Dear Candid Candace: Need some advice from the “skies above.” I have a new job and, for the first time, I am traveling and spending more time in airports- specifically in airplanes. One problem is a medium-level fear of heights and it is starting to get to me. For example, when there is a bit of turbulence, I look around and everyone seems to be just reading a book, calmly watching their laptop, or in a nice comfortable sleep mode. Me? A little bit of bumpiness and every muscle in my body tenses up and I clutch the seat in front of me as if hanging on for dear life. Any help or suggestions to relax a little bit because it is really getting to be problem. Signed, Flying in Fear
Dear Flying in Fear, meet your fellow fearful traveler! I too have always been afraid of flying. I’m a white knuckler digging deep into my husband Chuck’s hands on take-off or if there’s any turbulence. I even carry along some good luck charms so I’m not sure if I can personally help with your problem, but I did consult with some experts. Fear of flying, aviophobia or aerophobia, is not necessarily “rational” according to the National Safety Council who says “air travel is one of the safest methods of transportation available, crashing in a car is far more likely than crashing in an airplane.“ The NSC offered these tips: Avoid caffeinated beverages; Fly early in the morning or late evening when the skies are less turbulent and choose a seat in the middle of the plane (closest to the wings); Bring distractions (crossword puzzles, books, etc.); Understand the noises of the airplane; Pray (I added this last one). And, according to another travel expert: “The odds of being killed in a plane crash are 1 in 11 million. The chances are greater of you being struck by lightning, dying from a bee sting, or becoming the president of the United States.” And even though “rationally” I know I shouldn’t worry, you can still color me scared.
Dear Candid Candace: I’m experiencing a tug-of war type of boundary issue. One of my lifelong friends, who I love dearly, low-key tries to dictate when we will speak via phone. For example, I’ll receive a phone call with an ensuing voicemail directing me to “call her while she is out and about.” This is based on her being solo and husband free. I mean, I get it, we all like to speak as our authentic selves. Inevitably, I’m involved in something when I receive these “call me” messages with the expiration time. If said conditions go unmet, she likes to call anywhere between 8 and 9:30 p.m., when again, inevitably, I’m involved with family, friends, work or simply want to call it a day. When I initiate calls outside of her calling times, they go unanswered. An honest conversation is logical, but uncomfortable because this has been going on for years. I welcome any suggestions you have to offer. Signed, A Frustrated Friend
Dear Frustrated Friend: Wow, you certainly have every right to be frustrated! What sort of selfish “friend” puts boundaries like this in place to connect? I will answer this question – not a very good friend at all. If the calls can only be on her terms, I say cut her loose or have a serious sit-down. Tell her your time is just as valuable as hers and, if you can’t agree on a mutually agreeable time to chat, then stop communicating. She is very lucky that you have let this go on “for years.” I say you are one very patient friend but, in her mind, I think you’re just a convenient friend. If it were me, I would kick her to the curb so fast, her head would spin. But then, I know you “love her dearly” so this will be a tough call for you—just make it on YOUR terms, not hers.
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