What say you?

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)?

  1. Every event is a catastrophe.
  2. No one has ever been in more dire circumstances.
  3. The only Tigger.
  4. Regardless of gender, always the damsel in distress.
  5. All symptoms are indicative of terminal illness.


  1. Undisputed (in their own mind) champion of _________.
  2. The first, last or only
  3. At least better than you
  4. Never wrong
  5. 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:

The only stupid question is the one which goes unasked.

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:

Advice not taken under advisement or followed is the only bad advice.

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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  1. I don’t have to ask for advice, I’ve found all I have to do is make a statement and someone, anyone (usually clueless) will pipe up with the answers. Sometimes I do not have to get more than two words out of my mouth for it to occur.

    • That is something we are going to have to cover. Solicitation is an important component of advice reception. xxx

  2. The only Tigger.

    I would think given the other ones around it, Eeyore is more fitting
    Bearman recently posted..Jules Verne > Star TrekMy Profile

    • As a general rule, but their brand of being nauseatingly special is more excruciating than everyone else’s.

  3. I have no-one like this around me, not anymore…well, maybe my S-I-L who knows everything, but doesn’t ask for advice, he readily gives it, asked for or not.

    I spewed coffee when I read, “4.Regardless of gender, always the damsel in distress.”
    Tess Kann recently posted..Flash in the Pan – ProgressMy Profile

  4. I have both kinds of quants. One, I adopted as someone close to me to share as an intimate friend. I have put distance between us because she is Eeyore and “Why is it always me?” emanates from every breath. She is outwardly doing better now, but to be close is to hear the laments. The other quaint, is in my tenant group. I stopped going to the meeting after the lies built upon other lies and the self-importance was nauseating. In both cases, I’m happier now.
    Gail Thornton recently posted..Prose – Life’s Hourly ChallengeMy Profile

  5. People who ask for advice but don’t want it or take it really bug me. If you don’t want someone’s opinion, don’t ask for it.
    Binky recently posted..BBQ TimeMy Profile

  6. If I’m asked for help I try to help.

    If I can’t help I say so. 🙂

    I have a friend I ask for advice about PC’s once in a blue moon.

    My step-dad Hugh used to phone four times a day for instructions on how to use Outlook Express, usually not admitting what he had done wrong, yet expect me to fix it for him!

    After years of saying: “Sorry I can’t help” he now badgers a neighbour instead.

    So much for the self proclaimed ‘Computer Expert’ who thought he knew everything there was to know about computers because he worked on the Police National Computer (PNC)

    He is widely regarded by those who know him as knowing nothing.

    Glad it’s not just me… 🙂

    Love and hugs!

    Prenin recently posted..Tuesday – Hot and quiet day.My Profile

    • Self-proclaimed experts rarely are. I find it laughable social media “experts” claim everyone should declare their “expertise” to anyone who would listen.

  7. I dislike being asked my opinion AFTER someone goes ahead and does something and then tells me after I’ve given my opinion, which is always the opposite of what the person did.

  8. A just as important question is How often do you give advice? Solicited or unsolicited? And how do you react if it isn’t taken, or taken with bad results?
    El Guapo recently posted..A Defense of 80s Music, by Running On SoberMy Profile

  9. benzeknees

     /  July 17, 2013

    Hubby is the 2nd quaint. He is full of Always & Nevers. He comes across as humble but he’s really just seeking praise from you (all the time). I don’t ask for advice unless I really want it & I’m not afraid to tell people (see hubby) I don’t want his advice when he tries to give it. But, my daughter came for a visit about a week ago for a couple days & during our “stay up half the night & talk” sessions she gave me some good advice I was happy to hear & intend to follow.

    • Ooo, passive aggressive. Not sure if I should tip my hat for your patience or take your temperature. I am glad to hear of your talk with your daughter. It is reassuring to hear of good communication, especially between Parent and Child. xxx

  10. Stirring up some thoughts in my head here… what I hate most is the one who will give me the whole story and their travails and not ask for advice overtly, but clearly they want to be given advice. I steer clear of those passive aggressive habits – they almost always leave bitter taste in my mouth.
    I don’t often ask for advice, mostly because I want to be sure my decisions are pure and clear of unintentional influences. There are a few folks from whom I gladly ask advice and usually use it in some form or other.
    The important thing is intent, for advice requested, for advice given…
    Since I realize my perceptions sometimes may be somewhat clouded, I usually ask for advice on non-factual things like feelings, responses to feelings and the like. For facts, I can find them easily and know their veracity.
    It has taken me a long time to trust enough to ask, and now that I do, it has been most valuable.
    Sometimes I do request advice for things that might be factual, simply because I am lost in all the places that offer guidance or “help”. That has made things a lot easier for me, especially if the advice makes sense!
    When I do give advice, I feel a responsibility to make sure my advice is clear. Past that, I relinquish control.
    Good post, Red… how about you? I surmise you are often asked for it. From what I’ve seen your advice is usually on point and devoid of emotional strings. (I have found your advice to be stimulating because it empowers me to continue on my quest to a decision…)

    BuddhaKat recently posted..REVIEW: Pathways to IlluminationMy Profile

    • Thank you. I am asked for advice everyday. I am not emotionally invested in much of anything, especially the subjects on which my advice is sought. I am detached enough to hand over tools for success without getting mired in the ventures. Some of my advice-seekers are amazed at how many times I can hand over tools when attempts are less than successful. I have a rather large tool chest. xxx


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