Listen to Your Head
DR. WALLACE: “John Doe” and I met at a party. He asked me for my phone number, and I gave it to him. In the past six months, we have gone out three times. The first date was heavenly. I thought I fell in love with him that night. The other two dates weren’t quite so heavenly. Both times, he was sexually aggressive and became angry when I refused his advances. I understand from mutual friends that John is quite a “ladies’ man” and brags about all the girls he has “conquered.” Last week, he called me and invited me to a party at his brother’s fraternity house. I’d really like to go because it sounds like going to a frat party would be a lot of fun. My heart tells me to go for it, but my head says no. Give me some sound advice either way. — Unimpressed with Mr. Doe, via email
UNIMPRESSED: Fraternity parties can be a lot of fun. But some can also resemble the classic old movie “Animal House.” But it’s not the party that should bother you; it’s the struggle afterward.
Here’s the best advice I can give you: Tell this Casanova to get lost. Generally, when your head tells you one thing and your heart tells you another, you should listen to your head. Trust me, there will be other better and more suitable “frat parties” for you to attend in the future; this one is not for you.
CLEAN YOUR PLATE
DR. WALLACE: I’m not overweight, but I’m also not underweight, either. My problem is that my mother insists I eat everything she puts on my plate. I try to eat nourishing food and stay away from fatty and salty foods, but many times that’s what I am required to eat. Let me give you an example. Last night for supper, my mother put on my plate one very large fried pork chop, a large helping of mashed potatoes (with milk and butter added) and gravy and a medium helping of creamed corn. It took me almost a half-hour to finish it off, and when I left the table, I was so full I could hardly walk away. I’m 13 and don’t think that it is healthy to always clean your plate, especially when you feel full. Do you agree? — Stuffed and Anonymous, via email
STUFFED: I agree with you. Is it possible your mother will allow you to place her good cooking on your plate yourself so you can select the correctly sized portions, allowing you to “clean your plate”? You could also volunteer to help her out in the kitchen or set the table as the meal is being prepared. When the time is right during this process, you can quietly tell her how much you like her cooking but that sometimes there’s a bit too much on your plate. Tell her you want to finish what you take comfortably without straining, and then give her a hug! You will likely accomplish your goal with her support.
NO CONCERN FOR DAMP PALMS
DR. WALLACE: I’m taking a public-speaking course at my community college in California. I really like the class, and I am learning a lot about speaking in front of a crowd. This is important to me because I’d like to become a high school English teacher. I really get nervous and my palms sweat when I give my talks in front of the class. Why does this happen? – Sweaty Speaker, Orange County, California
SWEATY SPEAKER: Sweaty palms are very common and no cause for concern. They’re a physical manifestation of your emotions, like goosebumps are. It’s a sign that you’re taking a risk — speaking before an audience — and are gearing up to do your best. Don’t worry about it, but if the moisture is the problem, keep a handkerchief in your hands to keep your palms dry.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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