(originally published January 13, 2010)
The other day, someone made an honest comment to me about a gift I gave them – a rude comment, but an honest one.
This is the sort of circumstance I hear about a lot on my radio program. Callers get very upset about some small moment of discomfort, stupidity, rudeness, thoughtlessness – you get my drift. It sends them into a tizzy, because I guess they yearn for this perfect world where everyone else’s behavior conforms to what it is that makes them happy.
People are largely busy with their own lives, and they don't always monitor their mouths or body language. Sometimes, they're prone to say things without consideration of how it might be received.
So, back to my story – I just laughed. Look, my feelings can get hurt just like yours. But since I am "Dr. Laura," and because I have the experience of over six decades on the planet, I have learned to choose what will annoy me. When you have friends and acquaintances, you have to 1) cut everyone some "stupidity slack" once in a while (as you would have them forgive you); 2) look at the totality of that person and realize that, percentage-wise, they're "fine," and 3) decide whether or not their action was intentionally meant to do you harm or was just a quirk of their personality.
When someone is downright evil, please avoid them.
When someone is simply a bit thoughtless of others, then put them in their place…in your mind, that is. Know that they have this "quirky-ness" and in the future, don’t have expectations for them that are out-of-proportion.
You can still be friendly, and even be friends, once you accept their limitations.
So, if you don’t have a "goat" to get, they can't get your goat!