“Duly Noted”

There is always someone who wants to give you advice you don’t need and didn’t ask for. They are so certain that they can live your life far better than you can live your life. Mind you, their lives may be in total disarray, but they sure think that they know how to run yours.

How do I know this? Because I was one of those irritating persons. My inner (and outer) mantra was “just do it my way.” I honestly could not understand other people who didn’t think that my wonderful advice wasn’t just perfect for them. How arrogant I was, and how sure I was that I knew better than the other person what was best for them. Today the thought of it makes me cringe.

I have sent more emails with the subject line “I’m sorry—I was an ass” than I care to remember. I don’t think that the realization of what I had done (all of course in the name of ‘I know what’s best for you’) fully sunk in until I was in my mid-40s. At that time, I finally realized what I had done, and the realization made me want to live in a cave, far away from other humans.

I also realized that I was focusing my attention and “good advice” on others so that I wouldn’t have to deal with my own issues and problems. Once I realized that, I stopped trying to “help” people (or bully them into my way of thinking). I focused on getting help for me. 

Once I stopped being a know-it-all, I realized that I hadn’t been alone. Quite often I am the one who gets the occasional ‘I know what’s best for you’ talk. It doesn’t even rustle my feathers. My reply is always “duly noted.” I get that they only want to help, but they haven’t realized yet that they aren’t actually helping.

I no longer try to change them, and they can natter on as long as they like. However, my answer will still be “duly noted.”

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