This is an extended family member, and I have a good relationship with her and my cousin; I see these people every couple of years at family reunions.
I've never had any conflicts with either of them (on or off social media), so it baffles me as to why she wouldn't accept my requests.
Is this considered rude, and if it is, should I do anything about it? I obviously don't want to create drama or come off as annoying, but this has been bothering me.
Slighted on Social Media
Slighted on Social Media: Bear with me — while I look for a hot poker to drive into my thigh.
I . . . I just need to feel something real.
Stop. Stop obsessing about this.
Your request is out there. Your cousin’s wife might not be available to take care of your needs right now. She might not regularly review her requests. Or — she might not be interested in your artwork.
She is one person. Your efforts should be directed toward increasing your marketing reach beyond your relatives and their spouses — and into the great beyond. Some of your biggest fans will be people who stumble upon your work because you generously appreciate their work, or the work of other artists they admire. The social media engine is fueled by generosity, mutuality and connection.
You should be generous in your interactions with others, and generous in your assumptions about people — online and in real life. Let this one go.
Dear Amy: About five years ago, I successfully completed a PhD under the guidance of an amazing woman, "Daisy." Daisy also supervised my master's dissertation. I never would have pursued a doctorate without her encouragement. She had a truly transformational impact on my life, and I owe her a huge debt.
We formed a close bond, and she introduced me to her husband and daughter on several occasions. Since I graduated, we see each other only on a roughly annual basis.
Normally when I have a free day or am passing by her campus I'll ask her for a coffee or lunch. I think about her often.
Here is my quandary: I have recently found out that six months ago her daughter was seriously injured in a freak accident, and is now paralyzed from the waist down. The story made the national press, but I only found out it was Daisy's daughter through an unconnected, professional contact.
I desperately want to reach out to both Daisy and her daughter, but am unsure of how to do so.
Do I mention the accident, or do I simply reach out to ask her for a coffee and see if she brings it up? I don't want to be insensitive, but also want to be there for my friend in this time of need.
Lost in London
Lost in London: You should definitely reach out, and you should express your sympathy and concern.
Here’s a start: “Dear ‘Daisy,’ I was so saddened to learn of your daughter’s accident. I am so grateful for your mentorship and friendship to me over the years. Please know that I am thinking about all of you, now. I’ll be in the area soon and would love to see you both again, if possible.”
Please understand that it is compassionate and appropriate to connect, even if you aren’t sure what to say, and even if you can’t offer a solution to a particular problem. So often, people choose to back away during challenging times. Don’t ghost your friend now.
Dear Amy: I was furious at your advice to "Concerned Parent," who was upset that his young son admired Michael Jackson!
You said that "Michael Jackson hurt children." Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty?!"
Upset: “Concerned” believed that Michael Jackson hurt children. And — given that the justice system often favors the powerful and connected over their victims — I think it is possible that justice was not served in this case.