Life Advice



Ask Amy: A writer shares, but her reader refuses

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Any ideas?

– At a Loss in Colorado

Dear At a Loss: A negative response from a friend could be deflating, but no response is much worse, because the writer in you fills the void with questions and doubt.

Yes, I do think it’s possible that your friend was shocked by some of the personal revelations you wrote about but had never disclosed to her. But some people simply do not realize that the kindest response from a friend is to offer encouragement, a question, or a compliment, along with any less-positive comments if the conversation goes deeper.

It is possible that your friend simply didn’t like your work, and doesn’t know how to deliver a vague and friendly acknowledgement that might satisfy you.

Because this worries you, you could say to her, “I’m a little thrown off that you haven’t had anything to say about my work. Are you open to having a conversation about it?” If she demurs, accept it. You should re-publish your work on a website, so in the future anyone who is interested in your writing can easily find and read it on their own, without you pressing it upon them.


Dear Amy: I had only been living with my boyfriend for two months when his mother's living situation (in another state) took a turn for the worst. He wanted to have her move in with us. I was truly naive and discounted all the negative stuff his siblings warned me about. They said that she would try to destroy our relationship.

Well, she moved in and slowly began a campaign. She made snide comments and criticized me constantly. Her son would confront her and take up for me, so she ramped up the attacks every time he wasn’t physically present.

She and I had a few brutal arguments and he confronted her and made her apologize, but I knew she didn't mean a word of it.

I told him that while I accepted her apology, she and I couldn't live under the same roof. We took her back to her home state.


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