I let a friend of mine have it the other day and I regret my choice of words and (especially) tone of voice. I've said I'm sorry, but only sort of am. She has two behaviours that I do not like, and that stimulated me to the point of berating her.
First, she has a partner for whom she expresses only contempt, disdain and aversion (when he is not around), and does not take responsibity for addressing this, only complains.
But second (and what ostensibly set me off) is that she just bought a huge SUV, her second one. I told her it was a crime against the environment (along with all the usual stats.) When she told me she 'needs' it to go skiing, to take her child to camp, etc. I told her she had her head up her butt and said, "No one needs these. Why don't you just admit you like it, you want it?"
Last summer we met John when he knocked on the door to ask if we'd like some gardening done. "I'm trying to set myself up as a gardener" he told us, and said he was doing work for other people on the street. Our tangly wild garden has a certain charm that fades into decrepitude as summer wears on, so we hired him to weed. Denis was a little startled when he asked for our tools, but he did an OK job, put them back, and then would turn up every couple weeks asking to do it again. Mostly we said no.
One day John came by with a framed poster he wanted to sell; when I refused, he said, "Aw, I'm not a salesman...Here, take it". I refused that, too. He is clean, neat, excessively friendly, formally polite and extremely assertive. I told D. and my boys to under no circumstances let him into the house. W'd see him every week or so, he wants the recyclables from our porch (OK with us.)
Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there.
- Gary Snyder
Rob G replied, "In my life the cuddling and hugs are now quite rare. And I think that keeps people alive. Touch is good. I know it. Just interacting and relating are of course of immense value. People should not have to pay for this."
Remembering a project I worked on, a seminar for international tour leaders employed by a US travel company. Their market is "affluent American seniors." One of the execs told the leaders,
"Some of these people have not been touched for years. Make contact, and be respectful of what each person can bear. For some a handshake is enough... but touch them."
One of the guides was an ebullient, bearish Spaniard. He told me, "Every morning I stand in front of the bus, and before they get on, I make the ladies give me a kiss on both cheeks, and I hug the men. I say 'You are in Spain, this is how we do it.' If you want them to love you, you have to love them."