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A short rant

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Jul. 6th, 2005 | 03:43 pm

Anyone remember the first of the 2004 presidential debates? George W Bush was completely surprised by the lack of positive support he got from the crowd. Why? Well he had only been speaking to hand picked audiences that thought he was great. He has systematically removed from power anyone who dissented with his opinion. For example General Eric Ken Shinseki said that more troops were needed to keep order after crushing Iraq forces, or there would be a mess that would take years to clean up. Guess what the good General was right, but he got retired because he did his patriotic duty to tell the truth. He was a constructive dissenter. Someone who tries to help by disagreeing.

I'm that type of person. If I think someone is doing something wrong I want to tell them. This gets me in trouble. People try to turn deaf ears to me just because I don't think the same things they do. I'm not sure when I should draw the line. Should I ignore the fact they are wrong this time even though they may hurt themselves, or should I just agree with them, or stay quiet so that they like me better. It is so much easier to tell where the line is with my brick, and mortar friends than with my online friends. I can try to read their faces, and decide to stop talking, and with experience I know what sets them off, and I can just avoid the whole mess. I've been wondering if I should just avoid giving all sensitive advice to online pals who didn't specifically ask me for it. You know just ignore anything short of them saying that they plan to kill themselves, others, or do something that recklessly risks others lives like drinking, and driving.

What do you think? Have I given you advice that you would rather I hadn't? Was it helpful, or did it just annoy you, or make you mad at me? Would you rather I gave you advice you would rather not hear if it could save you from making a serious mistake, or stop a destructive behavior you already have? Or would you rather I kept my mouth shut if you didn't ask me specifically for advice? Or finally would you rather that even if you specifically ask me for advice, that I lie, and take your side even if I don't agree?

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Comments {5}

Jerry Federspiel

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from: jpfed
date: Jul. 7th, 2005 01:47 am (UTC)
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Every message can send information along multiple dimensions simultaneously- even unintended information. A tough but worthwhile challenge is to make your every message consistent with the most basic, obvious truths, avoiding implying things that would contradict these basic truths.

I have a bad tendency to give people advice. But the people that habitually give me advice also give me the unintended message that they don't have much faith in my own ability to figure out the best move. Recognizing that my own advice-giving could be doing the same thing, I'm trying to lessen my own advice-giving tendencies.

I'm guessing that you, like me, pride yourself on your problem-solving capabilities. To take advantage of the fullest power of these capabilities, let us take a step back from the first formulation of the problem situation (that might lead us to give advice) and see whether there is a different formulation that would yield a more agreeable solution.

Oftentimes knowing good strategies or having the right external, situational information just isn't the limiting factor in a person's ability to make themself happy. A lot of the time, people have a hard time making themselves happy because they have unclear or contradictory emotions/desires/objectives. That's why the best helpers oftentimes just help people do an effective search for their own highest priorities by clarifying the content and purposes of their emotions. Once people know what they want, they'll figure out how to get it or deal with its absence.

And if someone wants more specific situational help, they'll ask for it.

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Daniel Patrick Johnson

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from: teknotus
date: Aug. 31st, 2005 11:25 pm (UTC)
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I'm glad you ended up on my friends list. This makes sense. I liked reading it when you first made the comment, and I like it even better now that I read it again. I think I have grown a little in the time since I first read it. Well I weigh less, but I think I refined my thinking a little. I wonder if I would have grown in the ways that I have if I hadn't made as many mistakes.

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Amanduh

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from: basslinedoll
date: Jul. 7th, 2005 01:53 am (UTC)
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here is why i stopped letting you comment on my journal, if it makes a difference or if you were wondering: we simply don't see eye to eye because you are a mathmatical-minded individual, in everything you do. This isn't bad (hell, it's who you are), but your advice does me no good simply because my problems/life aren't an equation that can be solved. There isn't always a answer to everything; there isn't always two sides to a story, etc. i just feel that you don't understand whats going on in my life right now and it's just one less person to comment on my scatterbrained thinking in LJ land.

did that make any sense? even when i try to explain myself it comes out jumbled.

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Daniel Patrick Johnson

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from: teknotus
date: Sep. 1st, 2005 12:00 am (UTC)
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Thanks. I apologize for taking close to two months to respond to this, but as you can see I haven't updated my journal either. Sometimes life is really busy, and I don't have time to think. I didn't want to respond when I wasn't ready to respond well because that is what has gotten me in trouble in the first place.

First off I want to say that knowing you has been inspirational. You are always doing stuff, and constantly working hard to improve your situation in life. I'm not sure where your compass points, but I am confident that it is getting you to the right place.

I hope that some day I will understand you much better, and be able to talk with you at length without feeling awkward. Until then whenever we cross paths I will consider you a friend, and I wish you the best in life.

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loonman

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from: loonman
date: Sep. 4th, 2005 04:01 am (UTC)
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yo dude it was awesome talking to you.
you should email me.

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