ASK AMY: A sports injury leads to hurt feelings

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Dear Amy: “Bart” and I have known each other for several years through our wives, who are colleagues. I now rethink my friendship with him.

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We have common interests and the four of us have been to dinner several times (but not recently).

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A few years ago, I introduced Bart to a sports group. He was an active participant.

A few months ago, when I practiced this sport, I limped injured.

Bart showed no concern – not once – even though I haven’t played with the band since, and other members expressed interest and concern.

I have helped Bart and his family with various household items on several occasions. I never asked for or received anything from him (other than cheap obligatory birthday presents, which our wives insist we exchange). Inevitably, I expect our paths to cross again, and I’m interested in hearing your views on how to approach it.

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I’m obviously low on his list of priorities, but I don’t want to appear artificially sympathetic.

I prefer to focus only on the most deserving people.

– Hurt Feelings in the Midwest

Dear hurt feelings: « Bart » sounds like a jerk. There – I said it.

Unfortunately, our human tendency is to let the person hurting our feelings crash through our chorus line of support players and take over the story line. (I think about it almost every day when I go through my readers’ mail.)

So first, take a minute and send Bart back to the wings where he belongs, and let his negligence spark the caring and supportive behavior of others for you.

My suggestion for you to move forward is that you should really be yourself.

Are you a nice and polite person? So stay that way.

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If you’re in a social setting with Bart for the next few weeks and you’re feeling comfortable, you might say, « You know I got hurt, right? I was wondering why you didn’t mention it… »

He may subscribe to a strange philosophy where thoughtfully noticing another man’s injury would be considered inconvenient or embarrassing to the injured party.

Or – he could be a jerk.

Accept that Bart revealed his limits to you, and yes, focus on the people who bring more positivity and balance into your life.

Dear Amy: My 87-year-old mother and 93-year-old father share a hospital room as he nears the end of his life.

My older sister (the only child living nearby) takes care of everything.

During our last text exchange, my sister first told me how bad Dad’s health was, then insisted that he could recover.

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Having been through something similar with my late husband, I know he won’t. I suggested she talk to someone about what Dad will likely be going through during hospice care, and that my mom might benefit from talking to a hospital chaplain to decide between hospice or continuing treatment.

I also said that I will support my sister whatever path she chooses for her care, that I know how difficult a decision like this can be, but that sometimes the most loving thing we can do is let someone go.

My sister replied that a priest prayed healing prayers over both parents that day.

Praying for someone isn’t the same as sitting and talking, and my dad isn’t going to « heal. »

I thanked her for letting me know and ended our conversation.

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Do you think my best option is to just thank her for all the updates and shut up about everything else?

I want to help her through this.

– Upset

Dear Upset: You went through that with the death of your husband. Now imagine managing the end-of-life care of two parents. That’s what your sister is dealing with.

I suggest that « healing prayers » may in fact be for her benefit – and I hope they will help her.

You have the right to share your thoughts, but she is at their bedside. Ask Him how you can be most helpful.

If possible, you should travel to be with them to support them all.

Dear Amy: « Hurt » was upset because her husband had listed his mother as his DMV « emergency contact. »

As often as family members travel together, I think using a spouse as an emergency contact is a bad idea.

What should an EMT do when he tries to reach the emergency contact only to realize that he is the other victim of the car accident?

–Judy, from Somewhere Boring

Dear Judy: Great point. DMV websites leave room for multiple contacts.

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