HOW DO I BORROW MONEY FROM MY FRIEND WITHOUT MAKING THINGS AWKWARD?

“People would rather talk about their sex problems, that they need Viagra, than talk about their financial problems,” notes Brad Klontz, Psy.D., CFP, founder of the Financial Psychology Institute and author of Mind Over Money: Overcoming the Money Disorders That Threaten Our Financial Health.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

The reason is that money reflects social status and thus our socioeconomic tribe, Klontz says. We feel out of place if we’re the poorest or richest friend in the group, and the further we stray from the group, the more anxiety we feel. “You’re thinking: how are people going to look at me, are they not going to like me anymore? This, on a biological level, feels like a threat to your survival.”

Asking for money is, ultimately, one of those things you should try to avoid, says Klontz. Burrowing money for things like rent are high-risk situations for you friendship, because recurring expenses may leave open the possibility that you’ll come back for more. Ask for these payments only if it’s a one-off situation.

When it’s time to ask, think of your friend as a bank, advises Klontz. You need to provide a clear plan on how you’re going to pay your friend back. Don’t put him in an awkward loan shark position that forces him to break your legs. Say: here’s my situation, here’s how much I need, here’s how and when I’m going to get that back to you. Timetables are important.

And be prepared for rejection. Asking your friend for money might seem like an affront to the friendship, cautions Klontz. It may be seen as crossing the line. So chose who you ask wisely and have a clear repayment plan mapped out.

How important is sunscreen and what should I use? – John Skin cancers outnumber all other cancers, and the data is very strong that sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer. Everyone, no matter your skin type, is at risk when not using it. Pay attention to your face, ears and hands. Men tend to have higher rates of melanoma on their trunk area – back and chest too. People who have long commutes might see greater exposure on one side of their body.

When buying sunscreen, look for “broad spectrum” – that means protection from UVA and UVB rays. And don’t bother using anything below SPF30.

What is she looking for when she shows me sexy photos of women on Instagram? It feels like a trap. — Chris You’re right. There are flashing yellow lights here – proceed with caution. It’s not a trap, but it could shift the tone of an afternoon depending on how jealous your girlfriend gets. People enjoy looking at sexy photos of both women and men on Instagram – isn’t that why it exists? A solid response is channelling your disinterest: “You know 60 percent of the Internet is fake, right?”

My girlfriend has really quiet orgasms. Does that mean she’s faking them? — Ben Probably the opposite. All those super-loud moany orgasms from adult videos? They’re not truly representative of real-life climaxes. Shocking, right? Sometimes they’re loud, but sometimes they’re focused and quiet. Don’t let her sound level fool you. If she’s clenching and verbally lets you know it’s working, you can rest assured. If you suspect she’s faking it, take a few sessions to focus just on her orgasm (i.e., not yours). Ask how she likes to get off. Then take her there.

YES/NO/MAYBE

ARE STANDING DESKS REALLY BETTER? – TIM

Much of the standing at work buzz began with these studies that followed thousands of adults over several years and found greater-risk mortality for those who sat for at least 12 hours a day. But then studies started coming along to complicate these findings. So what’s going on?

The bigger issue here is inactivity. If you just stood all day in the same position, it’s probably a bit better on your back. But in terms of other health profiles that are associated with inactivity, it’s not necessarily that much better. It’s probably about the same. You shouldn’t be doing anything inactive for six to eight hours a day — whether that’s sitting at a computer or standing at a computer. Our bodies are meant to move.

I would recommend bracketing your workday with exercise. So try and do something before you go to work. It may not be going to the gym. It could just be a taking long walk or riding your bike to work. Just some kind of exercise for your body before you have to go into a sitting position. And then at the end of the day, make sure that you’re getting some kind of movement and exercise.

- Michael Fredericson, MD, FACSM