Keoni does nothing to make me feel less than pretty myself, but these frequent comments from strangers have started to make me feel insecure about my own appearance. How do I accept these compliments without resentment?
:Keoni’s Girlfriend in Florida
:Dear Girlfriend: What may be upsetting you is that these women ask your boyfriend inappropriate questions and appear to be coming on to him. Face it, your boyfriend is exotic. If you were in Hawaii, he wouldn’t be exotic — YOU might be. The next time this happens and someone raves about his good looks, remember that Keoni’s with you, not her. But if she’s pushy, “suggest” she move to Hawaii and get “lei-ed.”
:Dear Abby: Are hugs the new handshake? I am encountering more and more people who, instead of shaking hands when they see you (or say goodbye), want to hug. I understand it if you are close friends, but frequently it’s a business acquaintance.
The two most recent examples were when I went to meet with my mother’s minister to arrange her funeral. I had never met the man, but he wanted to hug upon meeting me. Yesterday, I saw a new eye doctor for the first time. As I was leaving, I put out my hand to shake his. He said, “Oh, I like to hug!” When I stepped back and told him, “I’m not a huggy person,” he seemed offended. Any suggestions?
:Dear Sue: The minister may have thought that having just lost your mother, you could have used the hug. Many people welcome that kind of comfort. Personally, I agree that the eye doctor’s behavior was presumptuous. If you continue to patronize him, my recommendation is to stand out of reach.
Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.