Life Advice



Ask Amy: One brother gets the samovar, the other – bupkis

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I love my friends. The few times we can all get together should be enjoyable. I want to talk about what we're doing, our families, etc., like we always have for years, but my friend has gone off the deep end.

I don't mind a little political discussion here and there (very little), but not with someone who gets very vocal, sometimes mean, and refuses to hear other opinions.

I'm so nervous that politics will be brought up and it will be so uncomfortable, I'll just have to excuse myself and leave.

I'd like to head off this topic!

– This Girl Just Wants to Have Fun

Dear Girl: Yes, I believe it would be rude for you to declare certain topics verboten when issuing an invitation.

What are you prepared to do if this friend (or another friend) violates your rule?

I believe it’s better to anticipate this happening, and respond calmly and rationally in the moment: “Gina, I know this is a hot topic for you, but I’m hoping we can reconnect without politics today.”

Also, disconnect from her on social media. I left Facebook altogether a few months ago, and my blood pressure immediately returned to normal.


It is easier to remain friends with people when I’m not exposed to their rants. They’ve also been spared pictures of my dog.

Dear Amy: Each year when you take a break from your column, you run “Best of” columns. I enjoy them, but why must you announce that you are taking a break and when you will be back? We know you’re away because you are rerunning columns. Enough with the explanation.

– Annoyed

Dear Annoyed: I do it that way because I want readers to be aware that I work on projects other than the column. I have written two books with the help of these breaks, and I’m proud of that!


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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