dearmargaretDear Margaret: I gained and lost the same ten to twenty pounds. My weight gain has never prohibited me from engaging in activities that I enjoy. My problems is that I have a very dear friend who has recently become a gym rat and seems to have made it her mission to rescue me from what she perceives as idleness.  She nags me about joining her at the gym, invites me to go for 'slow jogs' with her, and is constantly lecturing me on the benefits of working out. It’s getting so I avoid answering the phone when she calls and decline social interactions with her. I miss our friendship and don’t know how to gently let her know her hounding me is pushing me away. How can I steer our friendship back to where it was before her new passion for fitness entered our relationship?
Happily Idle

Dear Happily Idle: Without friction in our lives, we would never change. The agitation you are feeling with your friend is pushing you to go one of two ways. Give in and unhappily join the gym to make your relationship smooth (for her), or let her know in no uncertain terms that her level of physical exercise is not in your foreseeable future. It’s uncomfortable when someone steps over your boundaries, but unless you let them know what your boundaries are, they will most likely continue to encroach. I’m not saying it will be easy to make clear where the line is for you, but you do have the right to insist that when you say you are not interested in engaging in her new passion, she must respect it. Let her know you value her friendship, but be clear and firm that her insistence that you participate in her new activities is driving a wedge between you.

Click Here to write to Dear Margaret.  Margaret Snow is a Life Coach in Ithaca, NY.