Dear Amy: No matter how much I try to work through this, I am stuck.
I’m in my 60s. From an illness (polio) when I was an infant, I walk with a very noticeable limp, and I often use a cane or crutches. I have a career, lovely children and grandchildren, and good friends. I travel and live independently by myself.
However, I often receive unwanted and unwelcome advice from strangers, who make assumptions regarding my physical capabilities.
For instance, when shopping for groceries, I am often told about motorized carts for my use. I generally thank them, but I always turn them down, saying that I prefer pushing a cart and getting some exercise.
Sometimes that ends the conversation, but more often than not, there is pushback, asking me if I’m sure, etc.
I find myself getting angry. I try to be civil, when I’m raging on the inside. Then I fume to myself all the way home and beyond. I then feel guilty about getting angry. How can I let go of my anger and accept that people’s unsolicited advice is more about them than about me?
I’ve been dealing with this my whole life. You would think that I would have figured this out by now.
I’d appreciate your advice.
— Tired and Frustrated