Master of Silent Advice


Bad habit #319 - I offer unsolicited advice.

I know! It sucks--big time.

I'm working on it, but sometimes I just can't seem to help myself.
I write a freakin' advice blog for God sakes!

It's a very masculine trait, problem solving, one of the last remaining vestiges of working in a male dominated career and all those years of making it a priority to develop only the male side of my personality.

But enough of that, that's a huge generalization and an exercise in stereotyping. If I try to reverse engineer how I became this way...well...
...I'm the eldest of three, and the younger kids would often need my help with...stop it Janet!
Enough!

You see, if presented with a dilemma I will chew on that bone, sucking out the very marrow of it until I've come up with a plan.
Make that three plans.
Usually a Plan A which is the best, (of course), to Plan C which I recommend only as a last resort.

From driving directions in the car-- what to order at my favorite bistro--or how to dump the chump, if you seem...uncertain--I'm your girl.

But you see, that's the thing, I haven't paid enough attention or taken the time (a minute and a half), to distinguish what's going on with you.

Is that look on your face the I'm working this out, I've got this look? Or, are you lost in a fog of uncertainty only wishing I would open my mouth and help you out? (No one has ever gotten that far so we'll just have to imagine that one.)

Or this, right out of left field--maybe you're just making conversation!

It's a subtle difference (not really), and once I started to observe THE MASTER--I understood, and I decided to take a page out his play book.

My husband has developed a sort of super power.

It was acquired and has been honed after years of having his head bitten off.
Like an exasperated praying mantis after yet another beheading, he started to pay closer attention. He learned how to read me and slowly but surely he has become the Master of Silent Advice.

Now you may be wondering what the hell I'm talking about.

He has mastered the skill of silence. Not indifference, make no mistake--the two can be easily confused and he's lost his head a few times over that one too.

No, he's observed me closely when certain situations have presented themselves in the fifteen years we've been together and he listens; waiting for just the right moment, because honestly, whether I've got things covered or I'm lost in the fog--I look the same.

It's a nuance thing.

And here's key, the Golden Ticket so to speak:
He only extends me a hand or offers me advice-- (gasp) when I ask him.

What?
If you wait, someone will ask you?
What a concept, that is genius!

So if you're around me these days you may notice a strange look on my face as you tell me about your day. Oh God, don't mistake it for disinterest--I'm literally biting my tongue...listening.

Waiting for you to ask me what I think.

You're gonna ask soon--right?

Because I've got this.

Plan A is genius (if I do say so myself, humility is my next hurdle).

So ask me already!

Being aware you have a problem is the first step...right?