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Dear Amy: A few years back, I discovered that I had fathered an adult child resulting from my being a sperm donor decades ago.

This child was raised by a single mother and has no siblings. This child sought me out because they "wanted more family." We have become good friends, and I treasure this relationship.

I have encouraged the adult child I raised (also a biological child) to meet their half-sibling but, although there has been sporadic texting, the adult child I raised has not made much effort to meet their half-sibling.

I don't want my encouragement to be misinterpreted. Should I discontinue encouraging these two to connect?

Amy says: You should continue to encourage these two to connect, but your encouragement should be a soft sell, understanding that these two adults have the right to face — and pace — the possibility of their own relationship in their own way.

You should relate to each of them as individuals, and be transparent and relaxed about your contact with each.

This is a complex and awkward situation. Whereas the recently discovered child sought out contact with you, the child you raised, who I assume was not aware of your donation or prepared for the possibility of encountering a sibling, heard about this only recently.

The child you raised might not have wanted "more family." And certainly not instantly. Now that they have it, they should be given some time to adjust.

Obligatory texting

Dear Amy: When the pandemic first hit, two of my college friends and I started a group text. It was a true lifeline.

About a year ago, however, the two friends started texting "Good morning!" every single day. That's it — just "Good morning!"

My friends both live alone, so these check-ins might feel important to them, but I find them incredibly irritating. I'm not sociable in the morning, and I'm not a fan of obligatory daily texts.

I haven't responded to the "good morning" messages in at least six months. I reply only to actual conversations, but my friends haven't seemed to notice.

I love my friends and want to communicate with them — even daily — but not in this forced, intrusive way.

I'm worried that if I share my feelings, they'll stop texting me altogether. Is there any way to extricate myself from the "good mornings?"

Amy says: First, a word for tolerance.

If you find these texts irritating, you could turn off your notifications. But that alone probably won't be enough because simply knowing that this exchange is sitting silently in your phone bothers you. I'm not judging you (I get it!), but you must admit that this is the essence of sweating the small stuff.

Irritations sometimes can be mitigated by reframing them. Buddhist philosopher and author Pema Chodron teaches that you can develop more tolerance by "practicing" on the small things. You train yourself to tolerate minor irritations (sitting in traffic, waiting on hold, perky "good mornings"). Through practice, you change your perspective, and then your behavior will follow suit.

If you are unable or unwilling to try this technique, you could text both of your friends: "You may notice that I don't respond to your 'good morning' messages. I have a confession to make: I'm a total crankypants before noon. Could we get two text threads going? One for you two to greet each other in the morning, and one to loop me in for our longer convos? I'm sorry to be such a grouch. I LOVE our connection — especially after noon."

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