Culture

Yup, aha, next…

Just last week I waxed and waned about a pet peeve of mine. Well, I have many. And many are not really all that deep nor are they truly things that keep me up at night. They are just things that mildly irk me and once I talk about them I move on. So, here is another. Why not? We are still in winter. I have a ton of work to do that I would rather not do. And, I have binged on way too many shows. I need a bit of an intermittent binge fast. Does that even make sense?

 

Anyhoo, today I was reminded of how there truly are times when the advise we give is wasted breath. And, I am getting tired of that. Is that a pet peeve or something more?   I am specifically, getting tired of when people nod in agreement and seem to indicate that they get your point and value it. Yet, their inside voice is most definitely saying “yup, aha, next…”   They humor you and you give thoughtfully. And yet, it is not a true interaction or give & take communication.

 

There have been times when it has become evident to me that the person was just halfheartedly listening or rather listening intently with no intention of follow-through.   And, I am left wondering why did they even bother to solicit my thoughts.   Why tease me that way? Why lull me into thinking that there is wiggle room in that person’s decision-making process?  I suppose they do so in the hope that the person giving the recommendation actually hits the points that they were already thinking of.   Thus, they are engaged in a confirmation bias interaction of sorts.   Or more cynically, they may think you are not the most reliable person and thus are hoping to be able to discount an opposite take based on the unreliability of the advice-giver. Does that make sense? It did in my head, for a second or two.

 

Even on social media this behavior occurs. There are times when people post on Facebook a desire to receive recommendations on something–a place to eat, a phone to buy, or to break up with their current partner.   Yes, sadly I have seen the latter. People respond and the person posting says thank you. But do you think they really wanted all that advice? Maybe they were just trying to solicit an interaction or two or twenty.

 

Here’s the thing. Despite this pet peeve of mine, I can’t help but continue to try to help people when they ask for advice.  Mascochist? Just altruistic? Highly opinionated?  Either way, can’t help myself.

7 replies »

  1. i don’t mind admitting i
    Had too much ‘Stuff’ in
    My Head For Heart As
    Slave to the
    Work of
    Solving
    Past and
    Future World
    Problems the
    Present is Friendlier
    Hehe but Re-Tired Folks
    With Newly Treaded Will
    Tend to Talk too much
    With all that
    Is Left Brained
    As Metaphor
    To Make Life Beautiful
    As Love.. Perhaps Robots
    Will Make it Possible
    For us
    Most
    All to
    Return as
    Human Again
    But Honestly
    ‘Who’ Has ‘Time’
    To Be ‘Love’ ‘These Days’
    The Golden Age is Love Now
    Do Find
    ‘This Place’
    Staycation Now..
    It Truly Exists Now..:)

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  2. Woo how i can relate! And like you, can’t help myself…if i do get the feeling i am wasting my breath, i either cut the convo short or being “once bit twice shy” i may not engage at all….total crap shoot!

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  3. I never (!?) ask for advice on social media, only for information about other people’s experiences with X. That way, those who want to share don’t have expectations, and I don’t feel I need to prevaricate/fib interest.

    Given that there are a huge number of people whose response to a question is, “I don’t know, but…” or “I have no experience with that, but…” and then go off on their favorite tangent (check especially the Q&A about products on, say, Amazon), I also try to ask people whose general intelligence I already trust.

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  4. It’s in the eyes Mimi.
    You can see the disconnected mind facing you.
    I console myself by placating their desire for interaction, in continuing with a bombardment of information or facts.
    Should that not work I then resort to your ” Yep,aha…next”.B

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  5. Often people will ask a question hoping to support their already solidified opinion. If you don’t, they keep asking until they find someone who does.

    Other times they just ask a question to modify your opinion of them. The point isn’t your answer, the point is to score a brownie point with you for implying they thought your opinion was important – whether it really was or not.

    Or it could be an excuse for purely social interaction.

    If you want to see some bizarre stuff, check out Quora. It is a web site just for asking questions and giving responses. Used to hang out there. Too many questions where the only response I could come up with is “You are an idiot for even asking such a question online. Go see a (fill in the blank with the appropriate professional).” Wife gets a lot of these at work. (You say you are having a heart attack and wonder if you should see a doctor about it…?)

    Also, many of the questions were just trolling or expressing some forbidden sexual fantasy in question form.

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  6. Maybe it would be easier if you just considered it to be offering your opinion, which the receiver/requester, can take or leave, rather than thinking of it as advice that should or must be followed. It’s kind of just another way for whoever is asking to compare some possible alternatives to their own, often already made choice. As my husband says when I solicit his opinion (not advice, though it is said men often think they are telling you how to do something correctly rather than just trying to get their thoughts): “Why ask me? You’re going to do what you want to, anyway.”

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