THIS WEEK'S PROBLEM: "My big sister's trying to control my life. I'm sick of it. Help."
-- "Tell her it's your life."
-- "Tell her to get a life of her own and leave you alone."
-- "You're old enough to take care of your own self. You don't really need your sister's help. If she's trying to make you do stuff you don't want to do you need to sit down and tell her."
-- "You don't need to let her control your life and have it get a habit."
-- "I don't think your big sister's trying to control your life. I think she just knows what she's talking about; been there, done that and she's trying to help you. You should listen."
XTREME Reporter Wendy Grossman says: When I was your age my brother refused to give me advice because he said there were certain things I had to experience and learn on my own.
He's gotten past that. Whenever I have a problem, he has an answer. Recently this got very irritating. Because he kept insisting that his solution to my problem was right and mine was wrong. He said I was wrong because I was young and that in 10 years, when I'm his age, I will see that he is right.
I realize that my brother loves me. And I realize that he wants what's best and wants me to do what he thinks is right.
But I have to do what I think is right for me. And so do you.
Your sister's probably not trying to boss you around. She probably thinks that her opinion is right. But she has to learn to respect yours.
We're big girls. And it's good to get other people's thoughts and opinions; listen to what she suggests, but then do what feels right to you.
My brother is used to being able to change my mind because I've always done what he said. I wanted to come home the summer after my freshman year in college, he convinced me to stay for summer school. I wanted to graduate in four years, he talked me into getting out in three. Anytime we've had an argument over what I should do with my life, he's won. And it's very weird for him that I'm taking my own thoughts seriously and seeing them as valid options.
"I'm just going to suggest this once," he said, in a phone conversation last month. "Then I won't mention it again."
He brought it up six times in the next 30 minutes. I said no, absolutely not.
"I wasn't sure you'd say yes, but I thought you'd at least say maybe by now," he said.
So, listen to what she says. Tell her you're a big girl and you respect her opinion, you'll listen to her opinion and you'll think about it. But you're not a Beanie Baby. You have a brain of your own and you'll do what you want.
NEXT WEEK'S PROBLEM
"I have a girlfriend that I hardly ever get to see because I live in Hephzibah and she lives in Martinez. Help me. What should I do? Should I hang in there or end it?"
Do you have any advice for this 18-year-old Hephzibah guy? Call the Advice Line at 442-4444 and press 8614. You'll have one minute to answer. Got a problem? Call 442-4444 and press 8613. You'll have one minute to give us your situation. Please state your age and the town you live in.