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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Slap Someone's Hand

Remember the silly old joke about the Boy Scout helping the old lady across the street, and then the old lady smacking him with her bag because she didn't want to cross the street?

We all know what it feels like to be meddled with, to be "helped" when no help is wanted.

It seems there's always some do-gooder ready to swoop in and save the day--uninvited.

Sometimes there are just too damn many Boy Scouts.

Often, the "Boy Scout" in our life is someone we love very much. There was an old Anacin commercial where the headachy gal snapped at her mom, "Mother, please! I'd rather do it myself!" (This was widely parodied at the time.)

So, because you love them, be gentle. But don't be afraid to slap someone's hand (metaphorically, of course) and say, "Don't touch that!"

Because sometimes people who want us to be happy have just the opposite effect.

Establish boundaries. Make it clear that you'd "rather do it yourself," and assure the well-meaning Boy Scout that you'll call on him or her if and when you feel it's necessary.

You'll be happier.

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