AuntBossy2015Wit’s End

Dear Aunt Bossy,

I am at my wit’s end and am getting more and more depressed by the day. I have always prided myself on being a free thinker, and having friends of every persuasion, politically, and otherwise. I have some conservative beliefs, liberal beliefs and in-between beliefs.

            I find myself surrounded by people who can’t allow an opinion that differs from theirs. For the first time in my life, I am afraid to say what I think.

            I don’t mean to be dramatic, but it is getting me down and I am having a problem with my mental state.


Going crazy.

Dear Going Crazy,

You are not alone. I have no idea what to advise. My only suggestion is to take great pleasure in living in the Lowcountry – if indeed you do – because this is not as big a problem here as it is in other less mannerly places. We know how to get along. Mainly, we drink and eat and kiss each other’s dogs and gossip about who is building a dock.

            On a very serious note: if your depression continues and keeps you from doing things you enjoy, get yourself to a doctor. This is not something to mess around with or tolerate.

            I also recommend limiting your exposure to the media. I don’t usually encourage people to cut themselves off from “the world,” but taking a vacation from it is a healthy thing to do. A last resort is joining a convent, but I do realize not everyone is a Catholic or Buddhist. I feel very fortunate to have that option, although my husband tends to frown on it.

            Please keep in touch and let me know how you are doing.

            I don’t know which side you prefer, but I love you for being strong enough not to give in to cultish beliefs.

Best, Aunt Bossy

Charity Begins with Thank You

Dear Aunt Bossy,

 I made a hefty contribution to a local charity in my late husband’s name and received a Thank You letter with the wrong name on it. I let the charity know and they corrected it, but did not apologize.

         I believe strongly in the work this local organization does, so I made another contribution last year. I did not receive any acknowledgement at all.

        I know they do wonderful work, but should I continue giving them money?


Dear Confused,


            If I were you, I would invite the powers that be over for tea and explain to them that you feel foolish supporting an organization that does not seem to appreciate your help.

            That will tell you everything you need to know so you can make a decision.

            Maybe they were so freaked out about using the wrong name that they procrastinated writing and then forgot. It reminds me of the mother who told her daughter not to mention JP Morgan’s big red nose when he came to tea. The daughter could think of nothing else and, when passing sugar and cream, said to Mr. Morgan, “Would you like some nose in your tea?”

            This may all mean nothing except slight disorganization, so don’t take it personally until you have to.

Best, Aunt Bossy

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

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