Dear Femail 1

Dear Femail 1


Do you have a question or a concern? Is there something you'd like to get some advice on but don't know who you can ask? Well Dear Femail is here to help! Start sending in your questions and Dear Femail will endeavour to answer them with her expert advice!

Please note: questions can not be answered personally.

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Dear Femail,

I have been chatting with a guy I met on the Internet for months now and he has asked to meet me in person as we both live in the same state. Do you think it's safe to meet? We basically know everything about each other and it could be fun meeting in person. What do you think I should do?

Signed Cyber-lover!

Dear Cyber-lover,

It's great that you have met someone that you can talk with over the Internet and feel that you know everything about each other. I agree that you certainly know what the other person wants you to know about them and vice versa. By emailing one another it is of course possible to edit what you say and how you say it. This is much more difficult using other means of communication, such as the phone or in person. Perhaps your next mode of contact with your friend could be a few telephone conversations of varying length. Then, if you still want to meet, do so in a very public place. Take along a couple of friends and have them nearby so that you can make your exit if you feel you need or want to. I strongly suggest that under no circumstances should you be alone with your friend (eg at your place or his) until you have met on a couple of occasions. Although this may seem over cautious, we normally meet people who we know something about or know someone who knows them well and this is not usually the case with Internet friends.
Good luck with your meeting if you decide to go ahead and take care.

Hope this helps, take care of you!


Dear Femail,

I work full time and am employed as a public relations executive. I have a job description which clearly outlines my day to day task and I am definitely not a clock watcher and am very much a team player who always puts forwards ideas and suggestions to my peers. The problem I have is I feel that one of the managers is threatened by me.

I often come to my desk to find notes left telling me of something this person wants done. She asks me to do things that she doesn't want to do herself. I am not her personal assistant and I do not like the way she leaves these instructions for me, when I have plenty of my own tasks to perform. If she had the courage to ask me to help her with something, then I would be more inclined to offer my assistance, but instead she makes demands and leaves notes saying; "Do this please."

Can you please offer some advice as to how to handle this situation? It is like we are caught in some power struggle as she often asks my advice on things and I have spent hours giving her suggestions on management etc. I am finding her way of dealing with things frustrating and unfair as what she asks me to do are things she should be doing herself and she should not be passing on something she doesn't know how to do, to me.
Can you please help? How should I deal with this?

Signed Lacky

Dear Lacky,

This is a fairly common situation that arises where the power struggle gets out of control due to communication issues. You are getting worked up about how this manager is treating you and bottling these feelings up. Unfortunately what often happens in this case is that one of you makes a comment that makes the other over react due to the build up of tension.

You need to break the cycle of this power struggle by actually talking about it. Try to work out why this manager is acting in this way. Is it due to poor people skills, lack of time, how their manager works? Once you are armed with this knowledge you can approach this person and ask to have a quiet meeting in the near future. If they want to know what it's all about, don't go into details, just say you have a couple of issues you'd like their input on.
At the meeting let them know how you feel, you might like to say; "I realise that you leave notes for me asking me to do things because you might not have the time (whatever), but it makes me feel uncomfortable about taking on a task until we have talked about it. Could we agree to discuss any work you might want me to do rather than leave notes for me?" Or "Do you have any suggestions about how we could resolve this?" This should help to cut out the power struggle and bring the communication back between two people and not two roles.

If you like, you can then go on to discuss how you are not entirely sure that you are the most appropriate person to take on the work being passed to you. However, you may wish to wait until you have tried communicating in a more personal way and try to deal with this issue as and when it arises. Agree to meet again in a month or so to review how you both feel about how things are working out.

Hope this helps, take care of you!


Dear Femail,

I have just had a baby and am finding it really difficult to adjust to my new life. I used to lead such a carefree and very social life but I now feel like my life has taken a nosedive. My days now consist of changing nappies, feeding the baby and my husband and doing the usual housework. I don't feel like I can express my concerns to my husband as he works so hard and earns a good wage that complaining to him seems unfair. Am I being a big crybaby myself? I mean, women give birth to children every day and they seem to adjust. So why can't I seem to get my act together? While I am thankful for having a wonderful and healthy baby boy who I love dearly, I am finding it difficult to cope with the pressures of being a mum. Am I just expecting too much too soon?
Signed New Mum

Dear New Mum,

Having a baby is a time of huge change in your life. You're absolutely right that it is a big adjustment to make. You now have a whole other person in your life, 24 hours a day that you have to care for.
It may be that you have had a carefree life until now, but you have skills that you can bring to being a mum. Perhaps work out what you are good at, eg a good organiser, or a good social coordinator, whatever. Then apply this to your new life as a mum. Take on the task of being a mum and embrace it, as you would have your previous social life. There is nothing about having a baby that stops you having a social life. You can still have one, but it's a matter of adjusting your life to accommodate the baby into that social life. Barbeques at home mean that baby can still follow his routine, going out for lunch and dinner can still happen, but just mean a little more organisation is required. You are not the first new mum to have difficulty in coping. The good news is that there are other mums out there just like you. Contact your local baby clinic and find out when the mother's groups meet. Go along to your local library at junior reading times. Babies love books and it will get you out to meet other mums. You will be surprised at how many other mums feel the way you do and you can be a source of support for one another.

Hope this helps, take care of you!


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