Dear Carol

"Dear Carol, My cousin is acting spoiled and she got mad when I called her out"

Dear Carol, 

My aunt and uncle are rich and their daughter is the same age as me. We used to get along. Last time we were together, she kept talking about how she didn’t want to go on a ski vacation with her family over winter break, but she had “no choice.” I told her that this was a “princess problem” and she got mad. Was I being obnoxious? Or was she?

- Princess Problem

Dear Princess Problem,

Depending on your tone of voice, maybe nobody...or maybe both of you. But instead of my deciding who was being obnoxious, let me say that everyone (everyone!) has problems, big and small. Her family may have more money than you do, but no one’s life is perfect. And while money comes in handy, the cliché is true that it doesn’t buy happiness. Since she’s a cousin, you may see her over the holidays—and for the rest of your lives. So make the best of this relationship. Talk about friends, TV, movies, music, crushes, school, books...but avoid getting into compare-and-despair mode. If she keeps ranting and it’s driving you crazy, don’t be dismissive, but maybe in a light-hearted way say, “You know, a lot of people would like to have your problems.” Who knows, she might appreciate the frame of reference and say, “You’re right.”

Carol Weston is the author of 16 books including Speed of Life, Ava and Pip and Girltalk: All the Stuff Your Sister Never Told You. Learn more at and on Instagram @carolwestonnyc.

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by GL | 10/21/2023