There is a particular malady going around these days. Let’s call it the “I hope you don’t mind me telling you so disease”. These are the people who feel it is their duty to comment on every aspect of every person’s life. When you think about it, there is a certain arrogance to this syndrome. No one asked them for their advice. Deep down inside they really believe that they could run your life and everyone else’s better; if only their sagely advice was followed.
The members of 12 step program are not immune from this disease. In fact quite a few of them suffer from it. There is actually a simple solution to this malady. Every time a “hope you don’t minder” is about to speak, they need to pause and think very carefully and answer the following question. “Did the person I am about to speak to ask me for my advice or counsel”? If the answer is no, then they need to remain silent. To take it to the next level, even when we are asked for advice, we need to answer a second question. “Am I knowledgeable enough in this area to give good advice”? Once again, if the answer is no, we need to restrain our tongue. Most likely we will gain more from our silence than the other person will gain from our advice.
Personal Reflection: Do I know when to keep my mouth shut?