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Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,

TEDCRED 30+

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Have you ever encountered a person who seeks your council, but does not even acknowledge your opinion?

This person asks for my advice, but they shoot down my opinion before they even hear me out. I feel they are extremely arrogant, but this individual is someone I look up to. I wish I could help, but I don't know how I can talk to them.

How have you dealt with these situations?

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Closing Statement from Dyed All Hues

To know everything for certain without any doubt is impossible, but to continue to do, be, or change is the only way to figure this out.

I shall continue to do so and hope for the best.

Thank you all for participating.

  • Ross G

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    Feb 16 2013: I've learned that unsolicited advice usually goes unheard, no matter how enlightened it is. This is because the person is not truly interested in your recommendations. I understand the advice you offered was solicited, but it fell on the same deaf-ears. This tells me that the person wasn't actually looking for advice. They were either looking for confirmation for their preconceived conclusions, or they were trying to solicit emotional support.

    Find a new person to look up to. Arrogance needs to feed. Such individuals only have enough room for 1 person in their life, everyone else is just the source of a meal.
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    Feb 16 2013: Under the guise of asking for advise people are often seeking a sounding board for their own narrative.
    Talking the problem out sometimes helps them see themselves better.
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    Feb 16 2013: Derek, By just reading the issue I thought you might be talking about TED. LOL.

    The thing we have to listen for uis ... is the person venting or seeking guidance. As a friend you can sometimes say something outloud to your friend that really do not involve him/her and is only to vent to a friend. Example: Do you think my son is ugly? Probally better to wait a second before entering this conversation. He may continue and say a guy said his kid had big ears. IF he did would you love him any less?

    So the answer I provide is ... the issue is listening.

    Your friend is hurting at some level. Do not take his actions while hurting personally. They are not directed toward you. When hurting we all lash out. We do it often to those who are closest to us like our spouse.

    Time is a great healer. Be there but do not push. He may never want to approach the subject again and bringing it up may ruin a friendship. A good friend is also a good listener.

    I wish you well. Bob.
  • Feb 16 2013: All the time....

    but ive learned how to deal with it

    you say, "hmm thats a tough one", and you listen ......... ask them what they think, feel, imagine, this is what shrinks have been doing for ages and getting paid a bomb for it.
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      Feb 16 2013: This is also what proficient teachers do with kids- ask them questions rather than tell them what to think. It's an effective parenting style as well.The whole idea in the case of young people is to promote intellectual independence rather than a reliance on authority.

      People construct their own ideas and beliefs and are better served by questions and following out their thinking than by top-down input.

      This approach is sometimes called Constructivism and in most k12 schools, I believe, has replaced "direct instruction," which is the top down pedagogy.
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    Feb 16 2013: Have you ever done something similar?
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    Feb 16 2013: It sounds like the person does not actually want your advice or help, Derek.

    I can think of a few scenarios.

    Some people ask someone's opinion because they want to know what opinions people have on the issue rather than because they mean to reconsider their own. It's kind of a research-about-what-people-think perspective. A questioner might then probe people's beliefs, which could feel like rebuttal, particularly if the person is not very sensitive in doing it.

    Some people ask others advice only because they are collecting affirmations of their own beliefs. They collect the views/evidence they want and ignore the rest or rebut without actually considering your view. This is confirmation bias, which is a bigger part of some people's thinking than of others. If you think the person could gain something he doesn't realize from your point of view, you might ask, 'Could you hear me out before you start your rebuttal?" It depends on your relationship with the person. If the person is so closed-minded that he just ignores you, I don't see much you can do.

    One situation with which I have experience but that doesn't sound like your situation is a situation in which someone needs to be able to SAY he consulting people about a decision, maybe even an expert, and so DOES ask, but without any intention actually to consider these solicited ideas. An example might be a public agency that has already made up its mind about what it is going to do but takes hours and hours and hours of testimony just to be able to say there was public, or expert input. This doesn't sound like the situation you are probing about.
  • Feb 18 2013: From my understanding (limited) it seems that most people only want to hear advice from those they admire themselves. 'Typically' we acknowledge and seek the opinions of those who we wish to emulate.

    I agree with Fritzie though, most definitely.

    Edit: I should add that "admirable" is definitely contingent on the intricacies/variables of the circumstance.
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    Feb 17 2013: Well, one question is how they "shoot down your opinion." Perhaps they quickly hear something they think is wrong in your opinion. If they are object to something you are saying, your job is to listen to their objection and evaluate it. If their objection is valid, you can acknowledge it; if you think it's mistaken you can tell them why. Even if they have come to you for advice, they still have a right to disagree with the advice you give, and perhaps they are right, you also have to be humble and be prepared to possibly learn that your advice is flawed.
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      Feb 26 2013: At the time, I did ask them for an explanation, but they retaliated and spit out insults instead of giving any valid reasons. I believe they were under a lot of pressure, but in reality the issue wasn't so serious. I suppose, my attitude and wording minimized the issue to irk their reaction. That might have been one of the problems, but they are unexpressive and aloof to analyzing old issues, though they have a habit of revisiting it in complaints and pity parties.
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        Feb 26 2013: Well, I guess Derek one of the most powerful tools we have is specificity. I suppose under that situation I would try to listen to the insults and take just one, maybe the first insult they throw, and try to reply to it really specifically. Like if they say "You're so stupid, you never understand," I might say, well, what is stupid about what I said, you said you have this problem, I proposed this solution, I thought it would help because it solves the problem in this way. That's kind of a calm, rational answer. If they say again, "You're so stupid," I'd say, "Well, again, I don't see the stupidity. What stupidity are you talking about? You said you have this problem, and my solution responded to it." Just keep trying to be specific and, if they have real goodwill, I would hope they'd try to calm down and talk/think about your solution.
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          Feb 27 2013: To be clear, the person I mention is no one on TED, but someone in my offline world. Thank you for the advice greg! I will apply it and see how it goes. =)
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    Feb 17 2013: I agree with most of the posts that support the need for listening. It is very very commendable that you would like to fix your friend but sometimes they have to walk the path to achieve understanding.

    The only thing I would add is that sometimes I seek out specific people to gain their opinions because they think so much differently than i do. I value that input even if I do not often take their ideas. It does round out possibilities I have not thought about and sometimes confirms that I am making the correct decision. Even if it is not the decision they would make.
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    Feb 16 2013: I think Robert has hit it on the head. They do not want your opinion but do want a secure sounding board to hear their own ideas. They may be looking for your reaction. I teach 6- 12 grade students and a lot of time they do not want my response just someone to listen to them. If this person is as arrogant as you imply they may have no one to listen to them and you get the privilege of listening.
  • Feb 16 2013: Sad to say it happens all the time. As a lawyer i have rarely had people who really listen. However, do we really want to listen to other peoples problems? They don't want to listen to ours.