As I was merrily giving my thoughts to a friend on her break up with her paramour, I suddenly realized as we neared the end of my spiel, that she had in fact not asked for my input! So I hastily said something along the lines of “that’s my opinion that you didn’t ask for, but received anyway” and she had the good grace to laugh and agree she hadn’t, but it didn’t surprise her since she’d known me a long time.
It got me thinking about how often people, myself included obvs, profess their opinion where none has been sought. Moreover not in the name of good conversation! I also realized on this opinion-based journey I was taking, that on a personal level people rarely take the “advice” they’re given anyway. Usually they’ve made up their mind already and really only want their thoughts validated, they don’t want your input unless it agrees with theirs!
I have one friend who routinely asks for my input and I used to carefully think about what they’d said and the dilemma they were having, hoping to present a clear, well thought out response. These days I merely agree, unless of course it’s something that might end up with prison time (only joking!) Because I’ve learned to my surprise and frustration, they really don’t care what I think and certainly won’t take my advice regardless of its usefulness! I have another friend who never asks for advice and rarely gives it, even when pressed to commit to an opinion.
However, I have also found in my study that when it comes to things that are not personal to us, we are generally much, much better disposed to seek council and receive it and not just from one person either.
In my previous life 2012BD, (Before Dressing-gowns) it was imperative that I gain multiple parties’ input, feedback and advice – commonly known in the biz as Stakeholder Management. Part of my role was to ascertain this information and then distil it and give a well thought out, considered opinion, resulting in a way forward that most could agree on. Novel huh??
If you think about it, this approach takes place across a multitude of situations in our everyday lives, professional and otherwise.
I am certainly going to try and listen, really listen to my personal conversations and ensure I am not spouting unasked for opinions in the future. At this point my friends are rolling their eyeballs ….
Unless of course you’re asking “should I buy a SoffiaB robe?” well I think you know the answer to that one!!
Look Gorgeous, Feel Fabulous – Sophie
P.S. don’t forget Birthday half-price sale coming soon