Often times, I will make a statement rather than asking a question, such as, “You are still on my mind, and I hope things have improved for you. My offer of assistance still stands.” But I don’t get a response and I’m still in the dark.
If the situation is still dire, I don’t want to interfere, but if the need has passed and I could be of service to others, I would like to move on.
There is no need to make these actions mutually exclusive. If those in need are able to ask for help, they will likely contact them again if they need more. In the meantime, Miss Manners assures you that you can safely direct your thoughts, prayers, and generous actions to others who may need them, whether they contact you or not.
Dear Miss Manners: My husband and I were thrilled when I got pregnant, especially because the baby would be my parents’ first grandchild, which they were looking forward to. I’m generally a very shy person, but due to their excitement, I made an effort to celebrate every stage of my pregnancy with my family, including sharing ultrasounds, photos, and daily developments.
However, after my baby shower, and to my surprise, my brother’s wife suddenly revealed that she too was expecting and that her baby was due to be delivered a few days before mine. Why she had hidden her pregnancy for so long, or how she had been able to do it, raised countless questions, none of which were answered.
My parents are delighted with the news, if not a little overwhelmed. Although I am happy for my sister-in-law and my brother, I feel ridiculous that they let me amplify my pregnancy for so long without talking about theirs. Is it too much to rush them for an explanation, if not an apology?
For what exactly Would your brother and sister-in-law apologize?
Whether you are feeling ridiculous, Miss Manners understands, but demanding an explanation for not wanting to update loved ones more than 270 times a year is unfair. In fact, this couple is to be commended for their discretion and for putting you in the limelight, even if it was in the name of the gratifying excitement of the grandparents. (And are you sure that being overwhelmed is not the prospect of now being doubly inundated with baby stimuli?)
There is a common and dominant opinion that public advertising of personal events should not be shameful. The same courtesy should be given to those who wish to keep it private.