There is nothing that irritates me more than someone asking my advice and then not take it. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own child, friend, or politician. Someone asking you for advice anymore is like a stranger saying in an elevator, “how you are doing?” The truth of the matter is they don’t care, it’s only mindless chatter! In the past year I have been sought for advice on things as diverse as pets, cars, relationships, money, and politics. Here is my rate of success; Those seeking my advice-compared to those who actually listened? 150-0.
Later on, the conversation goes something like this with friends; moaning, my stupid new dog ate a box of crayons and hurled a psychedelic mole hill on the carpet; the vet bill was outrageous! My taxes are killing me, the used car I bought was a lemon, I can’t believe how few brain cells my congressman possesses. It’s at this point that I’m biting my cheek to the point of going through it to keep from saying, “I TOLD YOU SO!!!”
Nope, from now on, I don’t care if my clothes are tattered and torn and I look like I just walked through a pit bull yard with Milk Bone underwear. When asked how am I doing?, I’m always going to answer with a broad smile, “I couldn’t be better” to avoid unsolicited conversation and advice!
When someone wants my take on politics I’ll tell them, “Sorry, I’m a member of the Whig Party.” Pets? I’m allergic to their dander. Raising children? Sorry mine ran away. Money? Nope, I lost my whole investment portfolio in pygmy ant farm futures.
Marriage advice? I’ll offer only one! Men, no matter what the conversation, look in the mirror and practice saying over and over again, “I was wrong, can I do the dishes?”
Four men were on a fishing trip and while waiting for the fish to bite, they were telling each other their marital woes. One complained his wife was moody, the other one said his was too selfish, yet another said he got yelled at all the time for absolutely nothing. When asking the fourth man how his wife was, he commented, “I have no complaints, my wife is an angel!” Taking off their hats with reverence they said, “We had no idea, when did she pass?”
This story offers proof that three things occur when someone presents to you a problem. First, they aren’t open to advice, second, they don’t want anyone fixing the problem they’d rather complain about it, and third, even if they do listen, they’ll get it wrong.
I think Lucy in the Peanuts cartoon had it right, she charged five cents for advice. While that may be all my advice is worth to most, I’m kicking myself knowing I could have made $7.50 tax free this past year.