Opinions Don’t Always Matter.
I like to pride myself of being a good listener, but as I write this I feel a creeping doubt. I have just returned from lunch with a good friend and realised I have committed the very sin I am attempting to write about.
I decided to write on this subject Tuesday morning, pre lunch, drawing on my own experiences, particularly in the past year with my parents, and recalling other friends who have expressed dismay on this particular gripe.
Let me explain what the gripe is… People giving you their opinion when you haven’t actually asked for it. You know the sort of thing. A situation occurs, you mention it to your friends, and they give you their opinion, sometimes complemented by a little advice thrown in, often when their own experience is purely anecdotal.
A friend vocalised this gripe very well when she was expecting her first baby. Forty weeks had been and gone, and she was plodding along patiently, waiting for the happy event. When I met her she grumbled that it wasn’t the pregnancy that was getting her down, it was that absolutely everyone she met, would insist on giving the benefit of their life experience, about her very personal and prolonged pregnancy.
It was not surprising that she ended up feeling tearful and confused, and lacking confidence in her own ability to make a decision. All caused by the very friends that were just trying to offer her support.
So when someone offers you their unsolicited advice remember other people’s opinions don’t always matter.
And now I better forward this email onto my friend with an apology for giving her the benefit of my own life experience!.