Dear Amy: My husband and I had children later in life. We approached our family to raise our children with relatives.
Around my younger girl’s first birthday, my older sister started dating a man. They are a toxic infusion.
I don’t like his past, which includes multiple arrests for domestic violence and robbery, and I don’t like what my sister becomes when she’s around him. They drink and have big fights.
Christmas is coming and I don’t want this man in my life.
However, I have a second sister who will host Christmas events and break her heart if I refuse to leave because this man is present.
Should I suck up and walk away or should I stick to my conviction and celebrate with my husband and daughters?
I grew up around a violent and aggressive man and witnessed the repercussions of alcoholism through my grandmother. I don’t want my girlfriends to experience this trauma.
What’s your advice?
Dear Torn: Only you can realistically assess your ability to cope with the stress and anxiety that being in this man’s presence will produce.
But you also need to decide whether you let him control you and keep you away from family gatherings.
If you want to be with your family but prefer to stay away because he will be there it intimidated you into the corner.
If you really want to stay away, definitely do so. But you can also make a claim to go wherever you want, and if an opportunity arises that you don’t like, you can walk away. As I often say (especially around the holiday season), always take care of your coat and keys.
Your children will not experience the trauma to which you were exposed in childhood because they have you as their mother and you will protect them. Of course you will!
Dear Amy: I’m ateist. I believe in practicing kindness and respect for the views of other people.
In recent years, I have been working on honesty in religious matters in which I would prefer not to participate. (These ceremonies make me very uncomfortable.)
I lied to preserve the feelings of the people I love when I did not want to attend a baptism or other religious event (I also attended many and felt very uncomfortable).
Now that I’m over fifty, I want to be more honest.
A friend of mine invited me to her twins’ bar mitzvah. This is difficult. I’m not particularly close to these twins, but my mother’s friendship means a lot to me.
I really don’t want to attend the ceremony, but neither do I want to hurt her feelings. Can you come up with an honest but very nice way to bow respectfully?
I’d rather send a gift and a thoughtful note confirming this milestone.
This friend will probably ask me why I won’t go and I am inclined to give her a more honest answer as our friendship (I hope) is strong and I think it would be more respected if she knew the truth if I could do it kindly. I appreciate your input!
I’m done with religion
Ladies and Gentlemen: A fair and courteous way to bow respectfully is through the RSVP: “Sorry I can’t attend, please pass my congratulations to the twins. Now they are men! “
My point is, when you decline an invitation, you don’t have to give a reason. It is quite unusual for the host to ask, “Well, why can’t you attend?”
If your friend asks, you can say, “As you know, I am an atheist. I don’t go to religious ceremonies. I realize it can be a little awkward and I know it is extremely important in your family, but I have to say no. But I am also very honored by the invitation. “
Dear Amy: “I can’t handle criticism” sprang into a spin as her boss pointed out minor flaws.
Bosses need to make employees feel good about the important work they are doing, and they don’t have to stress so much that they make even more mistakes.
Praise – “I have seen one very small thing among all the wonderful work you have done …” – will go a long way.
It is human to err. I am the head of quality control at a high-tech company and I make pretty good money because of this human quality.
Charlie from Silicon Valley
Dear Charlie! The wisdom of quality! Thank you.
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