Monday, 4 March 2013

Some words of wisdom about Words Of Wisdom

A little bit of wisdom just re-occurred to me, and to show I don’t spend my entire life moaning, I thought I would write it down.

(Well, actually, I didn’t think of it first – I read it a few years ago when I had a visitor who bought American chocolates – Dove Promises.  It had little mottos on the insides of the wrappers.  Wisdom and education from the joy that is chocolate.  Excellent.  And I just remembered how relevant this one was.)

Ok.  It’s this: You may, as you get older (by this I mean, anything over 12!), feel you have very wise and perceptive things to say in a situation.  Your greatest wisdom – is mostly learning to keep those comments to yourself.

Example: just before Troubadour’s stroke (a goodly long time ago), I was starting to hang out with the daughter of a neighbour, Alias Clarabel.  Precocious, writer girl, very intelligent; but overweight and killingly lonely.  Mature beyond her years and no one paying attention to her because no one was seeing beyond the packaging.  So she’s eager to display her perceptiveness etc – to impress, win friends.

When I call one day to say I won’t be coming over, as Troubadour has had the stroke (and I am allowing myself to sound upset, as you would allow yourself when speaking to someone you consider a friend, or near friend), she says: “Oh dear, that’s terrible.  And you won’t cope very well; you aren’t very good under pressure.”

Now.  There.  That comment.

That rather stunningly accurate, but cruelly unnecessary and badly timed comment is the main reason I completely dropped Clarabel and never ever called her again.  Or visited.  If I used to bump into her that was fine, but whenever I saw her, I used to be wondering what damning and perspicacious comment she would be thinking about me then.  Impossible situation!

The fact that I feel I DO cope badly under situations of extended and relentless pressure that go on for months and years (mostly emotional situations; less loaded ones I fare better with) is one thing.  And friends are, I would have thought, supposed to encourage and support you to cope better with your weaknesses, whilst also telling you you are judging yourself harshly, that you have good qualities that could also play into any situation were you to be able to draw on them.  (That’s what I try to say to my friends if in trouble.)

Stating something baldly like that…unhelpful.  And cruel, in this instance, the way she said it at the very time I was most worried about my ability to cope with a huge terrifying change.  After all, it wasn’t like I ASKED a question and should therefore have been willing and prepared to hear the answer, whatever it was…

That’s the best example I can think of as a very obvious demonstration that just because you have a perspicacious thought, and you may find it a good idea to come out with to show your clear thinking…well, why you shouldn’t.

On a lesser note, I have a friend, still a very good friend, who once said to me that she finds herself the parent in any friendship she has (including to me, when I asked!).  She sees all her friends as children.  Apart from the staggering arrogance of this statement (which still nobbles me some 15 years later; yes, Time Traveller – as I said the other day, I DO tend to remember stuff, to my detriment), I thought it was a bit sad.  Always seeing yourself as a parent, and never letting yourself be a child…there’s some fun being lost there, in the loftiness.  Children are vulnerable and make mistakes, and this leads to wisdom, proper wisdom: that of hard experience, not just or only thoughts and observations.[1]

So.  There you are.  Some wisdom, or perceptiveness, should be kept to yourself.  Unless asked for; and if asked, unless you feel like giving it.  Or unless you find a way to say what will clearly come across as negative, in a more positive way: throw the person a bone, not clonk them with a blunt shovel!!

Here endeth today’s lesson!

(PS - If anyone reading this knows me, and thinks - BLOODY HYPOCRITE, she does this herself all the time...Er....I hope I don't, but if I ever do, tell me!! Nicely!)

[1] BTW, in a related aside – I think its perfectly ok to say what you want about situations or people in your blog or facebook status, as I am doing here, provided you don’t name them.  If they recognize themselves and speak to you about why you didn’t speak to them directly etc, then a conversation can be had.  For my own part, I always have a reason if I don’t speak to someone directly.  Plus I would never name names on a blog or FB status about something I was talking about.  But if you are in a quandary, or sad/upset by something – I don’t see the harm in blogging about it, or FB’ing about it, as long as names are guarded, and you aren’t trying to get people to take sides an a quarrel, but seeking different perspectives on a situation.  Often, people unconcerned with a situation can come up with some simple and different ways of thinking about things that a person lost in circular worry might not have thought of.  Again, some unexpected – but ASKED FOR – wisdom!!  Wisdom abounds!  It’s just when to say what or not, that needs the thought…

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