Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Sister worries about including felon in holiday

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I assume that contact with family members could help him reintegrate into life in a way that would be positive for him, but all decisions concerning contact should be yours -- not his -- to make.

Don't let the awkwardness of saying "no" override your parental instincts. Tell him, "I'm not ready to have you with us. We'll just have to see how things go for you over time, and my husband and I will continue to think about it."

It would be good if both you and your husband could bring him a gift and spend a little time with him during the holiday season.

Dear Amy: I have a friend who has a full-time job, and has started selling cosmetics on the side.

I support her right to pursue additional income, but am extremely uncomfortable with friends using friends as a revenue stream.

I've noticed an uptick in her email communications, and she always includes her website and other information about the cosmetics in the emails.

She has not asked me directly to purchase anything or invited me to any sales "events," but I anticipate one/both happening soon.

How do I politely decline any sales pitches?

-- Tupper-wary in NJ

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Dear Tupper-wary: You can respond to sales entreaties with an enthusiastic, "No thanks, I'm all set -- but congratulations, and good luck with your business!" Don't judge this woman for being an entrepreneur, but definitely exercise your own right to spend your money the way you want to.

When I find myself getting annoyed by people trying to sell me things or asking for favors, I try to remember that it's not their fault if I feel burdened. Learning to say a respectful "Sorry -- but no" is honest and empowering.

Dear Amy: "Need Advice" asked a very sensible question about how men can handle the burden of being falsely accused of sexual harassment in the workplace. You basically snapped back, even though this is a very valid question!

-- Disappointed Reader

Dear Disappointed: The man quoted in this letter described the burden of being a "straight white male" in the workplace. I'm not aware that straight white males have an extra burden. In my response I drew attention to and praised the scores of male colleagues I've had over four decades in the workplace who managed not to harass -- or be accused of harassment -- simply by behaving professionally.

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(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: askamy@amydickinson.com. Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, 16650 Westgrove Drive, Suite 175, Addison, Texas, 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.)


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