Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Unsolicited advice

If people want advice, they ask for it, right? What do you think about this? What do you think I should do? If you were me, what would you do?
It’s reasonable and even prudent to get other points of view. Often rather than accepting advice a la carte off the menu, I re-think and revise my plans, but value the input that sparked a new path.
“Thanks, I’ll think about what you’ve said,” has become my closing line because I’ve found it better to consider gradually; I’m really slow like that.
Don’t people get that venting doesn’t require a sage response? It’s a bitch that doesn’t ask for more acknowledgment than, “Poor baby.”
A tale of similar woe response can be bonding, but a monolog on what I should have done annoys me to the point I find myself sharing less with friends, which means I listen to their gripe-moans without my part of the sharing that cements these relationships. Finding my place in a group of friends has been problematic. Either I piss them off or; don’t get me wrong, I have friends.
I hung out with a woman whose immediate response to whatever anyone talked about was I followed by her experience whether related or not, even this never changing non-empathetic conversation I found better than the you shoulds.
Yes, we must take our friends as we find them or move along, but why don’t people understand that if I don’t ask for your advice, please, don’t keep volunteering it; it’s not the gift you believe it to be.
I’ll admit that if someone has a particular experience or knowledge unsolicited advice is helpful, but overwhelmingly it’s just annoying.
Shortly after my husband died, in one day, I ran into three women I know, each said, “Your husband would want you to be happy,” followed by some variation on the theme. Not a one asked how I was doing. That day my eyes crossed and I wanted to bang my head, my tolerance surpassed; surprisingly, I remained polite but went home aggravated.
Advice givers don’t know how annoying that is because they are well intended. Heaven forbid that the advice is eye-roll worthy like recent advice to get out of my closed mind by taking hallucinogenics. Value to this advice was that great scientists from the 70’s opened their minds with drugs; this is apparently the gold standard for tripping your mind, which firmly asserted could cause one to feel remiss, but I didn’t do it in the 70’s; why would I try now that I’m approaching seventy.
Sometimes, I won’t consider an unsolicited suggestion; why do people act so offended? I could keep saying, “Thanks, I’ll think about it,” but now that I’m just a poor, old widow, it comes some days in backhoes.
I don’t wish to lose my manners; there’s too much of that going around these days. Perhaps, I should learn the art of the conversational dodge; did it rain by you last night? What’s the latest presidential tweet? Nah, we really don’t want to go there.