Who is in the audience?

Do you ever write a blog post, even go as far as posting it to your site, and then decide someone may read it and get their feelings hurt so you take it down?

I just did that. I’ve been watching so many people around me unravel, and the post I wrote described some of the situations. Then I thought about who might be reading this blog. I have over 300 followers, but I have no idea who some of them are. They are just email addresses. So, I tucked that post into my private file, and may pull it out some time later.

The title of the post was “An audience of one,” meaning me. I’ve been watching so many people making such bad decisions, and yet as an audience of one, I cannot get anyone’s attention to change what they are doing. Writing about it was cathartic for me but not life-changing for those whose decisions bring them onto a stage fraught with bad outcomes.

Are you also watching people make bad decisions and yet unable to change them? How are you handling it? Maybe you can offer me some advice.

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15 responses to “Who is in the audience?

  1. Even at this late stage in life where all our mistakes should have been made and it’s smooth sailing to the end of the line, I’m still watching — here in the senior community, people making bad decisions. I’m also having to see family members now struggling because of decades of bad decisions. Through it all, if there’s one thing I’ve learned is no one wants to hear what I think have to say or feel about what I’m seeing. In the case of family, however, now that the time has come for them to deal with the mess they’ve made, they want me to accept responsibility for and take part in the clean-up. There’s that saying about, “Lay in the bed you’ve made”. It’s distressing to watch people make mistakes. It’s even more distressing to watch people have to deal with the mistakes they’ve made, but life is about choices — lessons to be learned and I’m beginning to see why I was dismissed and hurt and vilified when I offered advice in the past. It was because what I saw as a mistake was God’s plan. It was what the individual needed to experience and work through in order to grow. My interference by putting time and energy and money and emotional support into someone else’s life path, only for it all to have been a waste and harm to myself, was my growing lesson. I now observe, pray and let God be God.

    • Time, energy, money, and emotional support…you nailed it…for the play I am watching from the “front row.” I get sucked into so much bad decision making because the person wants me to help. I feel compelled to do what I can. It would be what I would want someone to do for me.

  2. Silver Willow

    It’s hard, for sure. The best I can offer is, ‘well, if it were me’, and end it with ‘well, that’s just how I’d handle it, if it were me. But that’s just me.’ People get easily offended, and few are likely to actually take advise. So often, we just have to let them make their mistakes, and hope they become learning opportunities for them. Damn us all being human!

  3. I just let people live their own lives and learn from their mistakes.

  4. Oh, and btw, I pretty much blog with very little filter. It’s my place to release. And you never know … if the individual heading for disaster happens to read that post, then well fine and good. It’s served a purpose. Even if the individual doesn’t like what was posted, they at least heard/read what they’d otherwise not be willing to accept from you.

  5. Wow. The question applies to my life right now. In fact, I guess I could say I have been dealing with that very issue for at least the last eight years. A therapist told me that I should refrain from giving my children unasked for advice, and I should tell them that they should apply that same rule when they spoke to me. I love that advice because so often I find myself wanting to give my children, and let’s face it, others in my circle of friend and family, advice. They don’t want it, and they dismiss what I have to say.

    I don’t want their advice either if I don’t ask for it. I have more than once said, “I don’t remember asking your advice/opinion on that matter.” I usually follow that sentence by saying, “I appreciate your concern, but I try not to give unsolicited advice, and I would appreciate you doing the same when you speak to me.” After all, we are adults whom are fully capable of asking for advice when we need it.

    Now, on the other hand, I believe that when one writes a blog post, there are ways of presenting the topic at hand so that it speaks to a person whom is really searching for advice. I love reading how others have solved problems when they present this information in a helpful way. If the post comes across as non-judgmental yet full of insight and self-reflection, I find that I learn lessons I can apply to my own life.

    I doubt we can ever write anything that won’t hurt someone’s feelings. I think we have to be sensitive, but kind and truthful.

    • You have good insight, Sally. I want to be more like you. I’m trying to be sensitive and kind and that’s why I try to give help when I can.

  6. I like Gigi’s idea, we can’t judge.

  7. I try not to give advice, but when I do I preface with “take what you like and leave the rest”.

  8. I have learned over these many years, that I have to let people make their own choices and decisions and live with the consequences, good or bad.
    I am only responsible for my own choices and when I get to Heaven, God isn’t going to ask me how Susie lived her life, but only how I lived mine. However, I do a lot of praying daily for my children and grand children!! 🙂

  9. That was a good thing to do, Delaine. I am surprised sometimes when someone takes a comment to be hurtful. But it’s always better to think of the feelings of others. 🙂

  10. I, too, have written posts that I’ve removed. Of course you have to remember that anyone who subscribes through email will receive that post when it is published. There’s a fine line between being honest and direct, and perhaps posting something that could hurt someone. In fact, being direct and honest often ruffles someone’s feathers. I’ve also gotten negative comments for writing about political stuff. That’s a very touchy subject these days. Whew!

    A dear friend called me for advice a few days ago. I gently offered my opinion, and then I backed off because I realized she had already made her decision before she called me, and she only wanted to bounce it off of someone who would not judge. So I did that. My experience is that we cannot make decisions for others. Unfortunately, most good judgement is acquired by making bad judgements. It’s a shame, but life experience is the best teacher.

  11. I think I have only removed or altered one post. It really matters to me that I not hurt a person’s feelings. I have two daughters that I would love to give advice. They don’t want my words, and I do want them in my life. I stay out of their ways, and I rejoice when they invite me to an Occasion or two.

  12. Interesting post. The longer I live the more I realize that I am exactly as you describe. A member of the audience. The cast will continue to perform their own script and nothing I do or say will change that. Ever
    We have to grant them what we’ve been given, to live our lives and gain experiences, poor though they may be, in order to learn and grow.
    My 2 pennies worth.

    XO
    WWW

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