Sunday, January 22, 2012

Don't Ask Me

I'm often asked for my advice. I am by nature a generous person and I freely give advice when asked.  I've been around a long time (70 years) and have experienced a lot.  However, I am coming to the conclusion that I am going to stop giving my advice, even when asked.  Why?  Because it is not taken.

Why should I waste my time?  I think I'm a pretty intelligent and successful person.  Anyone who knows me knows that I generally make good decisions.  In fact, I almost always make good decisions.  If I have any faults it is perhaps that I am TOO GENEROUS.  I believe it is called "Generous to a fault."

Well, I have come to the conclusion that for whatever reason, even when my advice is asked, it is ignored.  So folks, friends, please don't' ask my advice in the future.

Here are a couple of recent incidents.

  • Incident Nubmer One:  A friend of mine asked me if I knew of a handyman.  It just so happens I did.  In fact two friends asked me.  I told them of the maintenance man that works at the hotel where I work.  I even talked to the man and asked him if he was interested in working for either one of these two old gay guys.  He said he was.  I told him I would contact my friends and tell them.  That I did.  That was months ago. I even asked the maintenance man to call one of my friends to show his interest.  He did.  Still nothing.  Thus my time was wasted, the maintenance man's time was wasted and I was embarrassed.
  • Incident Number Two:  A couple of years ago a friend of mine was undergoing a breakup in his longterm relationship.  He asked my advice how to invest his share of the proceeds of his jointly owned house with his former partner.  I advised him to put it in a CD.  I said specifically NOT TO INVEST IT IN A MUTUAL FUND.  So what did he do?  He invested his money IN A MUTUAL FUND and then had the temerity to blame me when his fund lost 40% of it's value.  We didn't directly blame me but did say "I should never have listened to my friends advice to put my funds in a mutual fund."  I told him to his face "I DID NOT TELL YOU TO PUT THEM IN MUTUAL FUNDS."  He just looked at me like I stepped off a spaceship.  Apparently I didn't fit into his narrative of being the VICTIM of which he is fond of playing.  
  • Incident Number Three:  My neighbor asked my advice as to what kind of cell phone to get.  I highly recommended an iPhone.  I had already convinced her to get an iPad which she loves.  So what kind of phone does she get?  She gets an ANDROID!  Then she asks me how to use it.  I told her I didn't know how to use it nor did I wish to give myself a headache trying to figure out how to use yet another non user friendly product.  She also got a new computer.  I advised her to get an iMac.  Did she?  Oh no.  No she didn't.  She got an HP with the tower and all.  Thus she can spend the next several years with the constant upgrades and making sure her virus protection is up to date plus all the extra money she will have to spend hiring my former Computer Guy to help her out when her computer freezes up.
  • Incident Number Four:  a blogger friend blogged that he was getting a new computer.  He already has an iPhone.  He didn't ask my advice but I did offer my advice to get an iMac.  So what does his partner get?  He gets a HP computer because he says it "is more user friendly."  NOT TRUE.  Only Apple products are user friendly.  All Windows based products exists only for upgrades to keep Bill Gates the richest man in the world so he can be the big benefactor  hero (along with Melinda of course) in curing malaria in India.  
Folks, I know I'm on a rant here but sometimes it is just so frustrating to know that in an area that I know I am right, that people I know have so little respect for my opinion that they ignore it.  It doesn't make me feel good at all.  Oh I'll get over it but this is depressing. 

However, I will stop giving advice when asked and not volunteering when not asked.  I'll save myself a lot of aggravation and feeling the Victim myself.  Maybe it is me after all.

Me ascending steps at a long forgotten historic site in Montreal, Canada in 1967
an appropriate picture to symbolize me walking away from a long habit of mine offering advice to friends - my advice is rarely if ever taken so why waste my time? I'm tired of it.


  1. 3rdnlong9:43 PM

    You probably will not stop sir. I chuckled at the post as I say the same thing every time and have been for years as you probably have as well.

  2. I seldom if ever give advice for people either don't take it or mangle it and then blame me for giving them bad advice.
    As for the computer, my advice was deflected too, as I thought it would. He wanted a HP and got one.

  3. That's the thing about advice, it's freely given but rarely taken.

  4. Anonymous9:22 AM

    People already know what they want/are going to get. What they are really asking for is conformation for what they are going to get/do.

    (Age equals valuable experience.)


  5. Roger (3rdnlong),

    Again, you are right. I probably will not stop offering advice just because that is the kind of person I am. However, it is discouraging to see people whom I like fail to take my advice and then suffer the consequences of their poor decision. Maybe if I didn't care so much. That is probably my problem, not theirs.

  6. Dr. Spo,

    The only reason I'm upset that you didn't take my advice was that I do care for you. Not in some sleazy sexual way (although I do think you're cute as can be) but I care for you as a person. You're a good person and I care that you are happy and have a good life. I have to train myself not to care so much for people. This is a weakness I have that I wish I didn't have.

  7. Bob,

    Again, you are exactly right. I like you. :)

  8. ARF,

    You too are right. As I said in my previous comments, this is a failure on my part because I care too much for people that I like. I only offer advice to people I like. When they fail to take my advice I take it personally which I probably should do. It is a character flaw that I've had all my life. My weakness.

  9. Ron,

    I rarely give advice to anyone. I may give some suggestions if pressed. I don't like giving advice because even if it is good advice, if things don't work out for them, then they tend to blame you. I sometimes do give advice to people I feel closest too, like a certain someone I suggested get an IMac, but went and got a PC anyway!


  10. Ron,

    I imagine that you know yourself well enough that to know that you aren't likely to change. But the question is were you asked for advice, an opinion or a recommendation? You know that you cannot live the lives of your friends for them. When asked about these things in the future -- and you will be asked again, because I imagine that your friends trust you to give them your unvarnished opinion -- you might simply start by saying "My experience has been..." That way, you are not telling anybody what to do.

    It also helps to develop the skills necessary to stand by with your mouth shut and watch a train wreck happen (I'm still working on this).


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