Advice and delicacy

We are intelligent creatures: we have at our disposal a mega-engine, the brain, which can receive, process and archive countless information.  We can analyze non-stop, in a conscious or unconscious manner, facts, circumstances, people, and variables.  We are an interesting combination of objective and subjective pieces of puzzle.  We generate and send out thoughts and emotions, scientific formulas and spiritual beliefs, rigorous procedures and creative ideas.

When we give advice we can analyze the others with gentleness, condescendence or sarcasm.  Whether requested or not we could recommend valuable, perfect and applicable solutions – as we see them.  And if they know what is best for them they’d better apply them quickly and without unnecessary debates.

At the same time we do not accept the fact that our advice, full of unquestionable goodwill, may need further filtering from the receivers.  Their subjectivity and free arbiter do not seem to be as valuable as our offer of wisdom and friendship.

When we receive advice for which we acknowledge the value, our reaction in 98% of cases is “yes, but …”  And from that moment on we start knitting a wandering line of pretexts, excuses, hesitations, circumstances and obstacles that nobody else can understand.  We behave like the badgers which are equally happy and unhappy to be stuck in an underground, subjective and reclusive maze.

When I put on my coaching cap and I squeeze my mind, experience and empathy to deliver adequate messages the reply “yes, but …” has the temperature of a Swedish shower.  And that is exactly how I feel: soaked, disarmed and exhausted.  After such a rejection of my assistance it takes me quite some time to recharge my batteries of positive energy, hope and desire to help.  Because I interpret my or anybody else’s offer to help as a bouquet of flowers often left to wilt uselessly and inexplicably.

So this is how when we are either givers or takers of a superb and sincere exchange of goodwill the relationships still get rusty and the ego, defensiveness and isolation still continue to rule our lives.

I can almost hear your reaction to this conclusion “yes, but …”