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23 November 2005

Dear F@W
I started what I thought would be my dream job about a year ago. But nearly 6 months into it I realized that some things were awfully wrong. My boss started to make fun of me, including the place where I live, my boyfriend, what I wear, and where I go on vacation. Things came to a head a couple of weeks ago when my boss took me to lunch and told me that my work was terrible (which is a joke because I don’t have much work) and that nobody would hire me. I was devastated by this, and when I confronted him about it, he told me that he is not really good at dealing with people. I know it’s time to look for another job, but I just can’t shake what he said about my abilities. What should I do?

–Isabel, Montreal, Canada

Dear Isabel,
It is hard to deal with people who say insensitive things - especially when you are a sensitive person. In fact, being sensitive has its advanatages and disadvantages. It is great for understanding what others are going through. But it is really tough when you have to deal with someone who can be cruel. Your challenge is to recognize that very little of what others say represents the truth. It is just their opinion, and their opinion often changes – sometimes from one day to the next. Occasionally, someone will have something valuable to say to you. But for the most part, you have to treat people’s comments like mining for gold: you have to go through a great deal of rock to find even one ounce of gold.

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