Naysayers and Distributors of Mundane Advice | Mark’s Remarks - Republic-Times | News

Naysayers and Distributors of Mundane Advice | Mark’s Remarks

By on February 20, 2019 at 10:15 am

I’m telling you, there’s one in every crowd: someone who has to rain on your parade. Some folks don’t even know they are doing it. The older I get, the more entertaining I find such folks.

First, you have the person who wants everything done his/her way, so there is a lot of “poo-pooing” of every little thing. 

I was at a recent function that had never been held before. Everything was brand new and the folks who put it together were doing the best they could.  A lady who had been involved in the planning sat there and complained about almost everything that was going on. 

She often started each complaint with “What they should have done” or “I don’t know why they are doing it that way.” This was a nice person, and the function was being held to help others. 

I could only surmise that there had been a lot of work put into the planning and everyone was worn out and crabby. Heck, I can relate to that totally. After planning any type of big shebang, I don’t want to be around the folks I planned it with. 

It’s tough.

Then you have those who can’t let you be content or happy. You talk about something you are doing or something you are excited about only to be met with a “downer” comment or negative aside. 

You hear that trumpet sound: waa-waaa-waaaaa.  

I heard a young lady and her mother talking the other day, and it was almost comical the way the young lady was trying to be upbeat and excited about everything yet the mother was there to interject as much negative as she could.  Eventually, the young lady stopped talking.  

Ever been there? I sometimes wonder if I do that as a parent, especially when my teenage kids don’t talk to me much. 

Parents: Don’t shoot down your kids when they tell you something! They will stop telling you things, eventually.

Then you have needy folks. The folks who want to be needed. This is a legitimate feeling: we all want to be needed. But I’ve watched people turn that into a negative.  

Those of us who want to feel needed and those of us who want to contribute find ourselves stating the obvious. We tell people how to do things all the time, often insulting them in a way.  

“I’m not trying to tell you what to do, but…”  

There’s always someone who wants to tell you how to do something, even if you already know how or it’s a fairly obvious task.  I’m all about listening and finding easier and new ways to do things, but I am not sure I’ll ever feel the need to tell others what to do all the time.  

I’ll get back to you in a few years. 

I would imagine that getting into my fifth decade has caused me to be a little more sensitive to this stuff. I’ve already experienced what it feels like to be thought of as a wise old-sage.

“You’ve done this a while, what do you think?”  

It’s nice to know you’ve been around long enough for people to seek your advice and look up to you a little. Perhaps that’s a little conceited of me. 

Much of the time, when you achieve status as someone who knows what they are doing, people don’t ask you things much – unless they really want an answer. 

So, I guess I can see why older folks often tick younger ones off by giving them mundane and obvious advice. 

Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.