When a person says to you, “Don’t take it personally,” does it annoy you? Often those words are said when someone is about to insult you. “Don’t take it personally,” but you are a failure, you will never succeed because, etc. Of course when someone says those words to you, you will take it personally. They are making a statement about you which is negative. For example, “Don’t take it personally, but that dress makes you look fat.” The so called friend could have phrased it differently and said, “That dress doesn’t really flatter you, why don’t you try on another dress?” There is a show in the United States entitled, “Say Yes to the Dress.” I have seen a few commercials and watched it on occasion. The future bride is very excited to try on wedding dresses. Yet, whomever she brings with her, often has absolutely no manners, tact, or consideration for her. They literally insult her instead of saying something such as; “That dress doesn’t really show off your beautiful waist, or figure, or anything other than the insults they hurl. I saw a mother once bring her daughter to tears with the unflattering remarks. The staff finally took the mother aside and reminded her that it was the daughter’s day and her upcoming wedding. In the workplace, the words are just as insulting. For example, an individual is working on a project. They have even taken the work home with them because they are so anxious to do a good job. When they present it to the manager or supervisor and hear the words, “Don’t take it personally, but your work is not the quality we were hoping for,” they are crushed. Rather than insult and hurt the employee’s feelings, a better choice of words could be, “I can see you have invested a great deal of time on this project. I feel that it just needs a little something extra to make you shine. Let me give you some assistance or a few suggestions to make the higher ups notice you and see how hard you work.” Then, if the manager has to completely redo it, so what. The employee will remain with the firm and put his or her best foot forward to continue to out perform the other co-workers. Its the simple difference of choosing the right words to make a person feel good or feel horrible. In the Good Gus Series, there are no insults. People make mistakes, but they learn from them. The stories are excellent lessons for children without lectures from adults.