It happens now and again, I share stuff about issues I personally struggle with, and I get a response that I feel is patronising.
I’m sure they mean well. Seriously. It has happened not only with strangers but also with people I know and like. Always men though – so I’m wondering if it’s a gender thing, if it’s some kind of miscommunication between us.
The thing is, when I blog about stuff I’m personally struggling with, I’m not usually looking for advice. If I want advice about something, I will ask. And I will choose whom to ask.
And I find it disrespectful and patronising when someone offers me unsolicited advice, in a tone that implies: I have all the answers, just listen to me and you’ll be fine. Whether or not that’s how these guys mean it, the feeling I get is that I’m being treated as someone who obviously doesn’t know enough, hasn’t thought or researched enough, and needs this wise protective male to give her the benefit of his great knowledge and wisdom.
And I feel like screaming. Especially when it’s a total stranger – you don’t know me, you have no idea how much thought I’ve put into these things, what I have or haven’t learned or read or experienced, what methods I’ve tried – you don’t know where I’m coming from, so please don’t come over and tell me how to sort my life out. Go sort your own life out – or have you got it all sorted?
This is how it feels to me. I am absolutely certain that some of these guys don’t mean it like that. But you know what they say about good intentions…
Advice? no thanks, not unless I’ve asked for it.