Things the Adult I Don’t Want to be Says
Not too long ago, Duffy was very upset with me. It’s a part of sibling-hood and is, unfortunately, easy to give little thought about. This time around, though, I couldn’t put my finger on what I did wrong until Momma called me to check in on
Like any other in-tune mother, she picked up the frustration in my voice and asked what was wrong. I explained the situation and told her I likely upset Duffy by offering unsolicited advice and personal experience. I should have understood it was a time I needed to be an ear rather than a Dear Abby advice column.
This leads into no. 1 of “Things the Adult I Don’t Want to be Says”.
Sharing unasked-for knowledge and encounters.
I always have something to say. It’s not always encouraging or uplifting, positive or enlightening, but it’s in my mind nonetheless. It gets stuffy in there, and that’s why I have a journal, Finn, and most importantly, pillows to muffle my screams.
I see this ongoing need in people to share. It’s the reason we need other people to listen. Most adults don’t seem to understand this. Does it appear as though younger people only approach adults in need of advice? Perhaps we just want a moment of their time to share something on our minds.
In my opinion, it’s like ruining a good compliment. Instead of extending a “thank you” and listening, it’s extending an “Aw, this old thing?” and throwing advice at our faces.
There is a time to listen and a time to offer wisdom.
“You’ll change your mind.” / “You might change your mind.”
Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. I don’t know that now, and I don’t need to. What am I suppose to do with the possibility I may change my mind? Change my mind then and there to save some time for my future self? But what if I change my mind again? Then I have wasted time changing my mind to spare myself from changing my mind!
It is the messiest thought process I have ever encountered.
Let’s just spare the confusion and say, “My honey bunches of oats, listen. You’re young, don’t set your mind entirely on this yet. You don’t know what the future holds.”
There is a second option, though, and that’s not to say anything at all. It is a result of No. 1, UNSOLICITED advice. Some people are dreamers and most young people will dream up multiple unrealistic fantasies for the sake of how suitable it feels at the time. Ideas and thoughts will fade, and new ones will grow.
If anything, telling someone they “will change their mind” is conditioning them to be like everyone else in the world. It is implying they will change their minds about doing something fabulous to settle for something less. In my experience, the people who say that are the people who have followed that advice.
Nobody wants to settle for that except the people who already have.
Hysterically correcting something you said.
If I say something incorrect or stupid, I want it to be acknowledged. Then I can observe the correction and make changes I see fit. I respect adults who humbly address mistakes on my part.
However, it is very difficult to respect adults who loudly ” right” my errors. Especially if they laugh and declare to the world how “illogical” my thought process is. Humiliation is not an effective teaching tool.
There is an exception, though – and that is when the adult is incorrect. It calms my boiling frustration because they’re shouting their own ignorance to whatever audience they’ve drawn. In my option, it makes them look insane, and it’s quite humorous.
I try to be generous, though, and offer pity instead. Any person who must echo someone’s mistake to the world must be insecure to some extent. Even more so an adult who must put down a child or teenager to do that.
All in all, I want to be an adult whom people of all ages can look to with appreciation. I desire to be realistic, but encouraging. Putting people down doesn’t make anyone truly feel better about themselves, not even the person putting others down.
I fancy a positive adult vibe.