Is Grandma a Goody-Two Shoes?

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

My best friend chose the anniversary of my husband’s death to visit me and tell me I have always been a goody two-shoes!

She said I was arrogant and flaunted my goodness all my life. She said she couldn’t stand it anymore and that I was beyond annoying to her and that I judged her. She said everyone agrees.

I was a straight-A student all through college. I was Valedictorian. I had great parents.

I’ve been married once and my husband just passed. We were together for forty-two years. We belonged to many clubs and organizations that helped foster children and other worthy children’s causes.

I’m proud that my husband and I were steady church-goers.

My best friend from high school who called me “goody two-shoes” took another road in life with many boyfriends and three husbands. She was adopted from alcoholic parents. She has always had problems.

I never judged her. I’m nice!


Not a Goody Two-Shoes

Dear Grandma,

Ask yourself the following questions and answer honestly:

1) When I’m around my best friend (and others), do I think I disapprove of their behavior and actions?

2) Do I tell others, even in a “nice” way, what I think would be best for them?

3) Do I respond to stories, TV and films with disgust and let others know how disappointed I am with them for accepting a lower standard than mine?

4) Do I tell others how upset I am if they don’t follow my advice?

Each question is worth 25 points on a scale of Goody Two-Shoes. If you answer with one “yes,” then you are probably judging people unfairly, since you can’t know all of their anguish and life details. If you answered all of the questions (honestly) with a yes, then we suggest you dig deep into a well of empathy.

Now ask yourself (truthfully) which words would you say fit your identity best:

ostentatious – virtuous – passionate – prayerful – devoted – smug – sincere – self-righteous – earnest – genuine – loving – critical – empathetic – sympathetic – caring

There are several positive words and a few that would annoy anyone or hurt them. There are some that may fit in a negative or positive way.

People who endure challenges are developing buckets of empathy. None of us should be so judgmental.

You may find it enlightening to look up the origin of the idiom – Goody Two-Shoes comes from a children’s story (from the 1700’s).

We think you’re on the good path, but your path and the path of others might get you to the same good place.

We believe it’s how you get there that matters.


Rhonda and Dr. Cheri