Advice column

DEAR WRITELIKE: The next writing style I have to try is an advice letter. The sort you sometimes see in magazines. I'm at my wit's end! How do I do it? – GOTTAWRITEALETTER

DEAR GOTTAWRITEALETTER: Nice name! The letter writer is usually frustrated with something – it's been bugging them for a long time, and they can't understand why it's this way! But the advice columnist always has good calm advice that makes the situation seem simple.

As they can only base their answer on what was written, they might need to say ‘It sounds like’ or ‘I think the issue is’ statements. They try to help, even if it means a little ‘tough love’ before finishing with a positive statement.

DEAR ABBY: I'm a freshman in high school, and it's great. I've made a lot of new friends, but most of them are guys. For some reason, they think I'm this girly-girl type who doesn't like to get my hands dirty. When it's time to do something that involves lifting, they think they have to take over. If they ever saw me at home, they'd think I was a whole different person. How can I show to them I'm not a girly-girl while still being friends with them? -- NO GIRLY-GIRL

DEAR NO GIRLY-GIRL: Here's how. The next time one of them says, "Let me do it for you," all you have to say is, "No, thank you." Then do the heavy lifting yourself. Word gets around.

Dear Abby(2020)

DEAR ABBY: I’ve met this beautiful lady who says she doesn’t judge me on my looks but, even though I try, I just can’t believe that. I’m head-to-toe ugly - some days I can’t even look in the mirror. It makes me angry and lash out. More than once I’ve destroyed Tokyo on my darker days. But she just smiles, holds my hand and tells me it’s fine. Is she for real? What gives? -- ABOMINATION

DEAR ABOMINATION: I think, because you only see the worst in yourself, you think that everyone else does, too. If you’ve found someone who sees your good side, I’d be holding onto that with BOTH hands. And who knows? Maybe she’ll help you see your best self!

Using the photo as a starting point, write a short letter asking for help on a frustrating personal matter. Then change roles and write a reply, giving calm advice and tips to deal with the issue.