Home' LOTL : August 2004 Contents ADVICE BY DAWN COHEN
Q A friend of mine has glandular fever, and didn't tell me about it until
after she kissed me hello on the lips. She knew she was catchy and I
think she should not have kissed me. She says I am treating her like a
leper, the way homophobes treat AIDS patients. -- Germophobe.
A The difference between you and an 'AIDS phobe' is that you can't catch AIDS from
a social kiss. If there is a comparison to be drawn, your friend was having unsafe social
intercourse with you. It's hard for most of us to accept responsibility when we have a
contagious illness in non-sexual areas because capitalism has trained us to "soldier on"
(remember the cold tablet television advert?), so that your workplace can make a buck,
rather than encouraging you to stay at home and protect others. There is a strange
aloneness in protecting others from one's germs and viruses. Your friend does not want
to bear that. Instead she is confusing your expectation that she be responsible with
Q The woman who sings loudly next to me in our choir is often out of
tune. It puts me off. Should I leave or should I say something? -- Tuneful.
A This is a dilemma with squirm. It's one thing confronting a friend about a delicate
issue. Quite another to confront someone who is not close. You have every right to stay
in the choir, and enjoy your time there. I would discretely talk to the choir director, and
let them sort it out.
Q I am applying for a job promotion and so is a peer with whom
I have worked closely. I am worried that if I get it, she will hate me.
-- Top girl.
A Is this fear based on reality or projections of your own? Our fears about peer
relationships will often reflect something of the relationship we have had with siblings.
Was there bullying or strong rivalry between you and your sisters or brothers? Did you
get attacked or ridiculed for getting your parent's attention? How do you handle envy?
Take a few days to answer these questions. Then talk to your colleague, preferably
before the interviews, about how each of you will feel if the other gets the job, and
decide together what steps you can take to support each other in the process of
digesting the news, and creating a continued positive relationship.
The opinions expressed in this column are the personal views of the
writer, they are not intended to be a substitute for professional
medical advice. If you need medical or psychological help please see
your local GP or psychologist.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOU AND AN
'AIDS PHOBE' IS THAT YOU CAN'T CATCH AIDS FROM
A SOCIAL KISS.
I WOULD DISCRETELY TALK TO THE CHOIR DIRECTOR,
AND LET THEM SORT IT OUT.
WAS THERE BULLYING OR STRONG RIVALRY BETWEEN
YOU AND YOUR SISTERS OR BROTHERS? DID YOU GET
ATTACKED OR RIDICULED FOR GETTING YOUR PARENT'S
ATTENTION? HOW DO YOU HANDLE ENVY?
Clinical Member CAPA
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