Wednesday, January 14, 2009

learning from other's life experiences or just being hard-headed and doing it my own way

I was talking with a friend yesterday. A younger friend whom I'd rather not name since I don't know if she reads my blog or not and this is just for the sake of example anyway. We were talking about something that I've had experience with in the past (since I'm several years older than her) and I wanted to give her advice but since it was unsolicited, I refrained.

It just made me think about when I was in her shoes. I heard the same advice that I wanted to give to her from older people many, many times when I was at that place in life. I hated hearing it. I just hated it because at the time I kept thinking, "But that is so HARD. I can do it my way and I'll be fine." Of course, once I got through it and came out on the other side I realized that the experienced people were always right. They knew better. It would have been better to do it their way. At least it would have been easier.

But I remember what it was like to feel that feeling of, "They've got to be wrong. It is so much easier to just do it my way." Or, "It'll be different for me. It was only like that for them because ___________." That makes it hard because they're not open to hearing anymore of the same old advice they're getting from everyone and it also makes it hard to give because you know they don't want to hear it. Unfortunately, having been there you also know how it is and you know that you are right.

So today I am wondering: What is it that I'm doing now that the older people are looking at me, smiling and thinking, "Boy! She'll soon learn. One day she'll see!"? I would like to have a better ear to hear and more determination to listen to the words of the wise and learn from their experiences. What can help me do this?

Or should I not worry about it and just stay hard-headed? It easier to just be stubborn and think my way is best. :)

1 comment:

Emily said...

I have a coworker who is so stubborn. He's a few years younger than me, and, in my opinion, very naive. I have tried to forewarn him on things I've seen him do, but he never listens, so I quit giving advice.

For instance, buying a brand new sports car after getting married, buying a house (that 1.5 years later they're having to get out of b/c its way too expensive), and graduating college...all because he didn't want to replace the couple hundred dollar clutch. He'd rather not spend money on an old(er) car. He had >70,000 miles on his Honda Civic. So now he has this really expensive sports car, a house he can't afford, and what??? A BRAND NEW BABY. He's struggling really bad, but no matter how many times I cautioned him, he wouldn't listen. I even cautioned him on buying a 4 bedroom house right out of college and just proposing to his now wife. Now he's selling a used house in a bad economy in a neighborhood they're still selling brand new houses in (for cheaper than he's selling his used house for).

All of that to say, sometimes, even though its hard, you have to bite your tongue and let people learn the hard way. I had people caution me, but sometimes, it took me putting my hand in the flame to realize that the fire was hot.

I know your/our intentions are genuine, but sadly, some fail to realize that when we're telling them.

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