LOVE ABBY: I’m engaged to a great guy. He is very sweet and I am very grateful to him. I would not trade it for the world. But he has a character error that is hard to ignore. When he gets frustrated, he screams out loud and it takes a while before he comes together again.
When he lost his phone on the plane and was angry for hours, he pouted and frowned as if the world had just ended. I have a very easy personality and don’t understand this kind of behavior. (He contacted his telephone provider and a new telephone was delivered to him within 24 hours.)
When I spoke to him about his anger, he sometimes said that people get frustrated and show emotions. He added that he has noticed this problem and that it has been something he has been working on for years. What should I do or say the next time we encounter an accident and it gets angry? – AMAZING IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
BEST BEAUTIFUL: Your fiancé can be a perfectionist or even have a touch of OCD, that’s why he is so hard on himself when he makes a mistake and gets frustrated. For his own good (and yours), he must find a better way to vent his emotions.
Although anger is something that everyone experiences at one time or another, most people begin to control it during childhood. While pouting and frowning are acceptable, your fiancé who ‘shouts’ about losing his cell phone seems exaggerated. Not only that, it is intimidating.
My booklet ‘The anger in all of us and how to deal with it’ contains suggestions for controlling and constructively channeling anger in different situations. It can be ordered by sending your name and address, plus a check or money order for $ 8 (US funds), to Dear Abby Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling costs are included in the price.
Your fiance must learn to channel his emotions in a more constructive way, because if he doesn’t, they can eventually chase others away. We live in increasingly stressful times. You need self-control and maturity to react calmly instead of exploding. Staying in touch with his emotions will not only help your fiancé to calm himself down without losing it, it will also help him to keep the respect of others.
LOVE ABBY: I have a friend and colleague who likes to play with my hair, rub my back and generally lay her hands on it. I am not a touch person with EVERYONE and it makes me very uncomfortable when she does this. Is there a polite way to tell her to stop without making her feel uncomfortable or hurting her feelings? I am not a beat-the-bush person, and sometimes I miss the tactic to properly describe things. – NOT TOUCHY FEELY
BEST NO TOUCHY FEELY: Expressing your feelings would not be lacking in tact; it would set a limit. Try this: “I really like you, and I know the feelings are mutual, but I don’t like being touched and I want you to stop.”
Dear Abby was written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.