Tell Giselle: Love is the force multiplier

February 4, 2023

“How did you as a divorced mother with a demanding career manage to raise such a stable, successful and happy daughter?”

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Tell Giselle: Be a helper and not a hater

January 27, 2023

“I recently found out a friend whom I have been close to for many years has lied to me. I never had a reason to distrust them before this. Now what do I do? Do I bring this up or just let it pass? Whichever way I go, I am bothered that I have to deal with a dumb lie like this.”

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Tell Giselle: The dilemma of how best to stay on track

January 21, 2023

When desire seems insufficient to achieve a goal, my clients want to know why they don’t always keep doing what is in their best self-interest. Why is it so difficult for some people and not others, to follow through, to finish what one starts?

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Tell Giselle: Finding the helpers Part 2

January 14, 2023

Last week I addressed inquiries about how one goes about becoming a writer, focusing on ways to begin. These suggestions apply to almost any endeavor at any stage of life, so keep that in mind and see how it may apply to any of your goals.

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Tell Giselle: Overcoming the power of denial

January 7, 2023

Several queries from younger adults wanting to know how to be a writer opens up a New Year resolution discussion that applies to those of all ages and passions.

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Tell Giselle: Changes to sleeping arrangements confound some couples

December 25, 2022

“My husband wants to sleep in another room. He has given me a variety of reasons, from our bed is too soft to he doesn’t want to disturb me when he wants to get up in the middle of the night. He started sleeping in the other room when he had COVID but he’s long been over that. We’ve been together many years and I just don’t get it.”

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Tell Giselle: The best time to share what you know

December 14, 2022

“There’s an ongoing dispute between my husband and myself. When we are around our grandchildren (of various ages) we sometimes notice behaviors that we would have corrected in our own children. Their parents (our son and wife) tend to let things slide more than we did when we were young parents.

More times than not, I will bring these things up with both my son and daughter-in-law. That doesn’t always go so well, but my husband will not speak up. The issue is I want him to be more involved. He doesn’t believe as a grandfather it is his job to say anything.

Help me, please, find a way to work this out as it makes visiting the grandchildren for me more stressful than enjoyable. Some of the time, not always.”

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Tell Giselle: Discerning who is important

December 10, 2022

“I received an unexpected communication from someone from my past. I am not sure whether to respond or not, in part because I don’t know who this person has become over time.”

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Tell Giselle: Holiday Spending Part 2

December 3, 2022

The pressures of holiday gift giving are dominating the hearts and minds, and my inbox, so continuing with last week’s theme, how to do it better and feel better in the process …

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Tell Giselle: Getting the best gift of all

November 26, 2022

“Every year I get gifts from someone close to me that just annoy the (expletive) out of me. I always say thank you, but am angry at myself for pretending I am glad to have these presents. Any ideas for how to stop this without coming across as (expletive), and getting me out of this?”

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Tell Giselle: Grateful for the original gift

November 19, 2022

I was reminded of a pithy statement from a Roosevelt I knew while I was a journalist with The Denver Post, that is relevant today more than ever: “There’s no substitute for good breeding.”

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Tell Giselle: How to earn friends and grow richer

November 12, 2022

From a mature woman comes a query about changing relationships that becomes an opportunity to reconsider priorities, and begin the work of becoming more self-aware.

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Tell Giselle: Football threatens to divide a family

November 5, 2022

My husband played several sports growing up, but football was his passion. He wants our son to play but I am opposed to this. Even though our son is a few years from being eligible to be on a team, I feel I need to get a jump on this.

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Tell Giselle: An update reflects a lifelong quest for data and truth

October 29, 2022

Before responding to another question, here is the backstory on how I changed my mind about getting a second dose of Novavax.

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Tell Giselle: More than enough reasons to vote

October 22, 2022

Continuing with last week’s column about someone who wanted to drop some pounds before an upcoming event and wanted to learn how best to begin a weight-loss program, this also answers a query: “How do I stop or manage my cravings? I cannot live without chocolate and potato chips.”.

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Tell Giselle: Diet is a four-letter word Part 2

October 15, 2022

A student wants to know why even vote when there is an evenly divided politic that holds the status quo firmly entrenched. His complaint is that the big issues of inequality and the decline of the middle class continue to take a back seat to resolving the culture war with its perpetual state of political divisiveness.

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Tell Giselle: Marking a milestone and losing a stone, Pt. 1

October 8, 2022

For today, I’ll address one topic that seems to eat up serious focus: weight.

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Tell Giselle: Bequeathing your cherished possessions gracefully

October 1, 2022

“I have a dear friend who is undergoing complex treatment for a serious disease. It is not like he is about to die anytime soon, just that he knows he is not long for this world and needs to start putting his affairs in better order.”

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Tell Giselle: Religious observance is a personal choice

September 24, 2022

“I know my wife will not want to accept that I don’t want to go to church anymore. We raised our children with church attendance but once they were out of the house, they stopped going – that was an ordeal for her – and will only go for certain holidays with us just to make her happy. I want some ideas on how to break this routine.”

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Tell Giselle: The price of good help is priceless

September 17, 2022

“What are your thoughts about the clips going viral showing the newest King needing someone to clear his desk so he could sign some ridiculously sized documents? His facial expressions and gestures were a distasteful sight.”

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Tell Giselle: Can we get serious about preventative medicine?

September 10, 2022

I am taking this space to address what many of us so often take for granted: our good health.

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Tell Giselle: Rules for breaking confidences

September 3, 2022

“Should I let my friend know that I have been told about her potentially life-threatening condition, or do I just try to let this slide?”

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Tell Giselle: Novavax Part 2: What are you willing to risk?

August 27, 2022

“Now that COVID is not a pandemic any longer, and we seem to be adjusting to an endemic status, I wonder why you took the Novavax vaccine. Was it something that you considered necessary to protect your health? Do you feel it will prevent severity of COVID symptoms?

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Tell Giselle: Novavax is here but lying to get it or what you want is ill advised

August 20, 2022

If you or someone you know is considering lying to get something you are not entitled to, such as this COVID injection, here’s my attempt to persuade you otherwise.

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Tell Giselle: Prostate diagnosis and treatment options come with complex choices, confusion and hope

August 13, 2022

This is an edited excerpt of my response to recent exchanges I had with a couple concerning a health issue. The husband is nearly 71, and he and his wife are facing decisions about the prostate cancer evaluation process.

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Tell Giselle: From a slap to a public flap, how to avoid sloppy flops

August 6, 2022

“What’s your take on Will Smith’s apology to Chris Rock?”

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Tell Giselle: Must I always support a relative’s artistic expression?

July 30, 2022

“I have been invited to a gallery showing of paintings by my cousin. From what I can glean from his website, his art style has changed to dark, ugly images. There is nothing here I would want to purchase.”

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Tell Giselle: Success pulling off a special occasion celebration requires heart

July 23, 2022

“My wife is going to be turning 50. She’s not thrilled about this so I want to be able to make her birthday a bit less painful. I do not know if that is even possible. I know this one matters a lot more to her than the others.”

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Tell Giselle: COVID considerations from the recovered sweet side

July 16, 2022

I have been asked about my first bout of COVID and since I have learned some new information from the experience that would have been helpful to me had I known it prior to my infection, I thought I would share this with you in hopes it helps you or someone in your circle.

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Tell Giselle: Furious over being passed over

July 9, 2022

“I have a solid track record of being a competent and productive employee and I believe I was qualified for this promotion. Here’s the buzz kill: I found out that the job was given to someone else who has no background in this business.”

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Tell Giselle: Can someone divulge personal health information about their partner?

July 2, 2022

“My girlfriend has been really upset about the Supreme Court ruling taking constitutional rights away from females. We chose to end her pregnancy and up till now have kept this mostly private. Now she feels she wants to tell her story to the local media and I don’t want her to do that. What can I say to her to get her to respect my privacy?”

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Tell Giselle: Being unfairly attacked requires a diplomatic response

June 25, 2022

“A coworker went to my supervisor and made false allegations against me, claiming I was not doing my job appropriately. My boss did not believe these charges. Now that this has been resolved with my boss, I would like to know if there is anything else I should do. Company policy prevents me from being told who made the accusations so I will never know.”

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Tell Giselle: Now is a perfect time to tell you this and to ask a favor of you

June 18, 2022

Even though the death of my nephew occurred over 35 years ago, I am moved to write about it now.

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Tell Giselle: Contributing to a good cause or a birthday celebration should not feel bad

June 10, 2022

How do I let someone know I do not want to donate to their birthday fundraiser, without upsetting them?

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Tell Giselle: Do I owe an explanation for ending a relationship?

June 4, 2022

A reader asks if they owe an explanation when ending a relationship.

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Tell Giselle: How many friends do we need?

May 28, 2022

A reader asks: “You have lived in many places. How did you find and build your support?

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Tell Giselle: How can we connect with deceased loved ones?

May 21, 2022

From a grieving adult son who knew from my work that I have spirit contacts with my own father and other loved ones, and who believes it is possible: “What was it again you say at night to connect?

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Tell Giselle: To speak or not to speak at a celebration of life

May 14, 2022

What is the best thing to do when I see a beggar holding a sign pleading for money and help? It is so painful for me to see so many in need. Especially when there is a child or a dog with the adult. When I am in the car with my boyfriend, it is always the same awkward moment, as we do not see this problem the same way.

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Tell Giselle: Charity for urban beggars is a serious spiritual challenge

May 7, 2022

What is the best thing to do when I see a beggar holding a sign pleading for money and help? It is so painful for me to see so many in need. Especially when there is a child or a dog with the adult. When I am in the car with my boyfriend, it is always the same awkward moment, as we do not see this problem the same way.

Read More at The Times Leader

Tell Giselle: When is telling a lie ever an option?

April 30, 2022

This question from a young person who has not yet decided to tell the truth about his sexuality is a growth opportunity for exploring the larger question of how one is to live.

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Tell Giselle: Fertility uncertainty has long been certain

April 23, 2022

I have a married female friend who has not been able to conceive. She knows only some of the difficulties I had before I finally gave birth a few years ago. I have been watching her suffer and want to be truthful with her. I am not looking forward to going into details as some of the facts about infertility treatments are painful.

What is a good way to discuss these personal problems while not adding to her suffering?

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Tell Giselle: How do you cope with people who are stubborn?

April 16, 2022

An exchange with a communications professional who is disgruntled with some of the assignment work, opens up the broader topic of relationships that require way more effort than may be reasonable.

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Tell Giselle: When a slap becomes a life-altering lesson in forgiveness and compassion

April 9, 2022

Presented with the question from several inquiring minds, wanting to know what I think, I am glad the discussion about Will Smith’s violent outburst at the Oscars has gone viral.

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Tell Giselle: Switching focus from COVID to a different type of war

March 26, 2022

For the past several weeks, it has been nearly impossible, just as with the coronavirus, to avoid the media coverage and personal conversations with friends and relatives about these unusually complex fights of our lifetimes.

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Tell Giselle: Waiting on someone else to change may be a ‘Waiting for Godot’ folly

April 2, 2022

Any ideas for how to navigate a relationship with a sibling who clearly doesn’t show up for one?

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Tell Giselle: Mentoring comes with conditions and uplifting opportunities (Part 2 of 2).

March 19, 2022

What is the best way to be a mentor?

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March 12, 2022

What is the best way to be a mentor?

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March 5, 2022

A counseling session with a middle-aged man dealt in part with a recap of his experience with what appeared to be lousy “customer service” so to speak.

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February 26, 2022

My husband and I have a combined family. When we first blended our two families everyone seemed eager to get along. The kids were mostly cooperative regarding the house and lawn chores. But now that they are teens it falls to me to get things done around the house.

Read More at The Times Leader

February 19, 2022

A message from a female friend, who is way closer than I am to being 80 years old, included two questions for me that were from her great girlfriend, who is also up there in age, and who wanted to know my answers.

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February 12, 2022

A counseling session about the controversy over misinformation opened up the proverbial rabbit hole.

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February 5, 2022

This quandary from a man considering the date of retirement showcases many tradeoffs that may actually be painless.

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January 28, 2022

A query for donations after a medical emergency I have been invited to attend the high school graduation of my boyfriend’s sister. I do not want to go because I really don’t have the money, unless I want to give up some other plans for later in the year. Not.

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January 21, 2022

A query for donations after a medical emergency divides the family

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January 15, 2022

This concern, about how best to support a friend, covers more than Covid.

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January 8, 2022

Each holiday for decades I have given gifts to several family members, and to friends that I thought were special. Sometimes I get a card, but not everyone makes a point of thanking me. Is it too much to ask for them to pick up the phone, or for the younger ones to at least send me a text as is their preferred communication?

Read More at The Times Leader

January 1, 2022

I have been struggling for a long time with my weight and I want to look at this New Year’s resolution as my last chance. Any suggestions for how I can keep up a promise to lose over 20 pounds and keep it off, and for good?

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December 25, 2021

I got one of those customized holiday cards from a relative who lives miles away from me. It was a collage of several pictures that were taken from the past year, and it is clear from the progression of the images that one person in particular has gained considerable weight. She used to be healthy and slender. It is hard to look at this picture and see how fat she has become and not be worried. I really want to say something but am reluctant to do so as a person’s weight has joined politics, religion and money as off limits. What do you think?

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December 18, 2021

A friend of mine has recently stopped communicating, or has ghosted me. We’ve been friends for many years, although over time our views have diverged regarding politics and, more recently, vaccine-related issues. I’ve called, texted, and emailed her several times; the only response I got was a short, cryptic text about “choices we make.” What do you think?

Read More at The Times Leader

December 11, 2021

My tax person told me I should declare the charitable donations I made to Goodwill so that I can reap the tax benefit. I am concerned that any donations that I itemize on my taxes will increase the risk of being audited. Do you know if this is a real issue to be worried about?

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December 4, 2021

A time conflict for a decision posed a conundrum and a question for a professional in his late thirties: How long should I put off telling the first company that made me a job offer whether or not I will accept their offer, as I am still waiting for a decision from my preferred, and hopefully future, employer?

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November 27, 2021

This question regarding an offer to hold baby items for someone’s “future” family can be applied to many loaned/borrowed/stored circumstances that have nothing to do with infant needs.

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November 20, 2021

This is unfortunately an all-too-likely exchange between family members and friends.

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November 13, 2021

At my father’s hospital bedside, during the end stages of his cancer, I noticed his fingernails were in need of a trim.

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November 6, 2021

This letter from a resident of Pennsylvania who signed the correspondence “Wanting to Know What Love Is” reflects a level of suffering and confusion that so often is co-created whenever a person enters into, and remains in, a relationship that is painfully unfulfilling, or even cruel and dehumanizing.

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October 30, 2021

The value of social media and all the selfies we share is that we do not have to wait for any holiday catch up letter/email to see how our friends and family have fared. We instead get to witness with great frequency how others evolve, or in some unfortunate cases, devolve. How we choose to handle our observations may make or break relationships as exemplified between girlfriends

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Tell Giselle: No need to fret of funeral decision

October 23, 2021

These rituals have held particular challenges for many people even without this pandemic. A query regarding the obligations and pressures under difficult circumstances brings an opportunity to look afresh at how we can best meet the emotional needs of our loved ones while we tend to our own tender heart and health concerns.

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Tell Giselle: Is getting the COVID booster the right thing?

October 16, 2021

Critical decisions oftentimes must be made even when there is little information and/or conflicting opinions. An adult who has pondered whether or not to get a booster shot is a case in point with this exchange.

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Tell Giselle: Is it OK to skip out on the holiday feast?

October 9, 2021

Here’s a fairly common holiday-themed query, with a variation on the details due to COVID. This came from a concerned son living in Texas with family in the Northeast.

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