Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Family Member


Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My adult niece, 40, posted a very nasty comment about me to a social media site because of my stance that women and girls should NOT be judged on their looks. This stance was never communicated to her specifically, it is just something I occasionally reference.

She said of me: “She’s totally nuts. She’s got a ton of money, no kids and clearly no joy in her life, either.”

How do I get over the hurt, since I have no idea from where the hate originated?

-- Family Member


This sounds like the tip of the storyberg here, but, just going on what you gave me, I suggest you comment on her original nasty post so she knows you know what she wrote. Utterly without inflection, write, “I’m sorry to hear you feel this way.” That’s it, then block her on that site.

Whatever you may or may not have done to offend her, the fact that she responded this way is cowardly and completely on her. It also hints at a profoundly unhappy person, which is also about her, not you. The hate is her damage, not yours.

And the onus is on her to rebuild a relationship with you if that’s what she wants. In the meantime, heal by devoting your time and concern to people who welcome you -- and civility -- in their lives.

Dear Carolyn:


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