How Simple Humor and Wisdom Can Tame the Fury of Self Criticism

I loved this 45-second clip of Daniel Goleman telling a classic story about Larry David, the producer of “Seinfeld,” who plays himself on the HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” I thought Goleman’s telling was worth sharing in audio format:

On one level, this is classic Larry David, the crazy, Woody-Allen-like neurotic. And on another level, it’s poignant and funny because it’s you and me, right?

I offer it this morning in the hope that you can take just one comment, from just one person, and attach it to Larry David’s thinking about that one idiot who assaulted him. Recognize that there are some unhappy people, who seem to need to be critical, to build themselves up at others’ expense, and realize that it’s just ridiculous to waste any time on them.

Choose not to be Larry David. Let it go and

Lead with your best self!


  • I recently experienced this in a parking log of a grocery store. A security guard at our building asked me if I would give her a ride home. Then she asked me if I would stop at the grocery store so she could get a few items for dinner. Sure…I needed a few items myself. Got done, got in the SVU and looked both ways. But we all know how things can change in a minute. You look one way and then someone appears out of nowhere the other way. Of course, I usually just back up a little bit and then look again. So that’s what I did and before I knew it I heard this screaming. I wasn’t sure what it was all about so I rolled down my window and turned my head. This lady was screaming at me that I almost hit this other women. I put my vehicle in park and got out. I said I was very sorry. She just kept screaming at me. I kept saying how sorry I was, and she told me that I should apologize to the lady I almost hit. Absolutely I said, and that is what I did, with a very sincere heart. . Her gruff and mean manner did not change. She chastised me again, and all I could do was say how sorry I was. What more could I have done, I thought to myself. My passenger kept telling me not to worry about it, that the other woman was mean-spirited. I kept thinking about it as I drove my passenger home and then continued on my way home. Of course, I got over it, but I really did bother me…felt like someone attacked my character without even knowing me. I would have apologized to the lady even without her screaming at me to do so. I do believe there are some people who just need to be critical.

  • >