Are Those Hurt Feelings Justified?

If someone says to you, “You hurt my feelings,” how much evidence do you require before apologizing?

What if you don’t agree that what you did was hurtful?

What if you never meant to hurt the person? Should you still apologize even though you meant no harm?

What if they’re hurt or angry about something that’s either ridiculously minor or entirely imaginary, and they won’t let it go?

Now they’ve got YOU feeling hurt, angry, or both. Read More

How to Deal With a Persnickety Friend

Do you have a friend who’s got you walking on eggshells — someone who makes you feel like you’re not a good person, let alone a good friend?

Friendship on Probation

I have a friend like this. Everything I do feels like it’s never quite right, or quite enough.

Each piece of positive feedback, every supportive email, all the small accommodations I cheerfully make around  her personal preferences — it’s like these are thrown down a well. Read More

Forgiveness Can’t Be Forced

Forgiveness, like Nature, can't be forcedI’m at the self-checkout at the grocery store with my partner, Mike. He passes our rewards card in front of the scanner, and an electronic female voice addresses us.

“Welcome, Valued Customer,” she intones, with all the warmth an industrial recording can muster.

Mike is disgusted. “Do they really think they can manipulate us with that ‘valued customer’ crap?” He looks at me, expecting agreement.

I look back at him sheepishly. “Uh …  That makes me feel … um … like a valued customer,” I admit. Read More