Dear So-called Friend

To the person who said this:

I have always kept my posts light. Not consciously, more because this blog is for me, even if others do read it. I want to inspire myself. I know about the hard stuff so I tend to keep it to a level I am willing others to have knowledge of. […]

[… I am] not really good at taking advice. Mostly I listen politely then do whatever the hell I decide anyway. I have only a very few close people I let knee me in the back until I listen, so please don’t get offended with I do not take your well ment advice to heart. I only let my whole self show with a few people and if you know only a portion of it you generally will not know me well enough to give me the advice I need anyway, since it takes someone adept at seeing me to accurately access my behavior and approach this wolf in a way that doesn’t result in a baring of teeth.

A few things:

First of all, how convenient for you. You constantly ask for advice and feedback, then dismiss the advice that you don’t like because the ones giving it don’t know you well enough or have enough information to accurately assess the situation.

Well what do you expect people on your blog to base their advice and feedback on, if not the information that you provide there? If you don’t/can’t provide the information required to properly evaluate the situation, then perhaps you shouldn’t ask others to evaluate it. Or if you do, don’t act as if they’ve somehow intruded because they offered advice without having all the facts.

Basically, what you do is withhold information from people, while asking for advice based on the information given. You then devalue and discard the advice when it’s not precisely what you want to hear and “bare your teeth” at people for giving advice without having all the facts, when it is you who withheld the facts but asked for advice in the first place. There’s actually a word for what you do: crazymaking.

Secondly, what you’ve just admitted to doing is stringing people along. You lead people to believe that their input is welcome and valued when it’s not. You just “listen politely” with no intention of taking any of it on board to begin with. How incredibly selfish and inconsiderate! You’re basically using people; making people think that what they say matters to you when it doesn’t. Unless, of course, it’s exactly what you want to hear. Otherwise, they’re just idiots who don’t know what they’re talking about.

Ah, but they’re looking at you, aren’t they? You’re the center of their attention for the time being, so who cares what they say or even how they feel? They’re just an audience whose sole purpose is to watch you perform. Meanwhile, you remain oblivious to what’s going on in the lives of people you have the nerve to call friends. Never mind that, not only do they have issues in their own lives, they’ve taken time away from their own lives to try and support you and help you through your difficulties. But you “listen politely”, taking none of it in.

How utterly self-absorbed!

And you have the audacity to say, “please don’t be offended”?! Are you kidding me? When someone uses you, lies to you, dismisses and devalues you and generally betrays you, are you offended? I certainly am, and that’s an understatement!

Now, regarding the (in)ability to dispense useful, worthwhile advice without knowing every detail of a situation:

I don’t have to know every detail of someone else’s life to give advice based on my own similar life experiences. For instance, I can advise against proceeding with a divorce without legal representation because I know, first hand, how easily “friendly” divorces can backfire. I can also provide contact information for resources that help women with young children get back on their feet after a divorce or after leaving an abusive situation, and I can share how beneficial counseling was to my son and me.

And that’s just off the top of my head.

When you say or imply that what I have to offer has no value, simply because I don’t know all your details, you dismiss my life experiences and struggles as meaningless, and devalue me as a person. I don’t have to see the inside of your house to recommend a good housekeeper. Likewise, my life experiences have value and there is much to be learned from them even if I didn’t know one damn thing about you.

In closing, do no expect to hear from me again. I will not be used as a prop in your stage play, giving of myself and my time, sharing my personal experiences and trying to be a supportive friend, while you “listen politely” with no intention of taking it on board, and deleting anything that isn’t exactly what you want to hear. You are passive-aggressive, selfish and inconsiderate, and I will not subject myself to further abuse from you.

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