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  1. #1
    BobL is offline Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    Default Giving advice on the forums

    This post has a bit of a subtle circular argument about it but I will try to keep it as non-circular as possible.

    I've read somewhere that blokes telling other blokes how to do something provides almost as much jollies as food and sex and is probably explains the behaviour of some pollies.
    If so, then perhaps the same applies in these forums.

    However, I think there is a subtle but important difference between telling someone "your should do this" , versus, "this is how I would do it" , or "this is how I did it".

    Apart from often sounding like a "pompous git" , repeated direct "telling" often implies (perhaps unwarranted levels of) expertise, and absolute or complete background knowledge of the OPs question/problem and possible solutions, which is rarely the case when the OP provides limited or maybe even incorrect background info.

    The "how I did it" approach implies, perhaps with greater validity, the respondents expertise, and background knowledge of their problem and their solution.

    Another difference might be legal liability. Telling someone directly how to do something I suspect has greater liability than if someone just describes their solution to their problem.

    Now I'm at times guilty on this issue but I think it might be worth considering in our responses. There it is, the circular argument where I'm "telling" (I hope it's more "suggesting") everyone how to do something.

    One of the ways I've discovered to reduce direct "telling" is to remove as much as possible the word "you" from my posts. Instead of saying eg "you should do this and this", I have started to try and write, "in my case I did this and this", or "consider/suggest doing this and this". It sounds way less pompous and puts things in a better perspective. I also think it might also lead to a few less unwarranted arguments, and although I believe we are in general a relatively well mannered forum might create less work for the mods.

    I'd be interested to hear about other approaches members have to providing meaningful helpful advice.

  2. #2
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    Sometimes the "you" is particularly warranted and if you have asked for advice for some thing you have done wrong, then, there is no call to be offended
    in saying that it is also relevant that in many cases there is more than one way to skin a cat.

  3. #3
    BobL is offline Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    Quote Originally Posted by China View Post
    Sometimes the "you" is particularly warranted and if you have asked for advice for some thing you have done wrong, then, there is no call to be offended
    in saying that it is also relevant that in many cases there is more than one way to skin a cat.
    Sure sometimes there is no better word.

  4. #4
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    Passing on knowledge I have always found to be a case of "if one is interested it is forth coming" I have learnt much from many even just by listening. Sometimes these lessons are more of what not to do.

  5. #5
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    in my case I dont listen to you lot anyways..i do it my way...and when that dont work I follow your way as best I can

  6. #6
    BobL is offline Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    Sorry for going a bit hi-brow here . . . . . but during the past week I've been listening to an Audio Book on psychology called "The courage to be disliked". It's about Adlerian (as opposed to Freudian or Jungian) psychology. Adler was a contemporary of the other two blokes but sort of faded into obscurity probably because he applied his own psychology of not shouting down the other person and not worrying about being liked or disliked. Some of his ideas have recently been resurrected because they are useful in counselling and in helping people with various mental health issues.

    It's a fairly challenging book as it takes up many counterintuitive positions but it does have some very interesting implications for social media and these forums.

    One of the easiest to understand and perhaps interesting aspect of Adlerian Psychology is the impact of attention seeking behaviour on happiness.

    People who constantly seek attention or approval (eg taking potential outrageous, absolute or contrary positions or constant sycophantic agreement with others) may appear self assured but actually have a deep seated insecurity, and he contends they will never be happy until they cease seeking attention. So if someone is constantly acting like this on these forums you can maybe rest assured that he/she is not doing too well on the happy-chappy scale.

    Adler also suggests that while helping others is very important and worthwhile, for the person helping, to gain maximum happiness from this action it has to be done without any requirement for recognition. In some cases maximum happiness will be obtained when help is provided anonymously. This is hard to do on the forum but explains why super rich people, even those who give away considerable amounts of their money may not feel as happy as an average wage earner who donates anonymously to say the recent bushfire appeal. I think we do pretty well on this score on these forums.

    I admit I listened to this audio book because I ran out of audio books that offered a modicum of interest. I didn't agree with everything in the book but it certainly made me think and helped explain the behaviour of many people I know.

  7. #7
    Boringgeoff is offline Try not to be late, but never be early.
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    At one time I was track manager of our speedway track in the Pilbara. We raced on Saturday night and track prep' started late Friday afternoon with the water truck drenching the track and then gentle watering all day Saturday. My job was to round up club members to drive the water truck. If someone was unable to help they'd say something like "sorry, but I've got to take my wife/kid/granny to...." or some such excuse. I soon found myself getting impatient with these responses and just wanted a straight yes or no and spare me the reasons why not.
    I took this on board and started trying to give a straight "sorry no" to a request if I was unable to help but what I then noticed was the person asking for my help appeared taken aback by my blunt response. I came to the conclusion that the reason people give an excuse for not being able to help is to soften the blow.
    A friend of mine (yes, I've got a couple actually) thinks the reason for excusing themselves in this situation is to convince themselves that their reason for their inability to help is legitimate.
    Some contributors to these forums use emojis after they make a statement, to ensure the reader understands the vein in which the advice / comment was made.
    I don't like using emojis because I feel that the English language is comprehensive enough to allow a writer to convey their exact meaning with words alone.
    I'm a very slow typist and usually think long and hard before commenting on a forum, but of course we'll always get those with quick fingers who occasionally react adversely to a statement which is where a strategically placed emoji can soften the blow.
    Cheers,
    Geoff.

  8. #8
    BobL is offline Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    I'm in two (or is it 3 or 4) minds about emojis.

    They say a picture equals a thousand words but I reckon that does not work in all cases.

    Usually because of my Science training I prefer to write (some might say too much) what I'm thinking, but OTOH, maybe it's because of my Italian ancestry, visual expressions of meaning like hands and facial expressions can come into play.

    Extending that to Aussie/english expressions, then "OK" = is fair enough in my book. Actually I thing that is a bit stronger than OK, more like "Bonza" or "Bewdy"

    My family use emojis a lot in their SMS so I felt like I had to "get with the program"
    At times one of my sisters seems to use more emojis than text in her messages - but I can never find the ones I want.
    Eventually I made up a personalised set that are suppose to look like me.
    Me.jpg

  9. #9
    Boringgeoff is offline Try not to be late, but never be early.
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    By cripes Bob that does look like you!

    Geoff.

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