Dear Dr. Ovlowska,
I love having friends over for dinner and drinks but have become increasingly disillusioned by the lack of manners. One left his wad of chewing gum, on my dining room table. Another refuses to remove his shoes, and mocks me for wanting him to. I seldom/never get invited back and that upsets me. This is not the White House or Buckingham Palace, but why do some people act as if they were born in a pigsty?
I entirely understand your frustration and shall refrain from speculating about where you pick up your dinner guests.
It seems you are used to the role of the generous giver, and become disappointed when people do not live up to your standards of quality and respect for others. This is a sad lesson in life. Our own rules and ideas of right or wrong are often disappointed.
Close German friends of mine had a hard time when they first came to Poland. They wanted to do everything right and repeatedly found themselves being sniggered at by Polish friends who tell them ‘Kto ma racje robi kolacje’.
This can be translated (unkindly) as ‘If you are so clever, you are going to have to do all the hard work’. The deeper truth here is that there is no right way to do anything.
After some readjustment of their definition of ‘right,’ things did indeed begin to run more smoothly for my friends. They gained real friends, and new insights into different ways of doing things.
It can be a sharp learning curve, but if you want to find love, and you want to receive it from others, you will repeatedly be confronted with a delicate balancing act of letting go, while not losing track of who you are.
If the pain of finding chewing gum stuck in your carpet is so great, you will need to cut that person out of your life. You will probably also have to be a little more critical when you compose your guest list for your next party.
Other than that dear Heidi, I can only offer my standard recommendation – learn to meditate.
Meditation will teach you to experience life as ‘The Silent Observer.’ It will teach you not to identify with your hurt feelings, but to experience them as if you were sitting in a cinema watching an interesting film.
Visit Dr. Ovlowska’s website: www.ovlowska.eu