Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)Here’s my dilemma: There’s something wonderful about the way a hot tub can soothe beleaguered muscles after an intense workout—but the hot tub at my gym is kind of gross. So which outweighs the other? The grossness of the hot tub or the pleasure of a soak? This kind of quandary is strikingly similar to the one you’ll likely face this week. Of course, only you can figure out which side of the scale ultimately weighs more, but I hope that you, like me, will at least try to figure it out from firsthand experience. I won’t be able to decide, for example, until I know: just how gross is it, and just how good does it feel?Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)Comparing your life to a sitcom or fantasy version of life is only likely to make you feel bad. Yours isn’t so awful; it only sucks when you compare it to virtually unreachable realities (by anyone, not just you). Even though the holidays are the time when such comparisons seem almost unavoidable, you should train yourself out of those shitty mental habits. Focus instead on everything in your life that rocks, and build from there. And if there’s not a whole lot that’s great, just think how much better 2012 will be than 2011 was. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)You like all things to be more or less reasonable, so when someone’s completely unreasonable and potentially irrational requests or demands come your way, you’re liable to shut down completely instead of, say, humoring them or seeking a compromise. I understand how you feel, but the problem is, many people just aren’t as downright reasonable and logical as you are. I suppose it’s fair for you to simply say, “Anyone who can’t rise to my level of discourse and negotiation can just go suck it,” but you’d be shutting many people out. Bend a little more than you strictly should, this week. Everyone will be happier for it—surprisingly, even you.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)When you’re as flexible and accommodating as you are, you’ll encounter people who just push and push, simply to see how far you’ll go. They’ll never have enough, because it’s not about what you’ve already given, but how much more you might yet give. I can understand how such treatment might make you jaded, but that can work against you when you treat a mostly fair person like one of these pushy douches. Don’t let them poison you, though. Not everyone’s like that. This week, try to hear a reasonable request for what it is, instead of cynically imagining it as the first of many demands you can never fulfill, and just accommodate it.Aries (March 21-April 19)Sometimes part of being there for someone is lending them an attentive, sympathetic ear, even if their stories are boring, lame, or repetitious. (Of course, if they have no redeeming characteristics to offset their crappy anecdotes, then why are you hanging out with them at all?) However, most people put up with plenty, usually without complaint, to be your friend. Be kind enough to return the favor. Part of being a friend/lover is taking the good with the bad—and if the bad is merely having to sit through some tedious talk, consider yourself very blessed. Taurus (April 20-May 20)If you’re hunting for permission to do the thing you want to do, but really shouldn’t, you’ll certainly find it, if you look hard enough. Eventually, someone’s bound to say the thing you really want to hear, thereby magically canceling out all the other advice you received from everyone else. That, however, is seriously lame. Either (wo)man up and just do what you want to do, and to hell with the consequences, or buckle down and do what you know is right, forgetting this other thing for good. Seeking some flimsy outside validation is a cop-out; either way, don’t bother. Gemini (May 21-June 20)Just because someone else doesn’t understand or respect your worries or fears doesn’t mean they aren’t real. Yes, according to logic, your anxieties are probably somewhat ridiculous—but so are everyone else’s. Fears are rarely rational, and deserve compassion, not dismissal. If someone’s encouraging you to conquer your fears, that’s one (fairly wonderful, if uncomfortable) thing. If they’re telling you to “just get over it,” though, that’s quite another. Try to heed suggestions that might help you move on a little. However, tell the other dicks to suck it; their hypocrisy is not helping matters. Cancer (June 21-July 22)Context is so important. What might be mean, over-the-top, or completely inappropriate with one person or in one situation would be witty, funny, or exciting in another. When we screw this up, it can be embarrassing (and, yes, funny, if only to others), but it happens to everyone, so all you can do is apologize as gracefully as possible and be patient while you wait for it to blow over. Meanwhile, don’t worry so much; putting your foot in your mouth can be more fun for the rest of us than you getting it right, so stop trying to be perfect and just go for it.Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)You’re notoriously good at letting bygones be bygones. You’re really too lazy to sustain a grudge for long. Once something’s been resolved to your satisfaction (which usually doesn’t take much), you move on pretty completely. That’s not so true of others, though. Even when they say they’re over it, they’re not, always. Before you get all high and mighty, though, cut them a little slack for a while—not everyone can bounce back as quickly as you, after all. However, at some point, enough’s enough. They need to forgive and truly forget, or you’ll help them—by disappearing. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)If you’re an interesting, open-minded person, you populate your life with many different kinds of people. That means that some of these people will not like, approve of, or get along with each other, no matter how much they love you. This can be painful, when it’s people quite close to you who don’t see eye-to-eye (such as your parents and romantic partner), but most of these potential conflicts or uncomfortable situations can be avoided by being astute and realistic enough to recognize these potential pitfalls before they happen. It’s a wonderful thing to try to broaden people’s horizons a little, but it’s quite another to cultivate a social disaster. This week, be careful about crossing that line—you’re perilously close.Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)Pretty people enjoy perks those of us with more average looks don’t, often without even realizing it (“Isn’t everyone this nice to everyone?”). The downside of being attractive, however, is that they’re not often challenged to develop actual skills that can help them out when their looks inevitably fade. Other advantages can also subtly discourage personal development (by making it less necessary); since Libras are often gifted with many natural talents (and frequently with beauty), you must constantly focus on developing yourself and evolving on your own, even when the world doesn’t present you with any pressing “need” to do so—lest when you do need such skills, you find yourself without.Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)It’s not your job to mend emotional rifts caused by others, but if you can do it, why wouldn’t you? Sure, you’re well within your rights to simply stay out of it, but occasionally, butting your nose into someone else’s business is just what’s required to help them get over themselves and their stubborn, stupid issue. Since the people involved here are as obstinate as they get, and since you love them dearly, climb out on a limb and see if there’s anything you can do. Of course, you might just get a slap in the face and no thanks at all, but if you can help them patch things up, isn’t that worth the email@example.com