You Can’t Make Me!

Posted: November 29, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

“It is astonishing what force, purity, and wisdom it requires for a human being to keep clear of falsehoods.”~ Margaret Fuller
 
It can honestly be amazing what kinds of personal advice that we seek from other people. We could probably ask 100 people and tell them that we are seeking their advice on one particular situation. Once their advice and/or opinion is offered, then it is also amazing what we do or don’t do with it.
 
It’s called a “choice”. The things that we choose to do or not do with the input that has been given to us after we request it, is the choice we have made.
 
But it can be pretty frustrating and disappointing once we have played the role of the sounding board and given our thoughts and input to those seeking our advice, only to find that the person never applied it to their personal lives in the first place.
 
This would become quite evident without the other person having to admit to you, “I didn’t take your advice”. Sometimes it just shows up on its own.
 
If for example,  someone came up to you asking for your advice on whether or not to break up with their girlfriend because things have been less than pleasant, and you knew that in the end the person seeking advice would be happier if they were single or at least away from the current situation- it will show up in their continuing misery because they never did call it quits and decided to press on with the relationship. Only to still be miserable and probably feel worse.
 
They didn’t have to admit that they didn’t take your advice. As a matter of fact, to my knowledge I have never heard of anyone ask for advice and then a few days later say, “I didn’t take your advice”.
 
I honestly would not find it all that surprising that anyone would do such a thing. Because what they are doing in fact, is admitting that they knew better but didn’t DO better.
 
That is the thing about it. They can come to you all they want and ask for it. But if it is not something that they honestly and truly want to do once your advice is offered, or they disagree with your advice then they are not going to follow it. And there’s nothing that you can do about it. You cannot make someone follow your advice once it has been offered.
 
I’ve given plenty of advice to all kinds of people. Sadly, most of them do not follow it. But then again, neither do they come back to me after they’ve been defeated in life and say, “You know what? You were right!”. That kind of thing just doesn’t happen in the real world.

Knowing your advice was not taken can often feel like this.

 
But it still feels so very disappointing when you’ve realized that you’ve given your time and effort to help a friend, and they continue to suffer with whatever it is that is giving them the problem because they chose not to follow what you had told them.
Let me repeat something for you:
 
You cannot make someone do something that they do not want to do in the first place.
 
I know that a lot of times when you do give someone your advice and the other person doesn’t follow it, that you sometimes feel like you never want to give that person advice ever again because since they didn’t follow it the first time, what will make you think that when they need help or advice again that they will the next time?
 
Even so, look at the other side of it. This person didn’t take your advice the first time. And now they are back for more advice- probably about something totally unrelated to the first. Instead of throwing your walls up and denying them, try to understand that if they are coming back to you again and again then it probably means that they still value your opinion. Even if it is something that they disagree with or do not follow.
 
Your thoughts, ideas, opinions, and advice are clearly of a greater value than you thought if they are returning to you again and again.
 
I know that from an earlier post called, “You’re Not Listening!”, I was pretty upset and steamed because I gave some advice and that person didn’t listen.
 
I will admit however, that the advice was just simply given and it was not something that was requested. I attempted to warn them not to get involved with something, and they did. And I knew that if they did, that they would regret it. And they did regret it. But there’s just nothing that I could’ve done about it. Still, I was pretty upset. And not to sound cocky but I knew that I was right. And so it became the next blog post so that I could just get my feelings of frustration out and let it go.
 
It was just a lesson that they were going to have to learn on their own.
 
I didn’t like it, I got upset and blew up. But after a while I calmed down and that was the end of it.
 
We’re not meant to police our family, friends, or loved ones. We cannot stop them from making what we might feel is the wrong decision. We are responsible in how we treat the other person when we are approached with the request for advice. What we say and how we say it. But we’re not responsible if it is not followed to the letter of the law… so to speak.
 
This is something that I hope to change personally in my own life in 2012.
 
And I am not saying that we are not allowed to be pissed off or disappointed or feel like we’ve wasted our time giving advice when it has clearly been ignored. I am saying that we’ve got to come to an understanding that whatever happens after we’ve spoken our mind is not up to us any more. If the person asks for it and then applies it to their situation and comes out smelling like roses, then HOORAY!
 
But if they don’t apply it to their situation and come out miserable, then there’s nothing much else that we can do. It will just have to be their cross to bear.
 
 
 
 

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