogs. Don’t get me wrong, the love is there – but so is the (proverbial) shove! Is this normal?
Dear (Like An) Old Married Couple,
As long as you both are wearing ‘kids’ gloves’ and not scratching away at each other’s dignity and hurling insults at your genetic makeup, then it’s normal and will continue “till death do you part,” or as long as you remain a couple invested in finding the middle ground in a relationship of two very different individuals. If within the hour, you both can go back to squabbling about the menu, and the next day’s agenda, then please happily carry on as is. It is only when the cat has bitten off your tongues and there’s nothing left to say; that’s when there’s nothing left in the relationship either.
The Devil Needs No Advocate
Dear Aunty D,
I like to think I’m not really a sensitive soul, but enough is enough. Whenever I crib about something, my friend always downplays my complaints and makes me feel petty, narrow-minded and intolerant. She says she’s just “playing devil’s advocate,” but why can’t she be my guardian angel instead? I wish I was more devil-may-care about it, but it actually hurts like the devil. What do I tell her?
Dear The Devil Needs No Advocate,
She’s your confidante and means well, and was just trying to blunt the blow by pointing out the whys of others’ actions, which is helpful when done with understanding, and at the right time. However, to stop you from feeling like she’s negating your emotions, it’s best she understands how her lessons on tolerance and calm thinking while you are venting raises the bristles on your back and puts you in a defensive mood, rather than calming you down. Explain that you’d highly appreciate her non-judgmental acknowledgement of your emotions when you are upset, and to save her observations and opinions for later, or better still, just listen and tchh! Tchh! Some pity!
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