Sign Language

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)Denying a cheering audience an encore is pretty cold. However, exhausting them by delivering three, four, or more bonus performances would be a terrible idea, too. Haven’t you ever heard of the concept “Leave them wanting more?” Make that your strategy this week, even though that will likely leave you wanting more, too—maybe even more than they do. Suck it up, Leo. Playing a little hard to get is what’s best for your long-term well-being. Don’t be cold and aloof. Staying cool (and slightly unattainable), though, will have them eating out of your hand. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)As you know all too well, there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing. What was fantastic and healthy when abundant becomes an overwhelming source of misery once it has the chance to proliferate endlessly. You may need to firmly end the cycle this week. I understand your reluctance. Sometimes that means being harsh. Also, what if your efforts transform feast into famine? Unfortunately, that’s a risk you’ll have to take. Half-measures won’t work here. If a plant is taking over your garden, you deprive it of the water and sunlight it needs to thrive, at the very least. However, if you really want to get the job done, you rip it out by the roots. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)This is a good week for fixing broken relationships—particularly ones you broke. It won’t be easy, though. You’ll have to be humble, and admit to (and apologize for) all the mistakes you made. You’ll also have to be truly sincere in your desire to make a new connection, one with totally original parameters. You’ll never again have what you had, so fixating on that is a pointless waste of time. Instead, you need to become inspired about what can be, instead of what was—and the realistic hope that, at least in some ways, it might be better. Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)Scorpios will climb way out on a limb for someone they love. This, naturally, has regularly gotten you into trouble throughout your life. I hope that your willingness to go through hell to help those dear to you never fades; however, you might start to be more selective about just how far you’re willing to stick your neck out, and for whom. You should still be willing to go to extremes—that’s part of what makes you special. But taking them down a notch, or exercising a little more caution . . . well, those would be signs that you haven’t forgotten how to be a good friend—you’ve just learned to practice wisdom, too. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)You and I are both big fans of the truth. However, truth in all things at all times is a recipe for unhappiness, misery, and strife. I’m not advocating that you lie; however, smart decisions about what to reveal and when can go a long way toward increasing your serenity and making the people around you generally happier, too. There are times when failure to disclose something is just as bad as a big, fat, black-hearted lie. This isn’t one of them. In this case, keeping your mouth shut is probably the kindest, smartest thing you can do.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)Many pet owners suck, because they didn’t realize what they were really signing on for when they got their new companion. You too may be feeling disillusioned about the commitment you made, now that you’re living it, and it’s not what you’d imagined. Tough shit. You have two choices here. The first is to suck it up and truly live up to your end of the bargain, because doing what you consider the bare minimum is lame, cruel, and unfair. The other option, of course, is to back out before you make everyone involved miserable. However, you have an obligation here, too: Just like that regretful dog owner, who must find her pooch a wonderful new home, it’s your job to at least try to leave those you inadvertently led on better off than when you found them. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)Before you go over someone’s head—even if you’re pretty sure you’re going to have to, anyway—approach them directly. Tattling would leave them feeling paranoid and picked-on, which won’t help matters one bit. Treat this person like a reasonable human being (even if they don’t often act like one) who’ll hear your request or criticism with at least a modicum of politesse and an open mind. You may be pleasantly surprised by the end result, even if the encounter itself proves difficult. The direct approach is harder, sure—but it’ll also feel better, and, more important, work better.Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)Fix the problem only you seem to see. It may not be your business, but there may also be no one else. Don’t imagine some knight in shining armor will ride up and take care of this. You don’t need to be a hero. Just step up and do your best, before the situation worsens. You might be inviting trouble, conflict, and drama into your life by getting involved here, but that’s irrelevant; it’s still the right thing to do. Luckily, along with all that crap, some good stuff may come too—like opportunity, profit, love, recognition, serenity, and satisfaction. Aries (March 21-April 19)Being anything—Aries, bisexual, Republican, actor, or any of a million other labels—comes with its own set of baggage. People make assumptions: “Oh, you’re one of those!” Of course, only terribly boring people fit cleanly into any category, and you’re not one of those. Therefore, resist using such labels to describe yourself, no matter how much people insist. You are you, and none of those things comes close to conveying exactly who that is. If someone really can’t be bothered to figure you out on their own, and insists on some kind of category for you, tell them “I’m one of those People You Don’t Know.”

Taurus (April 20-May 20)Getting a “yes” every time you asked for anything would make all that approval kind of meaningless, wouldn’t it? It’s the challenge of surmounting a whole mountain of rejection that makes whatever you get in the end—job, romance, sex—that much better and more satisfying. Rejection is a hugely necessary part of the big picture, so censoring or second-guessing yourself out of fear of it is really, really dumb. (Understandable, but dumb.) This week is a good one to pile on the rejections that’ll make your ultimate success that much sweeter. Get out there and start racking them up. Gemini (May 21-June 20)Do you really want what you think you want? Or is it only desirable because you’re pretty sure you can’t have it? How much of your fantasy life is about the titillating thrill of the unattainable, and how much is devoted to desires that might actually be fulfilled, if you play your cards right? It’s fun, and totally OK, to have dreams that you know (whether you admit it or not) will never come to fruition. However, you also need some—preferably most—that are actually possible. This week, make sure that at least half the time you spend making wishes in your head is used on wishes that can come true. Cancer (June 21-July 22)Imagine a world where marriages weren’t “’til death do us part,” but rather, say, “for the next seven years.” Even though this model is arguably less romantic, I’d bet a much higher percentage of these marriages would succeed. Here’s the problem with stuff like lifelong commitment: People change. A decade from now you’ll be quite a different person, with new desires and goals—and so will whoever you’re with. Even if you’re perfect together now, your aims may be completely incompatible in 10 years. Don’t fool yourself. Accepting—and planning around—that truth is a big part of making decisions that’ll ultimately lead to more happiness than disappointment.