There’s only one right an­swer to this ques­tion

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - LIFE + STYLE -

I’m not! How­ever, it’s im­por­tant to me to be rec­og­nized as an adult. I’m afraid they might find this off-putting, but I know I will be an­noyed and hurt if my wishes are ig­nored, even if they mean well.

I am not par­tic­u­larly well-ac­quainted with his fam­ily. I want to make a good im­pres­sion, while still be­ing true to what I think is right. Am I be­ing overzeal­ous and in­se­cure, or does my plan of ac­tion sound rea­son­able?

Your con­cern sounds rea­son­able, but your plan needs some work.

A large part of be­ing an adult is con­sid­er­ing the feel­ings of oth­ers, even if that some­times means putting aside your own.

Squab­bling over ev­ery movie ticket is not likely to leave the im­pres­sion you want. When a pay­ment comes due, of­fer to con­trib­ute, but ac­cept a re­fusal gra­ciously. You may even lessen the obli­ga­tion by ask­ing if you may host spe­cific events — tak­ing the fam­ily out for din­ner to­ward the end of the visit, for ex­am­ple.

And Miss Man­ners as­sumes that you will pen an ex­tremely charm­ing let­ter, per­haps ac­com­pa­nied by flow­ers, im­me­di­ately upon re­turn­ing home.

I am con­nected on so­cial me­dia with sev­eral out-of-state rel­a­tives. Dur­ing the last elec­tion, my un­cle posted an ar­ti­cle and his opin­ion about a con­tro­ver­sial topic. I wrong­fully as­sumed he brought up the sub­ject with the in­tent of pub­lic dis­cus­sion.

When I of­fered a very po­lite but op­pos­ing view­point (that much of our fam­ily shares), he be­came so of­fended that he de­ac­ti­vated his ac­count for sev­eral days. He fi­nally re­turned to so­cial me­dia, say­ing that he wanted to re­main in touch with fam­ily and friends.

Want­ing to avoid fur­ther trou­ble, I re­frained from com­ment­ing on any new posts that did not con­cern a fam­ily mile­stone or event. For sev­eral months, we were on civil terms. He has since, with­out warn­ing or ex­pla­na­tion, com­pletely blocked me. I can’t even find him on the site, but I know from other rel­a­tives’ ac­tiv­ity that he still has a pro­file he reg­u­larly uses to in­ter­act with them.

I’d like to re­solve the sit­u­a­tion and at least have some com­mu­ni­ca­tion with him again — we’re fam­ily, after all — but I’m also afraid of mak­ing things worse. Would it be a good idea to con­tact my aunt or cousins and ask what I’ve done to of­fend him so, or should I just let things be?

Many peo­ple these days are mak­ing loud, con­tro­ver­sial state­ments with the avowed pur­pose of pro­vok­ing a re­sponse — and are then un­happy when they re­ceive one.

Miss Man­ners can­not ex­plain (or de­fend) such be­hav­ior, but she sees it all around. If you wish to re­pair the re­la­tion­ship, you must first sus­pend close in­quiry into the rights and wrongs. Write a charm­ing, hand­writ­ten apol­ogy, hop­ing that you can avoid po­lit­i­cal dis­cus­sions and con­cen­trate on fam­ily. This ap­proach is more likely to achieve your goal than at­tempt­ing to con­vince your un­cle he was wrong, ei­ther to be of­fended or in his po­lit­i­cal views.

Last week’s cross­words

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.