Unfortunately, when I sit and observe (which I do often)…not because I’m quiet or have nothing to say, but it allows me to gain a perspective on the room, and who people are first. I realize sometimes (trying not to generalize here), people relate the conversation at hand told by the other person too much to themselves rather than keeping the focus on the person speaking and the subject matter they are speaking to.
It’s common right?
We can’t help but relate the conversation or experience to our own and try to find a a string to pull from. Unfortunately, that string may not be what that person needs at that time. Perhaps they just need a good ear, or an unbiased opinion, or someone who can clear the noise and give a proper opinion or piece of advice/solace.
What happens when we do relate it to ourselves?
We tend to take the situation and conversation in a different spin, which allows for a more emotional or self-centered reaction. It’s based on personal experience, one that may be less relevant, one that may be more jaded, and/or one that may not have facts that can provide the right advice. It becomes advice we would have wanted for ourselves, rather than the person who is sitting in front of us. It’s conflicting, raw, and unfortunately, not always as helpful.
Some people may want to get someone else’s opinion because they’ve been through a similar experience. However, it’s important to remember that every situation is different, never quite the same, and the same logic isn’t always applied in the same exact way. The best thing I’ve been able to do in the past is offer my own opinion based on my own experience and state that explicitly. Otherwise I try very hard not to bring my experience into it and look at it through fresh eyes.
How would you react?
image source – pixabay