A lot of times, while growing up, if I did something that other people disagreed with I would be called stupid, or a moron or I would be warned that I was making a mistake. The other people never stopped to think that I was the one making their, so called, mistake and that I would be the one to deal with the consequences. I got too much “advice” in my life that ended with “if you don’t do it the way I think you should do it then you’re stupid,” or something to that manner. I hated being told what to do and being told that what other people thought I should do was better than my own decision and I vowed never to do that to someone else. I will give advice when I’m asked for it and I will give my opinion when someone wishes it, but I will never come out and give an unsolicited “you’re a moron!”
It’s difficult sometimes, especially with my students. Sometimes I just want to tell them that they’re making a big mistake that will come back to bite them in the rear, but they’re teenagers and they need to be allowed to decide things for themselves and learn from their mistakes. I will always give advice, but I have learned that the best advice is no advice at all….it’s helping the other person come to a decision on their own, whether or not I agree with them. Their decision is the best decision because they will be the ones living with the consequences. I should keep my filthy two cents to myself….maybe I’ll have enough to eventually buy a Frappuccino if I do that (haha).
That being said, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep my opinions to myself. I find it eats away at me. Especially when it’s someone that you love, and you know they’re making a decision that is going to be bad for them in the long run. I still keep my mouth shut, and let them make their own decision without my two cents, but it’s hard and it weighs on my mind a lot. I understand now why people in my life can’t keep their two cents (with a “that’s stupid”) to themselves. It’s very difficult, but it has to be done. People need to be allowed to live their own lives and not be made to feel guilty for choosing one thing over the other (no matter how much I think they’re wrong and need to re-evaluate their decision).
Sometimes there are other factors that influence the person’s decision. Maybe someone wants to leave their job because they’re not getting along with someone there, or someone wants to move because they have loud neighbors or higher bills at their current place. Whatever the mitigating circumstances, I know I need to keep my opinion to myself, no matter how much I’m positive they are making a bad choice. They need to make their own choice, and take whatever consequences come to them. I know when I made the decision to move overseas, I was met with a lot of skepticism and a lot of “you’re stupids,” but I did it anyway. I left a very well-paying job (where I wasn’t very happy) for a huge pay-cut and an overseas address. I feel it was the best thing I ever did in my life. In fact, it changed my life for the (so much) better. If I had listened to all the naysayers that thought I was being an ass I would never have experienced all that I have. Sometimes “forceful” advice is given because the giver is actually more afraid of the consequences than the person making the choice. The people who told me I was an idiot for leaving a high-paying job and taking lower pay to move to Spain are the same people that never left their hometown and do everything by-the-book so as not to take any risks. THEY were more afraid of the risk I was taking than I was.
Now, I’m faced with a dilemma. Someone I love is making a decision that I’m positive is not the right one. I think I know why they’re making this decision, and I understand their thinking, but I’m not convinced. I know they will regret not taking the other choice in the long-run. It’s becoming increasingly difficult not to say anything because I feel like I have to let them know. But, I’m going to keep my promise to myself and not turn into all the people in my life who have “told” me what decisions I should make. I need to let my friend make their own decision (I’m purposely being vague here). It just annoys me so much that I think they’re making a big mistake……but I need to keep my mouth shut!! Someone once said “silence is golden, but duct tape is silver,” I think I’m going to need some of that silver in this case!