Thursday, June 11, 2015

People Answer What They Want to Answer

 Recently I noticed a couple of people posted regarding certain specific things that were going on in their life. 

In one case someone dealing with cancer had asked about specific things a person should do to prepare legally, in case of their death. It really is something that everyone should think about, actually, not just someone dealing with cancer. After all, we all do die. And none of us really knows when it is going to happen.

The other case wasn't cancer related. But the other person was dealing with some significant issues and was looking for some guidance about what to do. 

In the first case the person was told by several to think positively and think that she would make it through cancer. In the second case, the person was told, "this, too, shall pass."

Neither one of those answers fit the original post. Perhaps the person receiving the comments was ok with them. However, without knowing for certain, I suspect they would have appreciated an answer to their question more.

In an effort to be helpful, and with the need to often feel a need to "fix" things, it would seem people will hear what they want to hear. If they don't like the question, they will answer a different one. If they can't answer the question, they'll make up one they can. 

I think it happens so much that most do not even realize they are doing it. Many times even questions not asked are answered by those wanting to be helpful - or have a need to provide their unsolicited input.

I share this because I would like to give you something to think about. I am thinking about it. I am sure I am not guilt-free in this regard, but I would like to think I am much less likely to do this kind of thing any more.

It sucks when someone is hurting, or might have a dilemma we can't help with, but we are often only trying to make ourselves feel better when we aren't truly hearing the other person, or listening to what they need. And, even worse, giving them what we think think they need instead of what they have asked for.

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