Life Advice



Ask Amy: Sister gives new meaning to ‘cruise control’

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

It is causing me (and my husband) much anxiety.

I actually vomit due to anxiety over this.

What can we do?

– Guilty

Dear Guilty: Your sister is something of an emotional vampire, and your generosity toward her over the last 20 years has enabled her to control you to the extent that you and your husband have already determined that you won’t be able to enjoy a wonderful vacation without her.

That’s how powerful and successful her training has been!


If you had established some reasonable boundaries years ago, your sister might have her own life by now.

There are many wonderful opportunities for guided travel available to solo travelers with the means and motivation.

If you don’t have the backbone to tolerate your sister’s tantrum, then you should just give in, stay home, and devote yourselves to her needs.

However, you might liberate yourselves from this control if you prepare yourselves for her reaction and simply choose not to be triggered by it this time.


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