Life Advice



Ask Amy: DNA discoveries bring forward tough truths

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

As we have found out, once you know something, you can't unknow it. Additionally, we know that eventually as more family members do their DNA, they may also learn about this.

What to do?

– Bewildered

Dear Bewildered: Sometimes we are forced to learn things we do not want to know. The unexplored or unexpected truth is always lurking at the edges, and sometimes it finds its way in.

I do believe your siblings should be told about this, but you should offer up this information not through the rip of a bandage (or the clicking open of an email), but by granting them an advantage that you didn’t have, in the form of a warning that this might be a tough truth to learn.

You might rehearse different ways to start this conversation: “Warren and I recently had our DNA tested, and we were both handed some extremely surprising and upsetting information regarding our families. Frankly, this was information I didn’t want or expect, but now that I know it, I believe you have the right to know it, too – if you want. I just want to prepare you in case you plan to have your DNA tested. If you want to discuss this with me instead, I’m certainly willing to do that. If you would rather not discuss it, that’s OK, too.”


After that, try not to attach to any particular or specific response, including the possibility of a sibling blaming you for bringing this to their attention. Undoubtedly, that same sibling would also blame you for keeping it to yourself.

Dear Amy: A very dear friend of mine is dating a man who is racist, phony, full of himself, selfish and has publicly humiliated her in the past.

He nearly killed a few of his and her family members by being reckless with COVID safety, too. These family members narrowly escaped, so now he thinks he's in the clear and continues to be reckless. Needless to say, I can't stand him.

My friend recently asked me in an email conversation if I like him.


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