If I’m upset about something, I try to figure out why. In my analysis, I seek a root cause to blame so I can ignore the symptom: my irritation. When I have a negative reaction to someone saying my name, is it because I resent the attention, distraction, or intimacy?
Recently, I have had a new negative emotion to evaluate. A few different friends have aggressively told me what and what not to do. They put me in the position of defending my choices, citing collaborating sources, pledging for them to respect my boundaries, and, ultimately, causing me to wish I hadn’t confided in them in the first place. I know their bulldogging comes from a genuine concern and love for me but it makes me regret my openness with them.
I wonder how many times I have forcefully insisted on pushing my advice on friends—probably far more than I’d like to admit. Life is difficult. It is easy to see what other people should do and difficult to see your own path clearly.