Bad Advice

You know, the one thing I am really glad for is the training that I received in Fairfax County Schools.  It’s really hard to learn to be a good listener, but it is something that I keep trying to work at.  A lot of this is because I’ve had several people say to me recently, “You don’t really listen when I talk to you.”  I do.  I really listen, but I am my Mama’s daughter.  I also think.  And talk.  And not often on the same topic–but they are totally connected in my brain.

So recently, I’ve been just listening and biting my tongue.  Or at least I try.

I learned in Fairfax County some good techniques for allowing others to talk.  In our mentoring class, we learned that people really aren’t looking for advice or help solving problems.  They really just want to talk about it.  And quite frankly, we usually have our own solutions to our problems.  We just have to work through them in our own time.

I am trying to keep my mouth shut.

I don’t want to give unwanted advice, but really I try to keep it shut when people start giving ME advice.

For example, at our Christmas Posada I was drinking water.  Duh.  I am pregnant.  So, no, I really don’t want your wine based drink.  And what?!  Only five percent alcohol–that won’t hurt me?  And you drank it while you were pregnant?  I am sorry, I’ve met your child–this isn’t convincing me that this is okay.

Or the English-speaking couple we went out with the other day: When I asked the age that students are REQUIRED to attend school in Mexico, I was told, “They don’t have to go when they are three (some are just two), but I highly recommend it.”  Really?!  You are recommending an education plan for my unborn child?  I am sorry, but how long have you worked with children?  You’re recommending what I, a teacher, should do with my kid’s schooling?  Hmmm…  Thanks, let me tell you how you should build that building your architect firm is working on.  After all, my vast knowledge of buildings (I’ve been in them all my life…) should really help you out.

Oh, one I really love.  When I make a comment regarding my food/beverage intake:  You get to tell me how much sodium and sugar is in that?  Really?  Because I tell you what a good breakfast is for you everyday?    Oh, I appreciate that your Mom had high sodium problems.  And that she takes shots everyday for her diabetes.  But why do you get to tell me that I shouldn’t eat that?  What do you know about MY health?  Let me tell you what kind of junk is in that fake chicken broth you make.  Never mind.

Oh, yes!  I love it when you tell me what I should do in my classroom with my students.

Please!  I can’t wait to hear about what I should take for my baby!

I will definitely find out the sex of my unborn child now that you’ve outlined all the reasons why it is a better choice.

Your vast knowledge of the Mexican culture really will help the relationship I have with my husband!

Oh, the fact that you don’t talk to your mom really makes me want to listen more to what you have to say about my relationship with my family!

Thanks for telling me all the facts about c-sections and why they are a good choice.  Now I don’t want a natural birth anymore!

Your baby was perfectly healthy drinking formula from birth?  AND she’s really intelligent?!  Well, now why would I want to suffer sore nipples after knowing that!  I am so happy you’ve told me that after asking if I was going to breastfeed!

Oh, yes… Keeping your mouth shut really IS the best choice.  They were right:  I’m not looking for your advice.  However, check out these awesome listening skills!  I bet you think I am going follow every word you say!

4 responses

  1. hmmm…very interesting…sounds like you are getting a lot of opinions…it seems like there was someone in our house who was known for letting everyone know her opinion about how they should do things, what to wear, what to eat…now, who was that??? Sometimes this person was affectionately referred to as ‘bossy’…if I could only remember who that was…

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