:Heard a Whopper
:Dear Heard a Whopper: If you have reason to feel that the person talking to you is being untruthful, be polite and end the conversation. And if your intuition tells you the person is someone to be afraid of, put as much distance between you as possible and avoid that person in the future.
:Dear Abby: I am a plus-sized woman. I am loud and boisterous, and I like to surround myself with similar women. However, there is a problem I am now facing.
Many of my friends have made amazing transformations and gotten fit. I am fully supportive and impressed, but I see the price they are paying. They are no longer confident and vivacious. They have become timid, approval-seeking shells of their previous selves.
Why do newly thin women forget how awesome their personalities used to be?
:Big Beauty in Illinois
:Dear Big Beauty: Not knowing your friends, I can’t answer for them. But it is possible that having become “transformed and fit,” they no longer feel they need their loud and boisterous personas to compete for attention.
:Dear Abby: When I was growing up, my father would ask my mother what she wanted, and then he would buy the opposite. For example, if she wanted a brown sofa, he would buy a blue one.
One day, I realized that he acts the same way toward me. He will ask my opinion about the color of something — like an appliance — then buy the opposite color. Is there a name for this behavior?
:Anonymous in Atlanta
:Dear Anonymous: Yes, there is. It is called “passive aggression,” and it’s a way of demonstrating veiled hostility without being directly confrontational.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.