Here’s My Advice: Take It Or Leave It.
Often people will give you advice. Perhaps you asked them for it. Perhaps it came unsolicited.
Or maybe you gave people advice. Perhaps they asked you for it. Perhaps you offered it unsolicited.
Here is the perplexing thing.
You feel offended when they don’t take it. “Why did they ask if they were not going to implement any of it?”
Was I supposed to? Were you supposed to?
Maybe we even plan how we are going to say: ‘I told you so’ when things go south.
Perhaps we need to unpack why we feel slighted when people don’t take our advice whether it is well meant or given half heartedly.
Here is another thing.
We need to normalise people ignoring our advice.
We have to be big enough to accept that they didn’t take our advice not because they don’t appreciate our input but because we are not in their shoes.
We need to understand that everyone has agency. Words like ‘I am never giving her advice again’ is a sign of ego rather than altruism.
We must understand that we may not be privy to all the finer points of any situation. Perhaps in seeking advice he accidentally on purpose omitted some key elements. To save face. Or to shield someone. So we give advice with only half the knowledge.
Others have agency the same way we do.
To dismiss people’s decisions and choices because they didn’t listen to us….well maybe our annoyance is telling us something.
Maybe it is telling us we don’t so much care about their situation as we do about having them take the direction we pointed them towards.
If we look deeper we will find we almost always want to be right. It is a big person who admits that he is wrong.
It takes a special person to accept that he could be right and so could someone else even when they have different opinions on the same matter.
Unless we are talking of God’s laws everything else is open to interpretation.
So next time someone approaches you for advice, check your intention. Ask yourself: will I feel insulted if she doesn’t take it?
If the answer is yes then maybe you should keep well away.
In this classroom called life we are all learners.
True, there will be times when we will understand the lessons faster than others. We may want to teach those others we deem “slow learners”.
We may get frustrated when they don’t get or don’t want our learning hacks.
But that’s them. After all we all sit for different tests.
So if they turn down your tutoring offer or don’t adhere to your methods just be glad you were there to offer them an option.
At the end of the day that’s the best thing we can hope to be.
A beacon of light in what could otherwise be someone’s dark and gloomy journey.
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.