Thu. Aug 5th, 2021

A friend of mine was lately diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The trouble: She hasn’t told me. (I overheard her husband chatting about it: Her sickness was learned in the course of regime health care checks. She was obtaining a tough time acquiring expecting — which she also didn’t convey to me.) I imagined we were shut, but I guess we’re not. Her choice to exclude me from these issues in her everyday living hurts me and places me in an uncomfortable situation. What can I say if I’m not supposed to know about these massive worries she’s dealing with? I’m not positive how to cope with this. Tips, remember to?

K.H.

Let’s get started by fleshing out your genuine concern: “I really like my good friend, and I’m upset that she’s facing a frightening analysis. How can I support her if she doesn’t confide in me?” For the reason that as extensive as your real goal is to assistance her (and not pressure her to confide in you), I think we can arrive up with a great prepare.

For lots of of us, major diagnoses are like slaps throughout the deal with: astonishing, unpleasant, overwhelming, infuriating. And men and women have all types of motives for sharing or withholding data about their health and fitness. Never just take her selection as a referendum on your friendship. (It isn’t!) Far more critical, regard her privateness. This crisis is hers to handle.

My suggestion: Proceed to be the best buddy you can be. Test in with her invite her to hang out. Even if she declines, she’ll probably recognize your kindness. Never trace that you know a thing is up. She’ll notify you when she’s completely ready. Right up until she does, paying time with close friends who never know about our problems can at times experience like a quick getaway from them. Now, that’s a legitimate reward of friendship!

Our neighbor rents an condominium in his home to a younger few. They smoke on their entrance stoop all working day. (It is a few feet from our front windows and porch, and we smell it.) We requested them nicely to shift more away, but they immediately returned to the stoop. So, we maintain our home windows closed and stopped utilizing the porch. Our salvation was our little yard. But now, the owner’s adult daughter moved back house and smokes out there. Even though they have a huge garden, they preserve the ashtray extremely close to our residence line. When we kindly requested the operator to go it, he turned aggressive. Do we have to stay in a sealed home?

NEIGHBOR

I detest to split it to you, but developing long lasting improve typically demands additional than a one ask for. I consider it’s reasonable to want to sit on your porch with no smelling your neighbors’ cigarette smoke. Ask the youthful pair to transfer, nicely, each and every time you see them smoking on the stoop. Depending on the legal guidelines in your city and condition, their secondhand smoke could be regarded as a nuisance.

Your backyard tale would seem different. If I realize accurately, you don’t scent smoke there you basically item to the placement of the ashtray. (Which is a dropping fight.) If you do odor smoke, even though, preserve on the lookout for a compromise with your gruff neighbor. There is possibly some area on his large garden exactly where his daughter can smoke with out disturbing you.

We were invited by good friends for a weekend getaway in the place. They have a little bunkhouse for their family members, and we will carry a tent. Cooking and other functions will acquire area outdoor. There will be young children and dogs and, sadly, rain. (It appears like loads of rain!) I want to request our mates about altering dates. To me, it appears dreadful remaining trapped in a tent with canine and little ones and nowhere to escape. But my lover thinks which is rude: If our hosts don’t cancel, he states, we shouldn’t go away them in the lurch. Your feelings?

J.

You are in luck! You have prepared to a wimp. Expending the weekend trapped in a tent with soggy canine and young children sounds depressing to me, too. And unlike your husband or wife, I see no hurt in floating the plan of switching to dryer dates. If your hosts are hardier than you and I, or lifeless-established on that weekend, they’ll permit you know and you can re-appraise your ideas.

A couple of months back, you answered a letter from a young woman who achieved a guy (who “seemed great”) on a dating application. He prompt a film for their to start with day, but she was troubled by sitting indoors, even while they were each vaccinated. I am that dude! My problem: Why did not she just notify me she was uncomfortable? It was only an strategy.

BEN

Do you two actually want to go on a day or just produce about it permanently? I did not examine the woman’s letter as important of you. Instead, she appeared to be asking if it was acceptable to specific her soreness, even nevertheless the venue was almost certainly protected for both equally of you.

I encouraged her to respect her emotions and advise a different exercise. I give you the exact guidance. Now, go on your day currently!

For help with your uncomfortable circumstance, ship a dilemma to SocialQ@nytimes.com, to Philip Galanes on Fb or @SocialQPhilip on Twitter.