DEAR HARRIETTE: I went to a private high school that a lot of celebrity children attended. As an adult, I’ve stayed in contact with many of them and watched them turn into celebrities in their own right.
I’ve made friends with many non-celebrities over the years as well, including someone I met in college. When this good friend found out that I am friends with some celebrities, she suddenly became very eager to meet them.
This definitely rubbed me the wrong way. I still want to be friends with this girl, but I don’t like the idea of her wanting to get close to my other friends solely because they are famous. Should I distance myself from this person?
Crossing the Line
DEAR CROSSING THE LINE: We live in a celebrity-driven culture. It is normal that your “regular” friend would be intrigued by this other side of your life. What you need to do now is control her expectations. Tell her directly that you will not be introducing her to the people she wants to meet. Explain that you keep your friendships separate intentionally.
Stop talking about these other friends when you are with this person. If she continues to ask, that’s when you may need to create a bit of distance for a while, but it doesn’t have to last forever. Moreover, you need to remember that your life will be easier if you keep certain relationships private.
Navigating between two worlds is not always easy, but it is the life that you are living. Focus on creating authentic, honest relationships with whoever matters to you. Know what is expected of each friendship. Privacy is valued by your celebrity friends; perhaps intimacy by your others. When you feel like a friend can flow between the two, that’s when you introduce them. Only then.
DEAR HARRIETTE: The main issue that I have had over the years when choosing romantic partners and friends has been that I am a poor judge of character.
Everyone around me can usually tell that someone is bad news before I can. I am blind to red flags when I really enjoy spending time with someone, and it has brought me so much heartbreak.
What are some signs to look for in the future when choosing who I get close to?
DEAR NO DISCERNMENT: Start by making a list of what you value in a relationship. What qualities matter to you? Be specific.
The clearer you can get about behavior, attitudes and values that you would appreciate in a partner, the easier it will be for you to spot whether a person has those attributes. Specificity is key. For example, if you say you want someone to be “nice,” that’s not enough. Instead, you may want someone to be attentive, to call you daily, to inquire about your life, to care about your family and theirs. You may want someone who is proactive about doing things together, who engages with your other friends, who puts family at the top of the list, who likes to be social with you, who is neat, who treats their friends kindly in public and private.
Make your detailed list and then observe potential partners to see how they measure up. Don’t go too far with anyone who doesn’t deserve it. Take your time to get to know a person. Only allow them into your intimate world when they deserve it.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.