Unsolicited Opinions (How to curb)?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Ted, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Oct 17, 2013

    Hello all,

    Odd request:

    I've made it a personal quest this year to NOT give my opinion unless it's specifically solicited.

    However, I'm having a heck of a time doing that. :lol:

    So my question is for those of you who are able to be good LISTENERS without feeling the need to "fix" situations. I truly admire you and I know some people "in real life" who are able to do that. I'm in awe since I tend to always want to be the one who "fixes" problems of my friends and family when really...they may just want to vent and need an ear to bend. :)

    Question: what advice can you offer? I start conversations with the best intention of just listening, but then I end up saying, "You know what you should do..." and then it pretty much snowballs from there. ;) Sometimes I actually offer helpful advice, and sometimes I don't (but again...good intentions).

    I want to just be a good listener (unless my advice is sought after).

    (I do realize on a forum, it's a bit different because... unless otherwise states, it's implied that when somebody starts a thread, they're looking for some advice. At least, that's been my experience. :) )

    So yes...in away, I'm SOLICITING your opinions on this. ;)

    Thank you!
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Oct 17, 2013

    Interesting. :)

    I think I'm decent at this. Pretty much I tell them their situation sucks. Of course there is conversation, but it really just boils down to me validing their feelings of frustration or disappointment.
     
  4. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Oct 17, 2013

    Thanks for chiming in, JustMe. :)

    Yes, I think I need to learn to just nod and offer sympathetic/empathetic sounds. They'll be genuine, of course...

    I'm learning to ask: "Would you like my opinion/advice?" But the problem with that is, they almost feel obligated to say, "Yes"...so I'm trying to work on not even going there. :)
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 17, 2013

    Instead of offering advice, you could practice active listening...listen and paraphrase what was said to you..."so, I'm understanding that....is that right?"... The person will feel that you really listened to what they had to say and you are helping them in effect by rephrasing, summarizing and stating what you've come to understand from what they've said.
     
  6. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Oct 17, 2013

    That's good advice, czacza...thank you. I'll try active listening. :)
     
  7. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 17, 2013

    If you post something on the here, you can rest assured that you WILL get lots of advice!
     
  8. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Oct 17, 2013

    I have that same tendency. I really do want to help, but I've learned that sometimes I just need to stay quiet. I will bite by tongue, literally. It makes me stop and think before I speak especially if I really want to jump in and solve the problem!
     
  9. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Oct 17, 2013

    :lol::whistle::lol:

    Ya think????
     
  10. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 17, 2013

    :lol: :dizzy: :spitwater:
     
  11. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Oct 17, 2013

    This drives me crazy. My VP does it - with the best of intentions, I know - but I feel so patronized.
     
  12. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Oct 18, 2013

    I tell my husband (who is this way) before I even begin: I am just needing to get this out of my head, I do not need you fix it for me.

    Could you try a: "would you like me to just listen or would you like me to try to help you problem solve?"

    Might be a better way to word it, but an idea.
     
  13. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Oct 18, 2013

    I like that idea, ku_alum, thanks! :) I could always say, "I'm happy to listen...and if at any time, you want me to chime in, just let me know and I can offer some advice." This way it's clear from the get-go, and they'll feel they have my support if needed, or just an ear, if wanted.
     
  14. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Oct 20, 2013

    You could try active listening, and then ask them what their plan is; sometimes that can help someone move past the venting and begin to think constructively.
     
  15. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Oct 20, 2013

    You're very right, Missy. I should do more of that. I've done it in the past and it's proven to be quite helpful.

    Thank you for the reminder. :)
     
  16. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Oct 20, 2013

    My hubby says "what I'm hearing you say is" then how do you want to move forward or what solution do we/you/I need to do to help you resolve it?
     
  17. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Thanks, Diznee! :)

    This whole thread reminds me of this funny video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4EDhdAHrOg
     
  18. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Oct 20, 2013

    The above advice is great! I would add that you can ask questions without giving advice - what would happen if you did x or giving advice that isn't leading - try making a pro/con list might work for you.
     
  19. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Oct 21, 2013

    Ted you also have to remember that men are wired/taught to fix things, make things better, remove the threat, some action that will make things right.
    Woman are wired/taught to be nurturers, aid, supporter. So it is hard for men to embrace the female side, woman some how can many times do both.
    I read it has to be how men and women process items you know the Mars-Venus thing.
    My very unscientific research has made me just to shut up and listen It took me a long time to but once I did life got a lot easier.
    “Not to be needed is a slow death for a man.”
    ― John Gray, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

    and that is why we like to "fix things" because through the ages have always felt needed as being the "MAN of the castle" so your need to give your opinion is only a man's desire to be needed.

    it all boils down to shut up and listen :dizzy::spitwater:
     
  20. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Oct 21, 2013

    I agree with you, Dave...to a point.

    But I know many women who are very willing to try to "fix things" as well...and offer their advice, whether it's wanted or not. ;)

    So according to your description...men are "wired" to "fix things" and women are "wired" to "aid"... isn't a WHOLE lot of difference, eh?

    I'm doing better lately... I just do a lot of nodding. And I rely on my theatre arts training to ACT like I'm interested when, in fact, I wonder what the next episode of Sons of Anarchy is going to be about. :) It's not that I care...but so that I don't want to "fix" the matter, I slightly "tune out". :)
     
  21. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Oct 24, 2013

    I think Dave is pretty close to right. Men are taught from the time they are boys to try and fix things. Women do tend to talk and connect through conversation. Think about it. Guys' talk often centers on armchair-quarterbacking various issues from sports to politics to sports to, well, almost everything. Women often feel the need to "vent" and get everything out. Sometimes it's a way for me to kind of sort out the mess verbally so I can find an attack strategy, and sometimes it's just a purging session.
     

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