“I don’t want to be mean”

Picture the scene: I’m in the grocery store (yes, again) and I’ve just gone through the self-checkout. I’m on foot; no car or bike waits for me outside. It’s pouring rain, I’m a good 25 minutes from home and my purchases don’t seem to fit in my waterproof backpack.

Because of the city’s ban on plastic bags, it’s either the backpack or a paper bag that will disintegrate before I’m halfway home.

I’m feeling uncomfortably warm, grumpy and in a hurry to get outside into the refreshing chill of the rainy day. Read More

How to Assert Yourself Without Being Mean

Someone asks you to lend them money. Not a lot. Just enough so you’ll miss it and wonder if you’ll see it again. You’d rather not lend it, but you can’t say no. You give it up, then resent the person for not paying you back without your having to ask.

You visit the home of an acquaintance and she says, “My dog is super friendly. Let me know if he’s bothering you.” Fifteen minutes and a gallon of slobber on your pants later, you offer a silent prayer of thanks when the dog gets bored with you and decides to torment his chew toy instead. Read More

Step Up to the Plate and Think Like a Country

More often than not, when I have a problem and need to make a decision, I ask other people what they would do if they were in my shoes. Then I decide whether to follow their advice or … ask someone else!

I’ve always thought of this as due diligence, but if I’m honest with myself, the real reason I ask for input is NOT so that I can weigh all my options judiciously like King Solomon; it’s just that I can’t be bothered to decide for myself. Read More