Mom continues to borrow money |

DEAR HARRIETTE: My mother owes me a lot of money, but she keeps trying to make me feel guilty every time I ask her. I’ve been helping my mom pay the rent since I was 18; now i am almost 24 years old. I can’t afford my own place, but I can afford to help. She asks for help with a lot of things – apart from the rent – and I always feel compelled to say yes, but she usually promises that she’ll pay me back. I haven’t seen a dime of her in years, but she keeps asking for more. What should I do? — Pay me back

DEAR REFUND ME: I guess your mom asked you to help pay the rent all these years because she needed your help. Out of guilt, she didn’t completely tell you the truth: she needed you to support the family budget. I recommend that you consider the money you have contributed to your household as a contribution that will not be refunded. This will help you stop counting points.

By looking at this moment and the future, you can take a different approach. Thank your mother for allowing you to live with her now that you are an adult. Tell him that you need to manage your finances so that you can eventually live on your own. Let him know how much you can contribute monthly to the household and stick to it.

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DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend’s birthday is coming up in a few weeks, but earlier this year she completely forgot about my birthday. She still hasn’t said anything about it. Is it mean of me not to recognize her birthday because she didn’t recognize mine? — Friend’s Forgotten Birthday

DEAR FRIEND FORGOTTEN BIRTHDAY: It is high time for you to let go. Chances are your friend has no memory of missing your birthday. Is it hurtful? Clearly it’s for you. But you held a grudge for almost a year. It’s long enough. Instead, forgive your friend. Drop it. And, of course, wish her a happy birthday since you remember.

What made your friend miss celebrating you on the big day doesn’t mean you should snub her in retaliation.

I have a friend from high school. Our practice is to reach out and say happy birthday every year, even if we don’t say otherwise. I remember that a few years ago, I had not heard from this friend and I admit that it hurt me. I said nothing. A few months later, he reached out to apologize for not reaching out to me on my big day. I appreciated him, but it also made me realize that I didn’t and shouldn’t need his validation of my day to feel complete. Instead, I decided to focus on enjoying my day in the moment. This approach made me much happier. Try it!

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