Life Advice



Ask Amy: Reader worries about post-pandemic relating

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

My own plan is to … go slowly, realizing that others will go at a different pace.

I urge you – and all of us – to reserve judgment.

That hard-charging man has his own anxieties. He is perhaps overly eager to assert his primacy over his surroundings. He might have spent the last year struggling to keep the losses and sacrifices at bay. If he has not permitted the last year to change him, to understand his own vulnerabilities and deepen his own compassion, then – so be it.

You might still feel compassion for him, though, because he, like you, is experiencing the world and relating to others in the way he knows how.

Remember, too, that it takes all kinds of people to rebuild: Braggy and fearless-sounding movers and shakers, as well as people who are willing to sweep up the rubble; artists, musicians, teamsters and teachers. “Human-doers,” as you so rightly name them, have their place.

Anyone who expects you to “snap back” into pre-pandemic ways of relating will simply have to adjust to the changes you’ve made in your own life, slowly, just as you will adjust to them.


Dear Amy: My former husband was abusive toward our children. He is currently serving time (for a different offense).

I want to encourage my kids to have a relationship with him, but they refuse. They won’t visit him and don’t want to have anything to do with him.

How can I get them to come around and have a relationship with him?

– Sad


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