We are a society of naysayers. We are likely to shoot down an idea, no matter how great it is, simply because the idea was not our own. Unfortunately, most of us have a strong attachment to being right, and two things can happen as a result. 1. You will say anything to be right. No matter how ignorant or stupid or degrading, as long as you are lording over someone in your rightness, you are satisfied. 2. One who may take strong offense when others do not accept their suggestions or their rightness, especially when compared to the accepted rightness of others. Both fortunately and unfortunately, individuals are individuals. They mostly likely will not always listen to each other, and if they do, they may listen to the right thing at the wrong time. Often times, many people fight so hard out of childhood to gain their autonomy, the thought of someone constantly directing them, as a parent would, is akin to forcible de-evolution, and they strongly resist. And this resistance may not always be cognitive or conscious. What one must determine, is whether or not someone is forcing their rightness onto you in order to control you or in order to be helpful, and validate themselves. This second variety is trickier; because with the first kind, if you don’t listen to them, they’ll get mad and then try to control you at a later date, but when it comes to the latter, if you don’t listen, they feel like less of a person and they feel under valued. The truth is, that person is valued, but often times, people want to navigate their own issues and feel their own validity. I think it is virtually impossible to validate one’s self and another individual all at the same time. Someone is going to feel slighted. Communication is the answer. (Isn’t it always?) You have to communicate with those that matter around you to navigate the pitfalls of rightness and the twists and turns of validation. You have to express that just because you to don’t dance like a puppet on a string, when you receive their suggestions, it doesn’t mean that you view them with any less value. People often have to learn and receive in layers. And truthfully, sometimes people are not mentally ready to receive information that might be helpful, especially if they are processing their own ideas. The best thing to do is recognize that you are processing your own ideas, and relay that to the one who is making the suggestion. And if you are the one offering a suggestion, receive that information, understand it, and give them the time they need to go through their mental processing. They may come to you needing your help, they may come to you to explain what they have come up with, or, maybe they won’t come to you at all. I think either way, it can be fine. It eliminates the sense that someone is trying to control you and cultivates the sense that they are extending potentially helpful advice.
Truthfully, when it comes to raining down your rightness on someone else, it is usually about wanting to feel important. Life makes you feel out of control and unimportant in so many ways on a daily basis; so it is understandable, sometimes, when people are unwavering and forcibly trying to assert their own importance on the necks of others.
What a dichotomy we are as a society. All the time, we are told to be an individual, question authority, rebel, revolt, go your own way. But when it comes to one-on-one interactions, people get riled when others don’t listen to and follow there every utterance. It gets hard to trust yourself, and when you turn yourself into a drone, floating on the whims of others, you are profoundly looked down upon.
It’s a social, personal and emotional tightrope we all must walk. I think openness and understanding may be the only way across.