Ask Amy: Atheist Wants Honest But Kind Way To Opt Out Of Religious Activities

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dear Amy: I am atheist. I believe in practicing kindness and respecting the opinions of others.

In recent years, I have worked to become more honest about religious activities that I would prefer not to attend. (These ceremonies make me very uncomfortable.)

I used to tell lies to preserve the feelings of people I love when I didn’t want to attend a baptism or other religious event (I’ve also attended many and been very hurt comfortable).

Now that I’m in my fifties, I want to be more honest.

A friend invited me to attend her twins’ bar mitzvah. This is a difficult question.

I’m not particularly close to these twins, but the mother’s friendship means a lot to me.

I really don’t want to attend the ceremony, but I don’t want to hurt her either.

Can you think of an honest but very kind way to respectfully step aside?

I prefer to send a gift and a thoughtful note acknowledging the milestone.

This friend is likely to ask me why I’m not going, and I’m leaning towards giving her a more honest answer because our friendship (I hope) is strong and I think it would be more respectful to let her know the truth if I can do it nicely. I appreciate your input!

Do: The honest and kind way to respectfully step down would be to RSVP, “I’m so sorry I can’t attend, please pass on my congratulations to the twins.” Now they are men!

What I mean is that when you decline an invitation, you don’t need to provide a reason. It’s somewhat unusual for a host to follow up to ask, “Well, why can’t you attend?” »

If your friend asks you the question, you can say: “As you know, I am an atheist. I do not attend religious ceremonies. I realize this might be somewhat embarrassing, and I agree that it is extremely important in your family, but I must refuse. But I’m also very honored by the invitation.

dear Amy: My husband and I had children later in life.

We have become closer to our family to raise our children with relatives.

Around my youngest daughter’s first birthday, my older sister started dating a man. They are a poisonous brew.

I don’t like his past, which includes multiple arrests for domestic violence and theft, and I don’t like what happens to my sister when she’s with him.

They drink and have great fights.

The holidays are approaching and I don’t want this man in my life.

However, I have a second sister who will host holiday events, and it will break her heart if I refuse to go if this man is present.

Should I swallow it all and go, or stick to my beliefs and celebrate the holidays with my husband and daughters?

I grew up around a violent and abusive man and witnessed the repercussions of alcoholism through my grandmother.

I don’t want my daughters to go through this trauma.

Torn up: Only you can realistically assess your ability to handle the stress and anxiety that this man’s presence will cause.

But you also have to decide if you will let him control you and keep you away from family gatherings.

If you want to be with your family but choose to stay away because he will be there, then he bullied you into a corner.

If you really want to stay away, do it. But you can also claim to go where you want to go, and if the occasion takes a turn that you don’t like, you can leave. As I often say (especially during the holidays), always keep track of your coat and your keys.

Your children will not suffer the trauma you were exposed to in childhood because they have you as their mother and you will protect them. Of course you will!

dear Amy: “Can’t handle criticismwent into a tailspin when her boss pointed out minor mistakes.

Bosses need to make sure workers feel good about the important work they do and aren’t so stressed that they make even more mistakes.

Praising: “I saw one very minor thing among all the great work you’ve done…” will go a long way.

The error is human. I’m a quality assurance manager at a high-tech company, and I make quite a living from this human trait.

— Charlie from Silicon Valley

Charly: Wisdom of quality! Thanks.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency

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