There is nothing worse than being convinced that you have a solution to someone else’s problem and yet being incapable of convincing that person to try it your way. Is it arrogant to feel like that? Not if that same thing has worked for you! Surely not.
You’ll have to forgive me. Only recently has it dawned on me that when I serve up a piping hot plate of unsolicited advice, I sound exactly like the type of person whom I despise the most: an evangelical Christian. How dare anyone force their beliefs down the throats of others? The nerve.
But I hate standing by while people suffer when they might not have to. It makes me feel helpless. No. That’s not true. I have plenty of help. Oodles of help to give. For free. So maybe I feel “not helpful”. No, that’s wrong, too, because I’m chock full o’ help, if only people would avail themselves of said help. Step right up, folks! I have the solutions for all your biggest problems!
Maybe that’s why I blog. I can throw these “one size fits most” solutions out into cyberspace in the hopes that someone, somewhere, will pick one up, put it on, and be all the better for it. You’re welcome. Even if you didn’t ask.
The reason I get so frustrated in these instances is that I care. I care deeply. So when someone ignores my ham-handed advice, or, even worse, has a hostile reaction thereto, I become confused.
Can’t that person see I’m trying to save them? Can’t they tell that the advice is coming from a good place, from someone who means well? Why not?
The resulting befuddlement is pretty much my default state. At age 57, it’s about time that I seriously entertain the idea that everyone, including me, might be much better off if I shut my pie hole and minded my own beeswax. And that tells you everything you need to know about what it must be like to be loved by me.
Run. While you still can. My inability to live and let live can be a whole new problem that no one else should have to contend with.
I wrote an actual book, and you can own it! How cool is that? http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5
5 thoughts on “On Being a Frustrated Secular Evangelical”
I’ve learned that unless someone directly asks me for an opinion or solution, what they really need most, is an empathic ear or sounding board to reflect back or clarify what the real problem is and to know that you’re there, for them, as they work out their own solutions that they can live with. You need patience and trust, of them and yourself, to do this. This is why a good therapist is so expensive. What my instincts are telling me to say is, I’ve been there, both sides, and they’re hard places to be, so…I’m here to listen (no judgments) as you make your way through this your way. I’m not running anywhere. You’re not alone.
Thanks lyn, I’m definitely work in progress
Comment section is glitchy or censoring innocent/non-threatening content. First it said comment can’t be posted. No explanation. Tried again and it said it needed to be moderated but I didn’t have any offensive language/ideas, links or attachments (just text) and it cut off the top paragraph. I hope they allow it and it still makes sense without the first paragraph or that paragraph is magically restored. Frustrating after taking so much effort and time to compose something I’d hoped would help because you have me worried.
Sorry about that. I had to switch to moderate all comments because I was getting a lot of p*** spam.
been there – had that happen to me – gave the best advice I could – got met with – How dare you?