By Danice Akiyoshi, N.D.
Dear Dr. Akiyoshi:
I have a friend who has trouble keeping a job. His social skills are terrible. I have known him since we were kids and he has always been socially inept. I give him odd jobs to do so he can earn a little money, but I can see he is getting worse. I have to instruct him over and over. I know he needs some kind of help, but I feel this is a sensitive subject. He still lives at home with his mother, and he is 38 years old. Do you think it would be rude on my part to speak to his sister? I’ve known her since we were kids, too. I can’t believe they haven’t done anything to help him function better. Maybe this is none of my business. I’d like your advice, please.
You are concerned about your childhood friend enough to give him odd jobs to help him stay afloat. This shows me that your heart is in the right place and puts you in the perfect position to approach your friend’s sister. Sometimes when a family has a member that has extra needs, they go into denial. Or perhaps they are used to his limitations, so they no longer have the ability to see how odd he may be appearing to the public at large. If he is 38 and still lives with his mother, something’s up. This subject is probably too big for you to take on, but yes, please do notify his family of your concerns. People who have severely poor social skills are often in danger of being bullied or harmed in a variety of ways. Make that call. Good Luck.
-Danice Akiyoshi, N.D.
Danice Akiyoshi is a Naturopathic Doctor and the head of Candid Coaching Service. She offers personal coaching services relating to all types of issues and concerns. This is a letter she received from an anonymous reader. To send a question to Danice, email her at email@example.com. You can also visit her website at http://www.candidcoachingservices.com.