This was the theme of one of Oprah’s latest life classes, and I could really see the wisdom of the statement.

I have seen people who are so afraid of being hoodwinked, try to out maneuver other people, and in the process they draw to them the very people they’re afraid of.

I’ve talked to my son about this so many times. He’s quite disgusted by the way the kids at school bad mouth each other behind their backs. And quite understandably he wonders who he can trust.

I like what Dr. Phil says about betrayal and trust. You need to trust yourself that you’ll be okay and be able to deal with it if someone betrays you.

Oh, when I was younger! I found the daily negotiation of all the social mine traps exhausting!

I was constantly questioning and second-guessing every encounter!

Not any more.

As for worrying about what other people are saying behind my back, I have good reason not to be concerned.

In Islam, anyone who gossips about someone else will have to compensate their victim on the Day of Judgement. It’s a day when all scores will be settled and that means a portion of their good deeds will be given to those they slandered behind their backs.

And if the gossiper runs out of good deeds before all their debts are paid, they’re not off the hook! They’ll take on their some of their victims’ bad deeds till the debts are paid.

So let them talk about me! They’re just giving me some of their good deeds!

When you’re content within yourself, all these little slings and arrows just glance right off, as if you’re wearing a shield or something.

But one thing I have noticed after seeing that program was that I have been attracting a certain type of person to me. Blunt and frank people!

Hubby’s blunt and frank! Tells me like it is whether I want him to or not! My agent is blunt and frank! And many of my publishers are blunt and frank too!

So working backwards that means I must be putting bluntness and frankness out in to the world, and that makes a lot of sense because my daughters often laugh at how blunt and frank I am.

When I first started in the field I worried a lot about being swindled by publishers.

Hasn’t happened.

But there was one time, when I perceived that someone I was working with was trying to take my rights away on a piece I’d written. I came down on him like a ton of bricks!

I think I really over compensated. I even felt a little bad at the time. But except for that one instance, nobody has ever tried to swindle me. Nor have I tried to swindle them.

But even with that guy I came down too harsh on, we’ve mended our professional relationship. I think he was really surprised when I sent him some tips and helped him out professionally.

I’m 49 years old now, and so many things I obsessed about when I was younger, just don’t matter any more.

I was looking at my daughters and my niece and the way they interacted and the things they said and they have so many things they need to learn…or not.

They worry about negative people who come into their lives, and they worry a lot about saving face–although they don’t call it that.

Reminds me of this old song in the movie Gigi. (The movie is charming but scandalous! I don’t recommend it to devout Muslims.) But this song has a good point, and the older I get the more I agree with the stuff about forever not lasting so long. The song’s about this guy laughing at his young nephew Gaston for getting so upset about the women in his life.

…the rivals that don’t exist at all, the feeling you’re only two feet tall

…and even if love comes through the door, the kind that goes on forever more, forever more is shorter than before…

…the tiny remark that tortures you, the fear that your friends won’t like her too…

…the longing to end a stale affair, until you find out she doesn’t care…

By the way that last line reminds me of something I’ve realized over time, and that is if you’re reluctant to see someone you really don’t care for, and is just plain difficult, hemming and hawing over whether or not to accept an invitation, most likely, the other person feels exactly the same way about you.

Ambivalence is often mutual!

So don’t let your ego tell you it’s only one way, and have the courage to go ahead and decline the invitation.  They’ll probably be just as relieved that you’re not coming. You’ll be doing both of you a favour!

Life’s too short to spend with people you don’t care about so avoid doing that as much as possible.

You really get that lesson when you’re older!