BYH. Asking Trump to eradicate corruption is like asking a pig to eradicate mud....

An immature response to exclusion

Carolyn Hax

Carolyn Hax


Carolyn Hax

Friday, December 15, 2017

Q You have obviously never been excluded like (the sister in the Nov. 17 column). I have. I have done the “mature thing” and told them. Their excuse is that I don’t live near them so it’s not that easy. However on several occasions they have gone to events near me and never called to see if I wanted to go.

But it’s not only me, it’s my son as well. My nieces will post things they do and not even think of inviting him. But that’s another story.

So I have been doing petty things like passive comments on Facebook. Do I hope this hurts them? Damn straight I do. I will see them during the holidays and I will do my best to make it as toxic as possible without downright alienating them.

Sometimes you have to make people suffer to see what is wrong. — Left Out

A No. No you don’t.

When you deliberately “make it as toxic as possible” with “petty things,” you merely confirm for them their wisdom in avoiding you whenever and however possible.

And make the world just a little bit worse.

You’re wrong in another significant way, too. I have been excluded — like the sister, yes, and in other ways subtle, obvious, accidental, mindful, indifferent, cruel, mild, devastating ... and that’s just counting the exclusions I actually know about. Like everyone.

Not one instance justified revenge.

All of them justified some version of the “mature thing.” Which I wasn’t always mature enough to do, granted, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t called for.

That your exclusion affects your son makes your situation even worse, I agree — which is all the more reason not to add injury to those insults by being a lousy role model for him.

Here’s the beauty and burden of maturity: It is not a means to an end. It’s an end unto itself.

You, appropriately, told your siblings you felt hurt — but you seem to think that effort was a failure because they didn’t change their ways and stop excluding you.

If the only reason you were honest with them was to get yourself invited to the next event, though, then your honesty was just one half of a transaction. Which is fine — there’s nothing wrong with saying, “Hey, I would have loved to do (event) with you, so please call me next time” — as long as you recognize it for what it is.

It is not an act of maturity when you do it only to get what you want — and emphatically not so when you punish others for not completing the transaction the way you expect them to.

Maturity is admitting to people you’re hurt — or choosing to make your own peace and not say anything — because you believe it’s the right thing to do, then moving forward from there with decency, civility and pride. And if the exclusion continues, it’s saying to yourself, “I am not part of their inner circle; it hurts; I’ve responded to that pain as well as I could; I will now invest my energy in people who want me in their lives.”

Maturity is modeling this for your son, please. So people will include him more, yes, and so he doesn’t collapse into spite when they don’t.

Email Carolyn Hax at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


April 25, 2018

Q: My family recently celebrated our son’s birthday. We had a number of guests RSVP “yes” to our invitation who not only didn’t show, but also didn’t even have the decency to contact us to let us know. It’s been a week since the party.

This left us with far…

Carolyn Hax

April 25, 2018

The Leroy James Farmers Market vendor of the week is Bill Burke of Burke’s Nursery.

“At first I sold vegetables, but with so much competition it wasn’t easy,” Burke said. “My son, Joseph, suggested we sell vegetable plants, herbs and maybe flowers. This worked out…


April 25, 2018

First, a shout-out to the Brody medical students and all the contributors to the Marathon Food Drive. A total of 4,371 pounds of healthy foods was collected for our healthy food pantry. A special shout-out to members of the Family Medicine department who challenged each other and brought in 1,658.…


April 25, 2018

Whether you want to take the family for dinner, meet some friends for drinks, meet the guys for beers and a game or host an office party, Kickback Jack’s, 420 Red Banks Road, fits the bill. There is a combination of high-top tables, roomy booths, 50 HD TVs as well as several 90-inch TVs,…


April 25, 2018

It’s easy to be greedy at this time of year when fresh spring produce clutters the farmers market tables. I can’t resist buying a rotation of asparagus, sweet peas and early strawberries, which pass through our kitchen to the dining table on a daily basis. You’d think that we…


April 22, 2018

I’m stuck with a hoarder’s memory.

My brain — my attic, if you will — is entirely too full of random stuff. Entire passages of books I’ve read. Minor details of geography. Lyrics of Broadway show tunes. Odd bits of trivia with little apparent use or connectivity.


Bob Garner

April 22, 2018


Dear Short Answers: My girlfriend has become obsessed about the way she looks, and I think it might be the end of our relationship. Every day she asks me questions about her hair and her dress and her makeup, and honestly, I don’t know and I don’t care.…

Short Answers

April 20, 2018

The 14th Community Youth Arts Festival will bring 150 visual and performing artists to Greenville on Sunday, leaving some people to wonder how on earth they had never heard of this before.

The newly named festival is actually two celebrations in one. The event combines the ECU Youth Arts Festival…


April 20, 2018

“I Feel Pretty” suffers from a fatal flaw: its premise. Built around the notion that there’s something inherently hilarious — even crazy — about a woman not supermodel-thin or -gorgeous behaving with the confidence of one who is, the comedy treats its star, Amy Schumer,…


April 20, 2018

Capsules of movies playing locally. New releases are indicated with an asterisk.

BLOCKERS — Three parents try to stop their daughters from having sex on prom night. (1 hour, 42 minutes) Rated R.

BLUMHOUSE’S TRUTH OR DARE — A harmless game of Truth or Dare among friends…

338 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 34
        Next Page»   Last Page»