Dear Miss Emily,

I have been seeing my boyfriend for a little over a year.  Alone we are great and get along very well.  He is funny, considerate, caring, likes to take care of me, etc.  If he is in a bad mood, and we are out in public, our relationship is another story.  If we are out in public he has a way of venting his frustration with everything which makes me uncomfortable.  He will stereotype and generalize people - on the road, in the street, in the restaurant.  For instance if the service at a restaurant isn't good - he will go after their race 'they are lazy' or go off on a tangent that he would never get away with working that was his job. Most of the time the person he is talking about does not hear him, but I feel uncomfortable.  Other people around us will hear him.  I don't like that he is being so negative.  I feel bad for the targeted people and will defend them.  This only gets him mad at me.  He doesn't understand why I worry about other people that I don't even know.  I don't know how to diffuse him or to get him to understand that his negative attitude is affecting my mood and ruining my night. I am a caring person and care about everyone first - and will not judge people until I get to know them.  He calls me naive - that I haven't been out into the world to see how people really are.  He also generalizes all of the people in the our area - saying that they only care about themselves and they are rude. It is like thinks everyone around him should be perfect or something.  Maybe I shouldn't care so much about other people but maybe he shouldn't be so negative.  Any advice?

----------------------------Miss Emily's advice-----------------------------

"People only care about themselves, and are rude," and, apparently, your boyfriend thinks he's an exception...silly boy.  I understand him, to a degree. We live in a harsh, selfish society -- people make it what it is, and we could do a lot better. One way is to not generalize, label, and assume. Each of us is trying to get through our lives (all six billion of us on the planet), from day to day and, often times, with the hand we are dealt. I think his behavior needs to be modified. An occasional critical comment could be easily ignored, but looking for fault and spewing bits of negativity is not only annoying to hear, but a lesson in futility for him. He should be concerned about your feelings and the embarrassment you feel when others are party to his rants. He may think he's a clever misanthrope, but no one really cares in these situations. You live in a bustling metropolitan area full of frustrated people -- and he's one of them. If he wants friendly, and white, he needs to be somewhere else and where people are more like him. Until then, I'm on your side. Ask him one more time to limit his negativity for your sake, and if he's not on board, perhaps it's time to reassess how long you want to be with Mr. Nitpick knowing, at some point, it will become a personality clash that you will not be able to overcome.