Nothing nice to say? I’ll just block

By June 24, 2014

Dear Annie: I am the thrilled stepgrandmother of a wonderful grandson, age 3. I’ve had the privilege of taking care of him twice a week since he was born.

I decided to post his pictures on Facebook because his extended family lives all over the country and appreciates the updates on his outings and activities. I also enjoy having a computerized photo book not only for myself, but to share with my housebound mother.

The problem is, one family member seems to post only negative remarks about him. Her comments have included criticisms of his baby blanket, his potty training and the length of his hair. She never compliments the boy or makes any positive comments at all.

Today, she annoyed me so much that I deleted her comments from my page. I know that was petty and probably rude. Is there any kind of etiquette regarding Facebook posts? What about polite responses to unsolicited negative opinions about one’s grandson?

— Wondering

Dear Wondering: We have to wonder what would prompt anyone to make disparaging remarks about a 3-year-old on Facebook. (The most obvious reason is jealousy.) You can “reassign” this relative so that she no longer sees posted pictures of your grandson unless you specifically include her. You also can block her comments. Both solutions are acceptable. However, if you wish to address this with her, please do so with a personal phone call, asking whether there is a problem that can be fixed. It is the shared, public aspect of what should be a personal dispute that makes it especially rude.


Dear Annie: This is in response to “Co-Worker in Binghamton, N.Y.,” whose co-worker has bad breath. For years I suffered with halitosis. I tried everything I could think of. I brushed my teeth, used mouthwashes and mints, consulted my dentist and physician for underlying issues and searched the Internet, all to no avail.

One day a dear friend confirmed my worst fear: that everyone could indeed tell. She recommended chlorophyll capsules, which I found at my local health food store. They worked! While each person should check with their doctor first, these have had no ill effects for me.

If you have a friend with halitosis, tell them. Severe halitosis negatively affects relationships with everyone. I will be forever grateful to my friend for caring enough and having the courage to tell me.

— Up Close and Personal

Creators Syndicate

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