If you’re a female reader, you’re probably finding the title’s enough to make you grit your teeth.

That’s exactly the effect my brother-in-law Vince intended back in the 1980’s, when he bought a baseball cap with this chauvinistic slogan, and wore it to work.

You see, Vince taught commercial diving at Seneca College. Back then, women students were rare, and there was tension, conflict and a lot of uneasiness in the course when they were first “allowed” in. So Vince wore the infamous “Life’s Too Short To Dance With Ugly Women” cap just to stir things up and get the female students to speak up for themselves.

My sister was disgusted and annoyed.

Vinnie was unrepentant. (Though he did later admit – with a big grin – it was “too effective”.)

But then I got thinking about the principle behind the words, and over the years as life grew harder and more challenging, it’s actually become one of my core personal mottos (and got me more than a few Funny Looks in the process).

But when I think of “ugly”, I’m not speaking physically, of course.

The point is, life is precious. Don’t waste it on negative people or no-win situations that make you utterly miserable. Things that don’t advance you towards your life goals and potential.

It’s your life. Make it what you want.

That means discarding people who constantly drain your energy: The ones who don’t understand the principle of reciprocity – giving back. (These are the people who do the most damage. People in genuine need recover, then turn round to be supportive to you. There’s a balance.)

But if you’re always finding that you’re constantly giving, giving, giving – or a situation has nothing in it for you and you feel like you’re endlessly spinning your wheels and heading straight towards a big fat nowhere, stop and take a long, hard, look.

You may have encountered an “Ugly Woman”.

Walk away.

As for my brother-in-law Vinnie, he ended up marrying his most offended, vocal and assertive student – my sister.

How’s that for a suitable fate?

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