William Abranowicz

Q. Recently my friend found a great babysitter. I asked if she would share the sitter’s information with me. (I need someone to watch my kid occasionally.) To my surprise, she refused, saying I should find my own child care. I feel offended. Am I overreacting?
Name withheld by request

A. No, because this particular “friend” is treating you like a rival, not a pal. She’s acting as though the two of you are at cross-purposes when, in fact, you would both be better off if you helped each other and shared information.

Clear the air. Tell her, “Your response hurt my feelings, not because I care about getting a new babysitter, but because I think of friends as people who help each other. Have I done something to offend you?” If she says yes (perhaps you asked her for referrals in the past and didn’t thank her or return the favor), talk out the problem and see if you can find a way to behave in a more mutually beneficial manner. And if the answer is no? You can remain cordial with her, but realize that she may not be a truly loyal friend.

Michelle Slatalla