Life Advice



Ask Amy: Faulty corrections call out for correcting

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Encouragement definitely has a place.

But it would also be helpful to LET me be scared, and to be scared with me from time to time.

Sometimes the positivity spin feels dismissive. To me, it can also seem like an overreaction to a situation that has many ups and downs.

Love and positive intentions from people are good, but I wish that people would let us share what we are feeling without trying to gloss over it.

It’s cancer, and it could end in death. Please don’t liken it to a root canal!

– Responding to Cancer


Dear Responding: I’ll toss another response onto the pile: “My cousin/sister-in-law/college roommate’s brother” had that and it’s no big deal.” (Or – even worse – noting someone they knew who suffered and died of the same disease.)

Oftentimes, the best response to another person’s tough personal news is to say, “I’m so sorry. That sounds tough. How are you doing with it?”

I agree completely that it can be a relief for someone to respond to your own sadness by expressing their own sadness about it – as long as you don’t end up having to comfort the other person through your own trauma.

Thank you for offering this helpful advice; I wish you all the very best.


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