Town Talk Features

The Honest Truth: Speak Your Mind

I’ve been going to the same hairstylist for 15 years. To be honest, I don’t like the way he’s coloring my hair anymore. It’s outdated, and my comments about it are ignored. But I consider him a friend and feel like if I stop going to him, he’ll take it personally and end our friendship.

Jill: I asked a hairdresser about his perspective on this scenario. He said it does sting when longtime clients move on. But he appreciates it when people let him know instead of just ‘ghosting,’ or disappearing without a word. He said he is a professional and is able to get over it. (He adds that sometimes, it’s a relief when clients are ready for a change because he is too.)

Beth: The bravest person would have this conversation face-to-face. But since most of us don’t have superhuman courage, a well-written text will do. You might say, “I’m ready for a change, and I’m going to try a new salon. I appreciate all you’ve done for me and would love to continue our friendship.” Don’t be surprised if you receive a fiery response—he likely takes great pride in his work and may be offended. Either way, I would follow up with a note of appreciation, maybe even flowers or a gift card to soften the blow.

My neighbors are from New York City, and I can tell they find me overly chummy and chatty. At the
same time, I find them cold and abrupt. How can I get them to loosen up and be warmer?

Jill: It’s not your job to get them to loosen up. It is your job to be fully you and as chummy and chatty as you like. (As a fellow chummy chatter, I get you.) Your neighbors are expressing themselves in the way that feels most comfortable to them; accept their communication style. You can always look for other neighbors who are up for a friendlier connection.

Beth: My husband is from Boston, and I’ve learned that what we might experience as cold and abrupt is often their idea of warm and friendly. It’s a matter of perspective. As Don Miguel Ruiz says in The Four Agreements, don’t take it personally.

I’m hosting a fairly small party. A couple of the invited friends are very active on social media. If they post pictures of my party, I’m afraid other friends who aren’t invited will feel left out. Should I expand the invite list, or ask my guests not to post about it?

Jill: I wouldn’t expand the party list unless you truly want a bigger soiree. Obviously, you can’t control the behavior of your party guests. But I think it’s OK to say, “I wanted to keep this party intimate. I’m sensitive about hurting the feelings of other friends who weren’t invited. It would be great if pictures of the party didn’t end up on social media.”

Beth: I agree. Still, I’ve noticed that our kids’ generation is incredibly resilient when they see a party they weren’t invited to on social media. They often have less FOMO (fear of missing out) than adults. They’ve had to develop this muscle because of the proliferation of social media in their lives, and that’s probably a good thing. With that said, I am of the belief that less posting of private dinners and parties is the way to go.

Pictured above: Jill Farmer and Beth Chesterton

Jill Farmer is a master certified life coach, author and time management aficionado. Beth Chesterton is a master certified executive coach and an expert in organizational psychology.

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