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Advice | Miss Manners: My mother-in-law keeps making comments about my medical condition


Dear Ms Manners: I am a newly married young woman suffering from an inflammatory bowel disease. Because of my illness, I take medication prescribed by my doctor and do my best to eat healthy. Lately I have started following a vegetarian diet.

My mother-in-law brings up my illness when we see each other, and she tries to persuade me to go on a ketogenic diet, because she believes vegetarian diets are inherently unhealthy. She also tries to persuade me to replace my meds with lemon and ginger.

I find this discussion rather off-putting—partly because I insist that she knows better than my doctor and I find it disrespectful, but also because I don’t think it’s appropriate to try to interfere with the treatment plan of a person with a chronic illness. disease.

Can I kindly but firmly ask my mother-in-law to keep her opinion about my health to herself? Or will I just have to smile and nod during these conversations with her?

If you thought you could ask your mother-in-law to keep her opinion to herself, without bad consequences, Miss Manners suspects you would already have.

But don’t underestimate the power of smiles and nods. If your mother-in-law realizes that you won’t fight back—nor will you change your habits—she’ll get tired of giving advice. That way, you don’t have to justify offending her because what she will protest was just a maternal concern for your well-being.

Dear Ms Manners: I was awarded an academic promotion for which I requested letters of support from faculties both internal and external to my institution. All teachers answered in the affirmative, and I would like to thank them.

However, the nature of the process is such that the letters remain confidential to the candidate; I don’t even know if all requests were honored (and wouldn’t suggest I had any inappropriate knowledge).

I would like to write to each of the faculties, along the lines of, “I am honored to announce my promotion to professor and express my sincere appreciation for your willingness to support my application.”

Does Miss Manners have any suggestions for a more elegant or appropriate approach?

Although she finds no mistake with the text of your letter, Mrs Manners does give some advice. If you had sent thank-you letters immediately after accepting your request for support, it would have served the dual purpose of reminding anyone who had not already sent the recommendation to do so.

Then maybe you could have written a second letter with the happy news of your promotion. (That would have been more work, but since you’re in a field that involves both networking and writing, not cumbersome.) It would also have reinforced that you would have been grateful for their support, even if you had the promotion.

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday washingtonpost.com/advice. You can ask questions to Ms. Manners on her website, mismanners. com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

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