I am annoying!
This was not the epiphany I had while at the dentist: I've had the nagging suspicion that I was annoying for a very long time. I just didn't know in what way I was annoying because people are way too polite to point it out. But now I know.
The epiphany came while reading the July issue of Oprah Magazine. I had one of the most wonderful Aha! moment reading an article by Diana Spechler titled The Helping Tic: The Cure for a Compulsive Helper. You can read it here, then come back here and lets discuss!
Okay? Read it? Do you identify? I felt so utterly pathetic after reading the article. The author was describing me! I am the Princess, the Queen, no: the Empress of unsolicited advice. I have little clue as to how to fix my own life but give me twenty minutes and I will fix yours. I'm that good. I don't think I do it for the the thank yous and undying gratitude. I do it because I can't help it. I do it because it's a tic.
I am not only that woman who runs after you stranger to save you from that bit of spinach in your tooth, the hole in your pants or the bit of toilet paper stuck to your heel. That would only be moderately annoying.
I am also the mother who micromanages every one of my kids' experiences, explains them to them in advance and serve them all pre-emotionally digested so that they are prepared.
I am, unfortunately, the friend who cannot bear to simply listen but has to offer not support but Advice, marital advice, business advice (since when did I become an expert in either?) a friend who will not shut up with all her Great Ideas that will basically save your life whether you want it or not.
I am the wife who does everything for her husband, anticipates his needs, puts my expert nose everywhere, then resents it when he lets himself float on the inflatable boat of my frightening efficiency.
This is not a calling. This is a tic indeed, plain and simple. An urge, an impulse I need to squash. People don't want my unsolicited help and advices anymore than I want theirs. They want to live their life as they please, as I do mine. As I read the Oprah Magazine article my eyes widened in horror. Oh my god I don't want to be this annoying person anymore! This person sucks and I want her to pack her advices, zip it, and go away.
Thank you Oprah (notice the irony, I found this article in the magazine of a woman who makes a pretty good living being a compulsive helper, hehe) and thank you Diana Spechler: this was helpful and an eye opener. Anything I can do to help you in return would... be... ahem, never mind.