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Counseling/having self-esteem issues over a situation


hello nori,
i was at a fast food restaurant the other day getting some condiments, when a girl about 17 or 18 got beside me and reached for some items right in front of my face. the least she could have done was say excuse me. i would have thought that she'd be a little intimidated by me, since i'm a fair size guy with a long beard. i'd have been upset had anybody done that, but i feel a lot worse when it's someone i find attractive. i'm in my thirties, and i feel i should have gotten some respect from this much younger person. i'm just looking for some feedback on how to better cope with this situation, it's really nagging me, and similar issues keep on happening. thank you very much for your time.

Hello Greg, and thank you for your letter.
Young people these days can be so inconsiderate, but that is a frustration that has  echoed in every decade and every century. We cannot control outside events, so we must put up with other people's inconsiderate acts frequently.
The other day I was buying a headboard in Goodwill (a great find for $5!) but in my enthusiasm, sliding it across the floor to the check-out stand, I got too close to a woman waiting in line. She reprimanded me. I apologized, but she ended it by moving to a different line.
Anyways, how to put up with these minor social annoyances? We all do it and we are all victimized by it. It is good to learn to speak up for ourselves. That woman I almost ran into spoke up for herself, which is good.
However, in addition to speaking up for ourselves, we can build a comfortable, secure place in our own psyches where we can feel protected, and not let little things bother us. You can judge how this works by comparing it to psychiatric medication. If you were on psychiatric medication, theoretically, little things like that would not bother you. That is because the pills change your mind. However, you do not need pills to change your mind. You can simply build up your good feelings and thoughts, so you have more control over your feelings.
I write in more depth about these ideas in my book, The End of Apathy (
Please write back if you want to discuss further,


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