AuntBossy-NewAssistant or Assassin?

I have a dear friend who is in big trouble and I don’t know how to help. He is a very smart and successful person who is in terrible health.

The problem is his assistant. She is incredibly competent and he depends on her for everything. She runs his life.

Since she pretty much provides him with two meals a day and does all his grocery shopping, I suggested that perhaps she should encourage better eating by not bringing back junk food and sweets. She told me she agreed, but that the boss bought that stuff and there was nothing she could do about it. She then went to my friend and told him I had said bad things about him.

I have witnessed her doing this before, putting her boss’s friends and other employees in a bad light and even destroying some relationships and getting people fired. Once I heard her commiserating and cooing with an employee on the phone, telling him he wasn’t treated well or paid enough. Five minutes later she was trashing this person to the boss, who then fired him.

She complains about how hard she has to work and how she doesn’t get enough time off, but is all sweetness and light in front of my friend.

I understand how attached my friend is to his assistant, and I get it. However, I wake up in the middle of the night with worry over his health and don’t know what to do. I’ve tried to talk to him about it, but that doesn’t go anywhere.

What should I do?

Worried Friend

Dear Worried Friend,

Here is what you should do: Nothing. However, keep watch over your friend and be there for him when you can. There is little you can do to protect yourself or your friend from a master manipulator. We all want people to take care of us and support us even when we are wrong. Being right will damn you in this case, so keep quiet and keep on loving your pal. There are no other options.

For Love or Money

I have a friend who will inherit a great deal of money in the fairly near future. Recently, she has been courted by a guy who has fallen on hard times. He overleveraged himself in real estate and is in trouble. I don’t think she knows this.

Another friend has heard this fellow bragging about his search for a woman with some money and how much women love him.

My friend might suspect that this guy has bad motives because she hasn’t been upfront in public about their relationship. My question is, should I warn her about him?


Dear Cherie,


Aunt Bossy is Susan Murphy, an internationally known Communication Skills Coach who adores spending every winter and spring in Beaufort.  Ask for advice @


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