Once you were lonely, but recently you discovered two new friends who live not far from your three-bedroom ranch bungalow. Your new neighbors are quiet but strong, and though conversation often lags, and you don’t have a lot of tastes in common, you feel that they exude trust and love. In short, they have helped give you back your confidence in the power of friendship and see the world in a whole new light.

But there is one strange thing: your new friends insist on picking lice and bugs out of your hair. Is this a boundary issue that you should address? You don’t want to be rude to your new friends, who are culturally so different from you. What if you scared them away for good?

Gorko relationship expert Melissa Cheugy responded to this dilemma in her latest column on March 5th:

‘If your new friends are gorillas, as it sounds like they are, their grooming behavior with you seems absolutely in line with what you would expect.’

Cheugy goes on to warn her readers that if their new friends display abnormal levels of hooting or chest-pounding, it may be time to break off the physical grooming.

She writes, ‘Stand up slowly, cross your arms, and back out of the room. Your new friends will understand that you are marking your territory.’

Photo by Dušan veverkolog on Unsplash