Life Advice



Ask Amy: Depressed son is reluctant to leave home

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I understand the causes and feel a great deal of compassion for the difficulties that they face as individuals.

Where I struggle is how to respond when asked for money – often it is very uncomfortable.

I can easily afford to give out a few dollars, but is this the right thing to do? What is the best way we can help as individuals?

– John

Dear John: I don’t believe there is any definitive answer to this. Because you are both aware and concerned (good for you!), you could do a lot of good by helping organizations that help the homeless through financial support and/or volunteering.

Instead of cash, some people give out socks, gloves, or gift cards for small amounts to be redeemed for food.

I think the one important thing is to look someone in the eye and at least recognize their humanity, even if you choose not to give to them that day.

Dear Amy: “New Job, New Me” had previously worked for a well-known company, and didn’t know how to respond to new coworkers’ extreme curiosity about the previous job.

I worked for a prominent New York City socialite who was married to a powerful man. After I left and was job-hunting, everyone I met with (from my doctor to friends, recruiters and prospective employers) wanted to know what she was like.


I avoided those questions by saying I had signed a confidentiality agreement (which I had) and was not at liberty to answer their questions.

That usually stopped the questions. “New Job, New Me” might try that excuse.

– I’m Not Talking

Dear Not Talking: Good advice. (I’ve now spent the last several days trying to guess the identity of your previous employer.)


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2022 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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