It's a thorny subject for me.
My childhood was less than stellar and I was The Crazy One of the family but, amazingly enough, no one ever acted like they thought I was stupid. My whole life I had adults telling me I was intelligent. They might have complained about my lack of motivation but they treated me like I was smart.
And then I moved into the world of romantic relationships. Specifically, romantic relationships with much older partners. Suddenly it was a miracle that I was even smart enough to remember to breathe. I used to think it was a guy thing but even my girlfriend treated me like I was incompetent and couldn't be trusted to make decisions more important than choosing what cereal I wanted for breakfast. My personal favorite was the Let Me Verify What You Said By Checking With Someone Else game.
Me: "The weather report said it's supposed to hit 65 today."
Them: "You were right. I ran into Random Person and they said the weather report said the same thing."
I couldn't even be trusted with something as simple as repeating a weather report. Silly, stupid girl.
I think. A lot. Generally several steps ahead. Very little of what I do can be considered random. My internal dialog contains some variation of 'If I do this then that will happen' pretty much all the time. Even something as simple as going to the bathroom has a process. Coffee cup, phone and ecig put up out of reach? If I forget and leave them down she could get into them. Door chained? I don't want her taking off. Oh, the door is chained and it's almost time for the teen to come home? Better wait a few minutes so he's not stuck unable to come in. I used to assume that everyone did this but was often frustrated by what seemed to be other people's illogical behavior. Why do this if you know that that will happen? And then act surprised by the consequences?
What does all of this have to do with advice? I know that most people offer advice out of a genuine desire to help but in my life it has often been used as a tool to insult my intelligence. The line between the two can get blurry, especially if I'm having a Bad Self Esteem day.
I don't usually bitch about a problem unless I've already run through the possible solutions in my head so an obvious suggestion always strikes me as a bit insulting. Just yesterday I was sputtering about my new chair being too high and had several people throughout the day suggest that I try lowering it.
I'm having a Bad Self Esteem week which is pretty much why I bothered to write about this in the first place. It feels like so much of what I say and do lately is drawing commentary that makes me feel worse and does nothing to help solve my problems. Most of them can't be solved but having it perpetually implied that it's because I'm not smart enough just compounds the issues.
All that being said, I do try to be careful with the way I dispense advice to others. I know some of the things I do are a bit outside the box and may not be obvious to others. Kid freaking out and being miserable? Try drawing a face on your belly or some other ridiculous thing you probably don't feel like doing because you're worn out from your kid being miserable but sometimes ridiculousness snaps them out of it and then you're both happy. I try to keep my advice limited to those things that were probably not included in the first 15 solutions you thought of yourself already.
So, um, yeah. That's my rant for this week. It was hard to pick just one cranky topic since I had so many to choose from this week. Besides, if I had written about any of the others, folks would have been inclined to give me advice on how to deal with them.