Dear Maxine,

I care about my friend deeply but I’ve learned that they are going to make a decision that they might regret and gamble their romantic emotions on someone who I know won’t reciprocate back. I want them to make their own decision, but part of me wants to intervene because I don’t want their mental and emotional state to be destroyed. What advice should I give them in order to let them make their own decision but also let them know that their emotions are in peril?

From concerned yet loving

Dear concerned yet loving,

I’ve been in this situation before and it’s difficult for all parties. It really is hard to know what to say as you know both sides of the story but you don’t want to intervene in a way that will shift someone’s life or relationship. When you find yourself in this situation, step back and let them go about it in the way they believe it will be best. These moments can be ones where people learn valuable lessons both about themselves and about relationships, both in a romantic and friendship sense. One of the best approaches you can take to this scenario is to just continue to be a supportive friend; be there for their highs and lows. This might be a low for them and although you know the full picture, don’t speak for the other person in the situation; it’s their perspective to speak to, not yours. Being supportive in this situation will be different for everyone. In my experience, it’s best to be a person that listens and offers ways to get their mind off of it if it’s producing anxiety. In high school, these situations for the people experiencing them can feel like the end of their lives due to high emotions and the lack of experience many teenagers have in romantic relationships. This won’t define your friend’s life, seriously. It’ll all be fine and in the end, hopefully, they’ll remember how you helped them and a bond that matters will strengthen.


Dear Maxine,

The political climate of our world is stressing me out more and more every day. Whenever I look at the news, more negativity is being spread throughout both the United States and the world and I’m not sure how to navigate all of it. I feel like I should still know what’s happening and I know there are still positive events going on, but how do I not focus on the overwhelming negativity I’m both witnessing and experiencing from people as a result of some of our world leaders.

From overwhelmed and sad

Dear overwhelmed and sad,

This is very relatable. So many of my friends, as well as colleagues, are experiencing the same form of depression as a result of politics; it feels like there should be a name for it as it’s so common. For me, I find that I don’t really need to read from specific news outlets and that I’m hearing about politics from social media. It may sound like a stupid solution but I’ve started to follow people on social media that I know will make me a bit happier. Examples of this include cute animal pages, funny content creators and also pages like The Stumptown Scallion which is another version of The Onion. This might create a more positive connotation for social media instead of letting it be the thing that almost eats up hope.

I wish I had a simple cure for the depressive state that the world inflicts, but it doesn’t work like that, unfortunately. I recommend surrounding yourself with people who make you happy and treating yourself to a good cry. Remember that you aren’t alone in this; so many people are feeling the exact same and although it does suck, sometimes it can bring people together in that collective state. It also means that everyone needs to work on empathy. Remember that anxiety and depression are going to affect everyone differently and to be understanding of everyone’s different situations and state of being. At some point, everything will be okay but for now, continue doing your best.


If you have questions you want Maxine to answer, please send them to and they will be published in an upcoming issue.

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