The other day, a casual friend approached me to have a “serious” conversation. I know her pretty well, but not that well. Yet, still, I know everything about her personal life while she knows virtually nothing about mine. I started feeling uncomfortable as I gave her advice. Who am I to tell her what to do here? Sure, I had my opinions, but why did they matter? I don’t know her – or the other person in the situation – so it seemed like a bad idea to give her real, honest advice. The whole thing weirded me out.
I went to turn around and tell my friend how weird the whole thing was. “Why is she telling me everything about her life? She barely knows me!” I would have said. But I held my tongue. My other friend is actually a very nice human being and I know from previous instances of me being a dick that she is the type to provide answers, possible reasons and even worse… solutions. Which isn’t something you want when you’re venting or complaining. You just want someone to agree that EVERYTHING IS WEIRD.
So I bit my tongue and thought about how much of a dick I am.
Maybe this girl and I don’t know each other very well, and maybe I certainly wouldn’t divulge all my personal issues to her – but it’s quite possible that she just needed someone to talk to. It’s also possible that she sees me as someone she could trust and who might even be able to give her good advice. And I do love giving advice. Helping people is my jam.
The other truth is that I’ve been young and in her situation before and made the mistake of telling too many people situations that I was going through in my life… real personal situations. But that’s how I learned to keep my trap shut – or as my roommate declared, “treasures locked up.” One day, I’m sure she’ll learn the same thing.
So, yeah, I’m still a dick.
I talked her through what she was going through. I helped where I could and gave advice with the disclaimer that I don’t know her well enough and anything I said was from my own personal experience so to take it all with a grain of salt. I would have helped her regardless, but I felt good about the fact that I didn’t basically roll my eyes while doing so while exclaiming, “This is so weird!” to everyone around me.
Yet here I am, writing a blog post about it. So essentially, I’m still doing it. But at least I’m pointing out how wrong I was and how backwards my thought process was, right?! It's something I do a lot. I think people are weird for doing things that I wouldn't necessarily do. I'm super introverted, so I think it's weird that people want to go to clubs and dance and meet other people! I mean, that's just an insane activity that insane people do. Right?
But my goal this year (and for the rest of my years) is to try to be less of a dick. I want to stop silently judging people or verbally judging people while I’m a tiny (lot) bit under the influence. I want to consider the answers, possible reasons… and even worse, solutions to why someone might be making certain decisions that I wouldn't make. On the other hand, I realize people won't be doing this for me - and my other goal is to accept that. People can't change who they are!
Unless they're horrible racist, sexist, bigoted assholes... and in that case, there is no consideration!