Dear Feelings Doctor: I have three children, two teenagers and one who is in the sixth grade. My in-laws are always trying to help by giving me their “great advice.” My husband is a kind man with no harsh words for anyone, and I feel like a jerk for wanting them to just shush up! How do I get this nagging feeling off of my back?
— Cynthia in Santa Barbara
Dear Cynthia: Family is such a wonderful nonrenewable resource, and yes, they all can be a bit trying. The next time your in-laws feel the need to share their deep insight and wisdom, just smile and say, “Thank you so much for sharing.” Then go about doing it the way that feels right for you.
I’m sure they mean well enough, but by the time we are mothers ourselves we have our own ideas about how our home and family should be cared for. There is always room for positive, extra input (perhaps in small doses and once in a blue moon).
Dear Feelings Doctor: I am happily married for 12 years now, and I have one thing that I really need help with. My wife is wonderful in so many ways. One that she is not: complaining!
She walks through the day noticing everything that makes her angry. I leave the house in the morning as fast as I can because by nature I am a happy guy. She will call me throughout the day and rant about one thing or another. Never is it uplifting and positive.
— Help! in Los Angeles
Dear Help: The love you have for your wife will never be enough to encourage her to be happy if she is constantly coming from a place of lack. It really has nothing to do with you, anything or anyone else. Her glass is just half-empty.
Spending your days holding on to a prosperous, happy attitude is the best way to go through life. Do not let anyone steal your joy, and ask your wife to join you on a weeklong crusade to stamp out whining. And then let her know that you are more than happy to share your joy with her until she finds her own. Now that’s true love.
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Imagine This ...
I’ve noticed lately that in our small community there has been a resurgence of kindness and caring — a genuine neighborly concern for each other as we all go about our days and our lives. While the world continues to spin and turn, it warmed my heart as I witnessed a young man holding the car door open for an elderly woman while helping her with her groceries. Taking the time to help those right in front of us is how that ripple of kindness and caring will spread. Have a blessed day.