Next week's dilemma
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Indy Lifestyle Online
Dear Virginia,

Am I the only person in the world who finds it so difficult to say no to other people's demands? My sister says I'm quite ridiculous to spend so much time doing things for other people, and most of the time I enjoy it, but I have an awful lot of friends and sometimes I do feel run off my feet or tired when they constantly ring for advice or help.

I have just come back from driving a girlfriend with a strained arm up to a dreadful theatre performance in Cambridge that her boyfriend was in and I am exhausted from the driving and saying how good the play was. Do I need assertion classes, as my sister suggests? I know it makes me feel good to be needed and I tend to get depressed if I'm not doing something for other people, but I know also that I am getting tired, and wish I knew how to say no to people without hurting them or feeling guilty myself.

Yours sincerely,


All comments are welcome, and everyone who has a suggestion quoted will be sent a Dynagrip 50 ballpen from Paper:Mate.

Please send any relevant personal experiences or comments to me at the Features Department, 'Independent', 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5DL; fax 0171-293 2182, by Tuesday morning. And if you have any dilemmas of your own you would like to share, let me know.