I am notorious for giving advice and I am trying to change that about myself. I have noticed in my old age (and since the invention of Facebook) that if someone poses a question saying, "What do you think?", they get about 50/50 advice and 50/50 the answer to the question. For example, I posted on my status, "Question for those of you that work out regularly. Do you like programs such as P90X or would you rather mix it up and do something different every day?"
Now, that question can be read in two ways. One person may think that I am just asking people what they like to do. Another may think I am looking for advice for what I should do as my own personal workout (I wasn't). I got both types of responses. It made me pause and think about how often I am guilty of giving advice when someone was just asking a question.
We live in a world that is somewhat lonely - where we want our voices and opinions and thoughts and feelings to be heard and validated. I believe there is a genuine fear out there of being invisible. I have a dear friend who I will call Melissa (because that is her name) who is somewhat of an introvert. She's friendly and funny, but I wouldn't say she seeks to be the center of attention, like, EVER. I am very much an extrovert and therefore when I am hanging out with Melissa I dominate the conversation and babble incessantly. I also like to ask her lots of deep and probing questions because I am never in a position with her where I am thinking, "Geez - she is opinionated." On the flip side, because she is NOT a babbler like me, she is more of a thinker and ponderer. If she does say something to me along the lines of, "So I was thinking...." I feel like yelling, "Everyone, be quiet! Melissa is telling me something and it's going to be profound!"
So what am I? I am an advice giver who wants to find the middle ground. If someone asks me my opinion on something, I want to learn to not flip it into a soapbox for me to stand on, but simply answer the question that the person is asking. I tend to get excited about something - gluten free, green smoothies, Turbofire, memory foam, religion - and want to share it with the world so that they can change their lives for the better. However, my experience is telling me that if I rant about how evil McDonald's is and that we should create a movement to shut them down, I am not going to get very far. (Unless I am talking to Melissa, who would strongly agree, but doubtfully join me in a movement against them.) The best way for me to protest McDonald's is to just not go there.
One more thing that I am working on, along with the whole home improvement thing.
Just for the record- I like your advice and the fact that you are willing to give it! Sometimes I wish I was more willing to talk passionately about what I think/believe.ReplyDelete
Don't have time to write much more than that; I'm headed out the door to take the kids to McDonalds, seriously. Maybe I'm the one who needs the intervention :)