Life Advice



Ask Amy: Cousin feels violated over childhood abuse

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I was concerned about her!

She blew up at me and stated I had no business asking her about her weight loss. She told me how inconsiderate I had been.

I promptly apologized and said that I was sorry that I offended her. She stormed off into her bedroom.

How should I have handled this situation?

She did not look ill — just a lot smaller.

– Wondering


Dear Wondering: If your sister-in-law did not look ill, then why did you ask her if she was OK?

If your sister-in-law has spent the pandemic taking off 30 pounds, rather than putting them on (as many of us have done), then she might not have appreciated the implication that she could only lose weight through illness.

And if she is actually ill, she might not have been ready to discuss it.

Your sister-in-law’s reaction was definitely oversized, but, generally speaking, it is not a good idea to comment on weight loss – or gain – until the other person has opened the door to the topic.


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