Ask Amy: ‘Lunch Ladies’ serve extra portions of kindness
I would like to confront her with this because it has affected our relationship.
I know she loves me, but I can’t return the feelings because of her dishonesty.
She has to feel my coldness at times.
Should I confront her by saying I feel she has a problem, and it has affected our relationship?
– Caring Cousin
Dear Cousin: If you are absolutely certain that your cousin is a habitual thief, you should speak with her about it, certainly if you witness this behavior.
You should frame this as a conversation, versus a confrontation, and you should express your concern within the context of how it has affected your relationship: “I believe you have a big problem, and it has really interfered with our cousin-relationship. I don’t feel comfortable with your behavior. I honestly think you need professional help, because we were both taught that stealing is wrong, and yet you do it, anyway.”
According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (shopliftingprevention.org), a very small percentage of shoplifters are caught – and very few are prosecuted – but chronic shoplifters may need professional help to stop. Their website offers a helpful and confidential self-assessment, along with the opportunity to connect with a therapist.
It is unethical to accept a gift if you know it has been stolen.
Dear Amy: “Very Concerned” reported that her sister-in-law disclosed a long-ago sexual assault. Thank you for understanding that disclosure itself is an important first step in healing. This concerned sister-in-law is a true friend to listen and encourage her sister-in-law to seek more help.
– Been There
Dear Been There: RAINN.org offers supportive online and telephone counseling.
©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.