Q. Teachers have complained that my two children are argumentative and sometimes even disrespectful. When I ask the kids why they argued or were disrespectful, their response is that they didn't like the way the teacher talked to them, so that the reason they argue and their comments are being interpreted as disrespectful. How do I handle the teachers?

Q. Recently a colleague and I were eating lunch and three times the individual answered the cell phone. Each time we were in the midst of a conversation and when each call was done, my colleague said, "Okay, where were we?" I think that's just plain rude and it makes lunch much less enjoyable. It's like I am not as important as the person who is calling, even though I am the one who is present.

Q. I asked a good friend if she wanted to help me put together a July 4th celebration, saying I had a nearby park in mind for the venue. She agreed. Now, just weeks away, she wants the celebration to be held in her back yard and I never had that in mind. I think she agreed to help with an ulterior motive in mindto show off her new house! My brain wants to just tell her, “Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll do it on my own.”

Q. I tested as having a fairly high IQ but routinely have difficulty communicating with most people. Do you have any suggestions?”

Q. My boss tends to say "no" to most suggestions or requests I make. I've never thought of her as particularly negative or vindictive but this is getting ridiculous. I'm curious to know if you think this is a "brain thing."

Q. I keep hearing something about a "more effective way to talk to yourself," but I don't see what difference it makes. Can you help me understand?

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