Sometimes I encounter people who throw out advice to me, but the comment given is definitely not helpful. Ever run into that?
For example, after one job at a store ended, I got a job in another store. A man walked in, recognized me, and said, “I thought you’d do better than this.” I was so embarrassed.
Much later I realized I shouldn’t have let that man’s comment bother me. He didn’t know my particular situation, was not in any position to advise me about job-hunting strategies, didn’t suggest anyone who could help me, nor did he really care about me. I didn’t need to take his comment to heart. His comment was what I call throw-away advice: advice which doesn’t suggest any positive steps to improve the situation, so it’s not worth taking into consideration.
After further reflection, I wondered: Do I give other people that kind of advice–throwaway comments that are neither kind nor advice? To be truly helpful, I need to consider if I am close enough to the person to know some details about the situation. If I am not, the operative principle is “zip my lips”. Second, I should ask the person if he or she wants to hear what I have to say, or not. I have to earn the right to speak.
I want to make more of an effort to practice these principles. When I do, life is smoother all the way around.