My Advice to You…..Consider the Source

tracy renee coverSometimes its hard to know what to say when dealing with people in general. Of course, we all want to feel like our opinions are valued and we’re all within our Constitutional rights to say whatever is on our mind.

Lucky us.

I’m not arguing that people shouldn’t give advice, they can, and some people charge for their advice, but that doesn’t guarantee that the advice given is useful or worthwhile to adhere to.

How does one decide who to listen to?

I spend way more time listening and observing people than I ever do talking or communication with folks. I have a low tolerance for many thing, one of which is hot air.

I don’t know what to tell you, other than, STFU but that’s not nice and I really do try to be pleasant. It’s just that some people really do need to stop talking sometimes.

We’re taught to respect the opinions of others. What we aren’t encouraged to do is to critique and comprehensively weight the logic of the person offering the advice. 

When advice or information offered, even when unsolicited, it is supposed to be received and considered as gift. People can get offended if you don’t nod your head and immediately instill those life changing behaviors like you were told to do. 

But why is that?

It seems like more times than not, the people offering free (unsolicited) advice are doing so to make themselves feel better and not because they believe their advice will help you. To add insult to injury, usually the advice given ain’t worth a dam anyway, and maybe that’s why its free.

Who gets to be in charge of knowing ‘shit’ and what happens when someone who claims to know ‘ish’, doesn’t actually know anything? Or at least, nothing useful to you? Do you sit quietly and tune them out while smiling and nodding your head? I’ve never been good at that. I tried.

Sure, some people give great advice, and others not so much.

People may take the time out of their lives to sit you down and give you a good piece of tried and trusted life coaching. That’s how we learn that ain’t nothing new under the sun. Old people will tell you about some things because they’ve lived through some things and they’ve seen similar occurrences.

There is nothing new under the sun when it comes to people, in my opinion, of course.

I mean, I think humans are cute and everything and some of y’all are quite nice, but others….need seats.

Warm, cold, or in the nosebleed section. I don’t care where you go just “get away from me with your illogical, limiting, counter productive babble”, is what I want to say, but don’t.

At some point time you realize that you just can’t listen to every person that has a mouth and words.

You’ll hurt yourself.

See, I’m a listener, and a people watcher from infancy and so I’ve learned a few things by observation. Namely, that a lot of people don’t know half of what they claim to know.

I’ve never, under any circumstances, seemed to pay attention to the title of the person in front of me talking when they begin to tell me about what I should be doing, thinking or believing.

Nope.

You think since “You’re the boss” that you automatically get some type of deferment of authority…..WRONG!

I’ve never been one to offer implied competence and presumed superiority. I got to think about it for a minute, and then I’ll decide the level of volume I allow you.

find it highly unlikely that you can walk up on me and know all the perfect steps that I need to follow in order for me to work out my own heaping pile of smelly life issues.

What’s up with the types that offer others advice, but yet they can’t figure out (or see) their own mess? I don’t need your advice on my hair, when your hair looks nothing like the texture of my own, though hair advice has been a favorite of folks for my entire life.

I can’t help but to feel like my hair isn’t amazing, when I know it is, so what was the motivation behind suggesting I do things to my hair that would damage it or make it look a mess. I have to wonder ‘why are you talking’?

I don’t want or need your advice on child rearing, my style of dress, the appropriate language ‘for a lady’ or any a number of things that I have a grip on. I’m happy with who I’ve carved myself out to be, I trust my own steps, and I think for myself.

I made me in the image of myself.

In order to get my respect you have to earn it, and here is where you start paying…. in sweat!!

Wait…..that’s Fame.

But yeah, same difference.

I’m from the ‘show me state'; don’t stand here pointing to the plaques on the wall and tell me that I should take you seriously. That shit didn’t work in kindergarten and it won’t work now. Even then I needed to know why I had to do as the teacher told me without explanation or a chance to ask my million questions for clarity and content.

My mother was called in at some point and she quietly explained to me that people will get mad if I don’t do as they say, even if I think what they are telling me or asking me to do is stupid.

I’ve found that to be still be true, as an adult, and as employee, especially. I’ve spent a lot of time doing unproductive things because I was instructed to do so by someone who has a larger cubicle than I. I’ve gotten into situations where my job is in jeopardy for following the direction of someone that everybody knows is incompetent but no one will pr can say so f0r one reason or another.

I especially love those who give unsolicited advice, and then have the nerve to get angry when you don’t immediately agree with them. Speaking louder, and talking in circles and playing victim are all signs of an incompetent person losing ground.

Those tactics don’t work and actually make the person look dumber. But you can’t say that. So you listen and tolerate and nod your head.

While they proclaim their ‘important-ness’ the tinier they shrink until you can no longer hear them.

On occasion, I may listen to a piece of advice and I may take a cue from a person that has shown that they know what they are talking about.

Like, if I’m having a problem with my car, I’m not seeking the guidance of the neighborhood barista on what to do under the hood of my Tonka truck.

If I’m trying to figure out how to get into college I would not tolerate a lecture from the local high school dropout on how I  may successfully accomplish my goal of higher education.

If you are giving out dating advice then I expect you to be actively and successfully dating. If not then wouldn’t listening to you cause me to be dateless or just as bad off as I am prior to listening to you?

I’m just sayin…

Then there are those who know good and well that they’re bluffing their way through a topic in hopes that the audience is more ignorant than they are. You call these types ‘politicians’, it strikes me as amusing that people are shocked to learn politicians bend the truth. Store front pastors, quick weight loss gurus and a gang of other folks with ‘advice’ that doesn’t seem to work and comes at a high cost are also bending the truth.

The business of influence is a lucrative one.

In other words, they’re running game on you.

But how do you determine when someone is full of shit or otherwise not worth listening to?

Easy…..just listen to them and while you’re at it…..consider the source.