Why Does Anyone Bother With This Ridiculousness?

The likelihood that I am going to ask for advice is very low. 9 times out of 10 people ask for advice when they know what they want to do but they don't want to be responsible for that choice. I'm fine with being responsible for my own choices. There is that one time out of 10 where people ask for advice because they honestly do not know what to do and need ideas, and I do reach that point once in a while. If I want advice it's pretty easy to tell. I'll ask "what do you think I should do about this?"

I've pretty well given up asking for advice even when I'm short of ideas though because usually if I'm that dumbfounded about my own situation, other people will be even more confused and the hollow advice will start rolling in. Then they'll get mad at me for not taking their advice or explaining why it doesn't quite seem to work in my situation. Once I did something really unusual - I took somebody's advice, which I had not asked for, and which did not seem like a great idea to me. The person was so insistent that it would work out for me, and he was a smart guy and a friend, and all my other friends encouraged me to follow through...it got to a point where it seemed like nobody was going to let me live in peace again until I tried it so I thought, okay, this might work, even though I think it's ludicrous. It blew up in my face. Know who was around to comfort me or even say "gee, I'm sorry that didn't work out better?" Nobody. For all that sage advice of theirs, they took absolutely no responsibility for pushing me into it and didn't even think to comfort me about the outcome being a complete disaster. The guy who instigated it all said, "I didn't make you do anything. It was YOUR CHOICE." Then he went on to explain why everything had actually gone just perfectly, and how irrational it was of me to be upset rather than just "accepting things the way they are." This is pretty typical of the quality of advice I get, and why I don't ask for any, and don't accept what's offered. If my problems were that simple - that an outsider to my life could give me pat answers and abandon me with it, knowing they would work just perfectly - I'd have figured them out myself by now.

Of course "accepting things the way they are" is another one of those platitudes I'm sick of hearing. "It is what it is." "Life is like that." "Life isn't fair." "If everything stays the same nothing changes." I notice that most platitudes appear to have the same underlying message - essentially, "I don't care about your problems or your quality of life. I want you to either learn to be at peace with whatever is bothering you, or figure it out yourself, or at least shut up and stop bothering me with it so that I don't have to admit there are things I don't have answers for." You know what I would love to hear someone say when I'm having a bad time?

I would love for someone to try saying, "I'm sorry that happened to you. You deserve good things in life, and if ever I can help, I will."

It would be great if someone said, "that's a tough situation with no easy answers, but I have faith in you and I believe you can come up with a solution that meets your needs."

I honestly might consider marrying someone who knew enough to say something like "I love you, and I don't know how to best make it happen right now, but I want you to be happy."

I would be overjoyed if someone had the common sense and compassion to tell me, "there must be a better solution for you somewhere. I just wish I knew what it was."

I tell you the truth, I worked as a professional writer for a while, and one of my greatest writing teachers used to say, "if you can't come up with a unique expression of your idea - a fresh metaphor, a new turn of phrase, something - then you might as well put down your pen and take a walk for a while, because in that moment you're not going to convey anything to your reader or listener." If you can't come up with anything but trite, generic advice and one-size-fits-all platitudes that insult the other person's intelligence on top of whatever extant problem they have, it's much better to just be quiet and listen.
kkfinejustfine kkfinejustfine
31-35, F
Sep 8, 2012