Unsolicited Advice and Being a Friend

For someone in the Comms line, I seem to be very bad at communicating with people. Social awkwardness aside, I can’t stop miscommunication in my life. Especially in instances where I seem to keep giving unsolicited advice to others.

I forget that sometimes, people are only asking for an opinion. But this doesn’t mean they’re asking for advice. And I get carried away with the latter.

It’s important for me to understand things as completely as possible, or at the very least, in context, so that I don’t say the wrong thing. It’s hard for me to give an opinion if I don’t possess the minimum amount of facts or details. Because otherwise how can I truly commit to an opinion? A part of me understands that this is because what you say does have impact on others – if not why would they ask you? On the other hand, a part of me is flattered and I get carried away that my opinion is being sought, and, being presumptuous that the asker may not know better, start to give unsolicited advice about what I think is the crux of the issue.

Something similar has happened twice in succession yesterday and today to two different people I’ve interacted with. In both instances, I managed to upset the asker albeit in different ways. And I’m upset too, because my ego is hurt and I feel insecure that really, nobody cares enough to ask my advice on anything. Perhaps they’re just asking for an opinion on something specific, but I ventured beyond the boundaries of the conversation. Or perhaps all they really wanted was someone to listen to them. Regardless, in both instances I failed them. I yappered on, so in love with my internal voice and my supreme logic.

It feels bad, and it also feels lonely that at the end of the day nobody will give me the time of day to speak about anything in depth. And it made me realize, to be whole I need to be my own best friend. I can’t rely on someone apart from myself to be my one best friend, because when would be the next time you misunderstand each other? When would be the next time you unintentionally hurt each other? My insecurities stem from my not being my own friend. From not seeing my own worth. And so I project these insecurities about needing to be useful to someone. If I were my own friend, I would not need to… Impress my worthiness to someone else.

At least now I know.

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