relationship with advice

I need to get over my relationship with giving advice. I feel like I have this anxiety that has been built into me over the past decade, maybe even longer, where I think and overthink so much around how I use my words to communicate with others. I am so nervous to give people advice. And I feel like that comes from my own internal voice that tells me to be concerned about listenign to tohers who are giving you prescriptive advice. Let me say that another way – I feel like I am critical of others’ advice, and therefore I am critical of myself giving advice. Wait, maybe it’s actually the other way around. I myself have been conditioned over the years to not listen to advice. Because it does not have the right amount of nuance of some version of that. Like I used to hear advice all the time and perhaps when I was younger, and even much younger, I would blindly implement it. And then it’d fail. And I’d be like why did I listen to said advice. And then as I got older, more and more people started giving me advice.e They started trying to tell me waht to do. But in hindsight, they were not actually giving me advice. I mean they were in practice. But that advice did nots tart from a place of how do I help me. It was from a place of how do I get something off my chest. Or how did protect my own identity. How do I tell my story. Whatever it is. You can see the cynicism. You can hear it already bubbling. But anyways, so I started to overcorrect. Like I swung the other direction. Quite materially. I started basically default rejecting all of those types of things. I started questioning authority a lot more. Finding the negative. The counterpoint. The argument. Creating the argument in my head even while the other person is talking. Again all because I was coping with this trauma of sorts. The trauma of trusting others, really at its core. And being wrong. Well it’s not all my fault. I probably tried when I was quite young. But that fell apart you know. And so now. Well now I don’t trust. I can and maybe should change that. But now I just don’t trust. And well that leaks into my own thoughts. It leaks into my own thoughts about giving others advice. Because, well, I worry about being wrong. I worry about doing onto others what I myself so much hate. I hate that chance of being wrong. And that is holding me back in ways. Like in some logical sense, it’s the right thing for me to do. I don’t want to inflict pain on others. But it causes me a bit of paralysis. Like I could be helping people. I could. I mean it’s not my job to help people though. In a god sense. Like I’m not here to tell people how to live their lives. Or I’m not being compensated for it. And it’s not clearly appreciated or wanted. If I had to give advice, any advice, it’d really be to think for yourself. But that assumes that’s what people want. Telling people to think for themselves does not cause them to do that. You see the irony. So if you really care about helping others, maybe you have to think about things a bit differently. You have to take the leap. You have to take the chance be wrong. You have to risk it. At least a bit. I used to do that I think a lot more. I would try and tell people what to do. Or at least what I would do. And then I started thinking about how much I hate those people. Hate is a strong word. I’m talking about the influencers and what not. So then I went more anon. But like…hmm..I want to be someone who shows not tells. And yet, and yet I fell compelled to tell. I am not okay just keeping everything to myself. I am, though, more than I was before. And that has felt better. It’d be less lonely with even just one other person. But fine, I can accept the challenge at least for now. But yeah – playing the world like a video game of sorts. Remembering that one day the game turns off and we don’t know where we’re going to go. Or modeling the people in this world as babies in adults bodies. All these things help me relax. Slow down. Take every word more seriously. While at same time dropping my shoulders and just allowing silence to fill the crevices. Fill the holes that are left by breaths.

My relationship with advice is still weird. It’s still something I overthink. It’s something where I think the right thing to do, or the step I want to take, is basically just to talk less. Like it solves most all problems. When people are giving advice, just let them do it. When they ask for feedback or my opinion, give it. But until then, just be quiet. Study them. Like a character in a book. You can’t talk to a character in a book. You also can’t change them. That’s the reality with most people. They are just characters. So let them be. Be curious about the things you can be curious about. And let the rest. Let the rest go. That’s my mentality going into things. I need to remind myself often. Because I myself see myself get dragged in and perhaps tempted by the bait. The bait of discussion. Discussion that does not really matter. Unless of course they want it. But until they want it, just be.

The above is all the opposite of another potentially great approach. Which is to just be myself. I think being myself + a bit slower is where I’ll land. In other words, just let people talk. Be curious up until they finish talking. Let them keep going. And then be yourself fully.

Something like that again is where I think I’ll want to land on things.

Onwards. More writing, soon.


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