We all like to fancy ourselves good at what we do. Feedback is nice, kudos are better and compensation is the bees knees. It just is. Well, I’ve done well enough in my craft to get all three a million times over. But despite the publications, client testimonials, and social media shout outs, I am not immune to some f-bombs and scathing comments about my advice and thoughts.
Here is a list of the worst reactions I have ever received, along with some commentary for skits and giggles. (And yes, I intentionally said skits)
- In response to an article I wrote suggesting that not every offense is forgivable: “You are essentially telling people to act like children, take their crayons and coloring books and go in a corner to sulk. This advice is juvenile”. My two cents: People’s threshold levels are different depending on the circumstance, the timing, the frequency and a host of other factors. To expect everyone to cater to societal expectations at the expense of their own values and feelings is unfair and judgmental.
- In response to a comment I made wherein I said “If you do not balance your head and your heart, you will forever fall for what feels right instead of what is right”: “In other words, love is a calculated algorithm that requires more thought and less feelings? Please. I can bet you’re single.” My two cents: Balance of the head and heart would, at a minimum, imply the same amount of thoughts and feelings. And yes, I was single at the time but I still give that same advice today.
- In response to an article I wrote suggesting that spouses should be 1 and children 1A: “I don’t know anyone that puts their spouse before their child, that’s just selfish. It should always be children first. Don’t expect me to be contacting you for any advice.” My two cents: This was an easy article to write because I believe in the idea that if two spouses put each other first, they will be healthy, equal and supported partners and as a result, the children will never feel less than anyways. But, despite my confidence in the article, I can absolutely see and respect parents that simply do not agree. This is a discussion that has more viable emotion than defendable logic.
- In response to telling a client that she should turn down her soon-to-be ex husbands request to change the geographic restrictions in their divorce agreement: “I don’t think I asked you and you don’t know his motivations. We may be divorcing but we don’t hate each other. We’re civil. Why do all lawyers and marriage counselors give me advice on the basis that I’m going to get screwed? F*ck!” My two cents: She did ask me, though I did not correct her in that regard. In terms of my thoughts, she is right about where lawyers, counselors and coaches can often go when discussing divorce agreements; to the worst case scenario. That is because when money, children and possessions are on the negotiating table, all bets are off . The kindness, civility and respect can exist in the same space as possessiveness, selfishness and preservation or the latter three can swallow the first three whole.
- In response to an article I wrote suggesting that the phrase ‘care too much and you’ll get hurt’ is harmful and promotes fake relationships: “This is crap. I’ve been hurt plenty of times when I cared more than my partner did. Where do you get this garbage from?” My two cents: I bet she has been hurt plenty of times when she cared more than her partner did and I am genuinely sorry for that. That does not mean that she was in the wrong. We should not worry about whether we care too much (or too little). We should be who we are and find someone who is compatible with our authentic self.