Tone It Down

Final Book CoverThis blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, retirees, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after they retire. Her public lecture on this subject is titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Click here for her website:

CHITCHAT:  I will be giving free public lectures titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years” on the following dates, times, and locations (RSVP REQUIRED):

July 19, 2018, 10:30am, Covenant Village of the Great Lakes Retirement Community, 2510 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 (616) 259-0408,

October 16, 2018, 1:00pm, The Holmstad Retirement Community, 700 W. Fabyan Pkwy, Batavia, IL 60510, (630) 239-1133,

October 17, 2018, 10:30am, Windsor Park Retirement Community, 124 Windsor Park Dr, Carol Stream, IL 60188, (331) 218-3637,

October 19, 2018, 10:30am, Covenant Village of Northbrook, 2625 Techny Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062, (224) 412-8421,

Now, on to my blog:

Blowing animal hornWhy do some people feel that it is their place to tell others how to behave? I can understand if the person is in a position where that is expected such as a teacher, employer, parent, mentor.  But, what about when the teller is simply a peer who has decided to take on that role?

I had an experience not too long ago where I was on a tour of an historical house with other people from a group I belong to. At one point, the entire group was crowded into the bathroom while the docent discussed various features. When I noticed an odd-looking metal tank over the bathtub, I put my fingertip on it and asked the docent, “What’s this?”

One member of the group who I barely knew stated in a loud, scolding voice, “Don’t touch that; that’s an antique!” Her manner and resonant baritone caused everyone in the group, about twenty people, to turn around and stare at the miscreant–me.

Technically, she was correct. I should not have touched it. I did so without even thinking.  However, this woman’s delivery and self-appointed authoritarianism was completely out of line. She treated me as though I were a misbehaved child.

What she might have done was take me aside privately after the fact and mention in a calm, nonjudgmental voice that it is not advisable to touch antiques as the oil from skin can be harmful to them. If someone behaves that way toward you, you might take them aside and, in a calm, nonjudgmental voice, notify them that you are not interested in their unsolicited opinion of your behavior.

If you position yourself as an uninvited judge of your peers, tone it down a notch or ten. No one is interested in being judged or dominated by you. If you find yourself being ostracized by others, and you have no idea why, perhaps that is the reason. How would you like it if somebody behaved that way toward you?


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Photo credit (modified by user): celesteh on / CC BY


Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, gerontology, health and wellness, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, seniors, successful aging, wellness

4 responses to “Tone It Down

  1. patricia Spiegel

    How old was this woman?

  2. good advice — we all need to give each other the benefit of the doubt, any age

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