I have this thing about giving advice/opinions. I can't help it. Once I open my mouth to make one comment the floodgate is released. My brain might explode from the sheer effort of not commenting on everything and anything. I have been silently reading blogs for the past year making no comments but here recently I have not been able to sit idly by and not say something. Once one comment was made many others followed.
I have a similar problem in real life. I rely a lot on word of mouth in selecting everything from doctors to toothpaste. So, in turn I have a tendency to blurt out my opinions unsolicted on unsuspecting souls. I do it with the best of intentions. I want to help people and make friends based on common ground. I want people to know if I had a good or bad experience with a particular store, product, service or person.
I have discovered two things about advice. One is that it should be requested not dumped on someone. Two, when taking advice, take into account who is giving the advice. Things that work great for me may not work for someone with a completely different personality.
I attended a short seminar the other day on working with different cultures. The teacher made us break up in groups of 5 and tell everyone our name, where we worked, and one embarrassing thing about ourselves. This was a good way to break the ice because once someone knows your OCD issues with checking to make sure the curling iron is turned off for the 18th time before you leave the house (not that I would know *ahem*) they realize you are just a person too.
I'm not sure where I am going with this but it has just made me think about how we all have things in common but because we never break the ice we never know. I am going to work on finding common ground with people in other ways than giving advice. I find that tends to put people off in a "she's such a know it all" kind of way.