I learned something new about myself today. Which is pretty cool.
I posted something on Twitter and Google+ this morning. (Note to self: write a blog post about Google+.) I was just venting about being especially sleepy this morning, but on Google+, I suddenly found a lot of comments with suggestions of how I could pep myself up. My friend Brendan then asked a pretty simple question that I had honestly never really considered before: “When you share your problems on the internet, are you seeking sympathy or solutions?”
I thought about it and realized that when I’m looking for advice and solutions to problems, I generally state that pretty clearly. “I need some help here!” “I’ve got a question…” Things like that. When I don’t say something specifically about wanting advice, I’m really just looking for sympathy. And, to be honest, attention. (But doesn’t everyone who posts on the internet want some attention?)
The line “If I want your advice, I’ll ask for it”? Yeah, that’s pretty much how it is with me. Most of the time, I’m not looking for–or even really wanting–advice, solutions, answers. I want a pat on the shoulder and a hug (virtual or physical), a kind word, even a “You think you’ve got it bad? Wait ’til you hear what I’m going through!” But to be blunt, if I don’t specifically ask for advice, I’m not really going to be open to it. In all likelihood, I’m going to ignore it or (if I’m not feeling particularly patient) lash out at it.
So if you see me post something that amounts to “oh woe is me!” and I’m not directly asking for advice, answers, solutions, help…it’s probably for the best if you just offer me your sympathy. Or ignore me. (Not every cry for attention needs to be answered, AMIRITE?) And I’ll do my best to be clear about what my intentions and expectations are. Open, honest communication is always the best way.
Now piss off and go do something for you.