Dear Abby: My mother is a narcissist and a user. She has never held down a job and blames everyone else. We rarely get along for more than 15 minutes at a time.
The problem is, she doesn’t realize her behavior is unacceptable. If you try to address it, it causes an argument. She has no idea that she has alienated herself from our family and has no friends. She loves me and I love her, but I can’t stand to be around her.
I’m responsible for 99 percent of her social interactions outside of work. What do I do? She says that because she has no savings, she will be moving in with me when she’s older. The idea of taking care of her until she dies keeps me up at night.
How do I handle her now and as she ages? I feel like a terrible person for feeling this way, but it’s causing me increasing anxiety. – Distressed Daughter in Wisconsin
Dear Daughter: You are responsible for your mother’s social life because you have placed yourself in that position. The person responsible for her social life as well as her financial situation is her, not you.
It is time to tell your mother she had better start putting money away for her old age because she will not be moving in with you. To take care of yourself does not make you a terrible person, so do not allow anyone to tell you that it does.
Dear Abby: I need advice on how to approach a friend, “Sarah,” about a sensitive topic. She’s pretty, but she dresses sloppily. I’d like to take her shopping for clothes that fit her better, especially as she has started looking for a new job and will need appropriate clothes for an interview.
She doesn’t like shopping with others and refuses our offers to help.
I don’t want her wardrobe to impede her interviews, and I think she could benefit from a new look. How can I gently offer to go clothes-shopping with her so I can help her find nice clothes without offending her? – Fashionista In New England
Dear Fashionista: How is your friend doing in that job search? If she tells you it’s not going well, that would be the time to offer your help.
Suggest she could make a better impression if she “dressed for success,” and volunteer to help her pick out some things.