How often does someone ask for your opinion? Better still, how often does it matter?
How are ya?
Each of us knows someone who will see us in the grocery line and ask, “How are you doing?” Inevitably, it is insincere. Either the person does not care to know, expecting a perfunctory “Fine,” or it is merely an opening for them to spew the minutiae of their drama du jour. Still, they did indeed ask your opinion.
Help or Not
Do you have a friend who embodies the following (and 3 out 5 of is sufficient to qualify a yes)?
- Every event is a catastrophe.
- No one has ever been in more dire circumstances.
- The only Tigger.
- Regardless of gender, always the damsel in distress.
- All symptoms are indicative of terminal illness.
- Undisputed (in their own mind) champion of _________.
- The first, last or only
- At least better than you
- Never wrong
- Can describe all activities using the words always and never
Both of these Quaints will ask for your opinion. Neither of them will take it. In both cases, it would interfere with the persona. If Eeyore takes your advice, the single cloud will stop raining on his head. If Captain Invincible takes your advice, he is not the master of his domain… he needed help. No, this is not a man thing. Substitute Drama Empress and Madame Perfecto for Eeyore and Captain Invincible.
How would you?
Colleague is neck deep in an assignment which is only on pay grade on paper. In reality, Colleague has a deficiency of skill, intellect, experience or all of the above. Guess who is hanging on the corner of your cubicle. Even if you do not immediately bury your head in your own work, you will see Colleague repeat the wall hanging at other cubicles. Yes, Colleague is seeking other opinions. To what avail?
Job Half Done
Somewhere in the annuls of time, many people fell prey to miscommunication. They partially listened to this piece of advice:
Even asking questions whose answers should be products of common sense is often dismissed as being cautious. All would-be opinion givers overlook the irritating questions in the beginning, at least until it becomes obvious the questioner did not get this memo:
In fact, there are plenty of people who give really terrible advice; their advice should be taken under advisement… as an example of what not to do. Contrariwise, good advice should be followed, adapted or employed.
Merely to ask ad nauseum is insufficient. Asking for answers which are never weighted as more than idle conversation are a waste of time better spent doing anything else, even the wrong thing. Failing to weigh, assess and take advice given on request is tantamount to telling the advice-givers their time is not valuable.
In the end, the asker’s questions are viewed as another way to cry, “Wolf!”
Do you have at least one of the Quaints in the beginning? How often do you ask for advice? Do you follow it or use it to form your own answers? Why do people ask if they are never going to take the advice offered?
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