Dear Amy: I am a 25-year-old guy. Lately I feel a little depressed. I ran into an old friend from high school whom I stopped talking to when we were teenagers because he and his friends were a bad influence on me.
They were the "popular" guys in school. They smoked weed and drank. My mom found out about this and didn't want me to go down that road, so I stopped talking to them.
This friend invited me out to catch up. I was shocked by how he and his friends had changed. All of them are living on their own and have completed college.
I am living with my parents; I have no friends and am a university dropout. I feel like I should have stayed friends with these guys because now I look like a loser in comparison. They made all the wrong choices and are winning in life.
What's left for me?
Amy says: What's left for you is everything. I can't tell you why this particular group of guys managed to succeed in life. I assume it has to do with their resilience, ambition, intelligence -- and their families. The abilities to manage risk taking and to make and keep friends are also predictors of success.
It is always a mistake to compare yourself with other people. Even if you had hung out with these guys in high school, this would not have guaranteed your own success.
The good thing about this incident is that it has prompted you to look at your choices. You can make positive changes. I hope you will continue to make friends. My instinct, however, is that your relationship with your parents might be at the root of your problems.
A great first step for you would be to find a counselor to talk to.Snack attack
Dear Amy: My boyfriend is trying to lose some weight. He is eating smaller portions and hitting the gym. I support his goal, but I feel like I have unwittingly become the "saboteur" people complain about when they are on a diet.
I have a stash of snack foods in my pantry. When he comes over, he heads straight for the snacks and helps himself to some, even if we have just come from dinner. Do I need to clear my pantry of snack items, or does he need to work on saying no when temptation is around?
Amy says: You are not part of the problem, but you can be part of the solution. You need to move your stash (it's not really a "stash" if other people can find it); he needs to work on his willpower.
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