Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Sisters' solution should start with separation

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Anxious: Anxiety does not make people mean. Because "Clare" refuses to seek help, you could assume that she is laboring under a self-diagnosis, or a misdiagnosis.

I understand why you are waiting to contact Clare, but I'm wondering why you feel the need to contact her at all. She has had her say. She thrives on accusation and drama. Now might be a good time to work on accepting her limitations, detaching from her problems and making a choice to send her silent sister-love from a distance, but declare to yourself that you're just not going to play.

You could try to retrain her and reframe your relationship over time. When she behaves decently, you'll always respond positively and have a decent relationship. When she doesn't, you won't.

This is tough because it upends the assumption we all have that sisters should be close, comforting and supportive friends. But it doesn't always work out that way.

This is an ideal issue to explore in therapy. You'll feel much better about yourself -- and her -- when you can detach without bitterness. It can't be a lot of fun to be Clare.

Dear Amy: I live in drought-prone California.

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Every morning I swim at the Y and take a three-minute navy shower after my laps.

On several occasions in the ladies open shower room, I have found women running all of the showers at once, claiming this helps to get the water hot.

I ask them to turn them off, and then have to endure vulgarities from them.

I do go ahead and turn them off. I report them to reception and have been told they will handle it.


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