Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Please Do not Tell Me What To Do! - A Dose of Encouragement 69

Throughout his career my husband has travelled a lot all over the world but I have very seldom travelled with him.

Most people who know that he travels will at some time or another ask me why I don't go with him or presume I have gone several times or they tell me I should go.

Over and over I find myself explaining that I do not like spending so much time alone in strange places because not only will I be on my own during the day while he is working but also there are evening work dinners and other meetings out of the "normal" hours for discussion or report writing etc.

Most people then proceed to advise me or tell me what I should do when I go with him; how I should go shopping in these different places or how I should go about finding out the best places to go sightseeing.  Some will even find out things for me and tell me where to go and later expect me to have done this.  Leaving me feeling as if I need to make excuses when I don't go.

Firstly, shopping is ok for a day for me but not for days on end but also I find that most places now have the same shops in similar shopping centres wherever you travel to.  If I can find somewhere with unique little shops then I will enjoy browsing round for a short time but I am not a great shopper, or one who delights in spending extortionate amounts of money on anything.

Secondly, I am not fond of going sightseeing on my own so it would have to be something spectacular or something that was of great interest to me to make me do that and even then I would prefer to share that experience with Fred or someone else.  Making memories are much nicer when they include others.

If you have read my previous post on Top 10 Things that make a Good Hotel Room then you will know that last month I did travel with Fred for a couple of reasons and during those two trips we stayed in 6 hotels - the problem was we were only away for 8 nights.

Checking out of a hotel by 11am or noon practically every day of your trip gets to be rather annoying not just boring and people who have not experienced these types of trips just do not understand how I feel.
Photo credit:  Pixabay

But then there are many, many things that other people have experienced that I never have and so I will not understand how they feel in those circumstances.  I have to accept that and not presume to offer them advice or tell them what they should do in those cases because I don't have the right knowledge or understanding of their feelings.

There are also times when people want to give me advice or detailed information on things that because they are interested in they assume I will be too.

If you have read this far then I am sure that you are nodding in agreement because you have experienced similar "well intentioned" advice and can understand how it feels.

Having experienced this all of my life perhaps partly because I may be described as an introvert and then people believe I need their help; I have learnt from my feelings so that I hope I do not do the same thing to others.

How should we treat others?

In Love, before we even open our mouths to say anything we should pray about it and make sure we know enough about the person to know that what we say will be edifying, helpful and relevant to them.

In Love, accepting that none of us are perfect but that each deserves from the other the respect and care that God shows to us.

This is not always easy because our normal attitudes are to completely think of ourselves and hence see each situation as to how it affects us.

But everything involving more than one person will ultimately affect more than one person.

Each conversation will affect both people in that conversation.

And we can be the one to make the difference in that conversation.

Everything involving more than one person will ultimately affect more than one person.

The two verses quoted above are commands.

If God has told us to do this then we should do it and it must be possible to do this, even through all the events of our everyday lives because God does not expect us to do things in our own strength.
 He wants us to rely on His.

If this then is possible we have the opportunity to see people as God sees them and to treat them as God would treat them.


  1. Hi! I'm stopping by from Coffee for your heart today. I agree with what you wrote, especially about love. I think we are often quick to advise so we can feel part of something or like we are validated. Sometimes love comes in the way we share information and sometimes it comes in the way we receive it. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  2. Hi! I stopped by from the Women with Intention Link up and I'm glad I did. I understand your feelings. I get frustrated when people try to change me, as if my point of view isn't valid. It's no way to treat someone!

  3. This is why I believe that when someone is troubled, the first and best way to help them and make them feel better is to listen to what they have to say. Not to give them a piece of advice especially when we haven't gone through what they're going through. :)

    Blessings, Sandra!

  4. Yes, we all have our own path and you are following yours ~ People mean well.

    Happy Weekend coming to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  5. I like what you said about conversations. We can always be the ones to make a difference in a conversation with another person. We can only control ourselves, after all. Stopping by from #livefreeThursday.

  6. This post reminds me of the Hawk Nelson song Words.

    "Let my words be life
    Let my words be truth
    I don't wanna say a word
    Unless it points the world back to You"

    I know I need to be so careful to make sure my words are building up and encouraging, and that they are not just a clanging cymbal. I hope you have a lovely day!

  7. People do seem to like to get advice right away...when you don't even ask for it. Example: I made a silly post today on my personal FB about how I have a dream of one day owning a laminator and label maker. Instead of taking it as the silly "I'm a boring grown-up" post it was meant to be, a bunch of people were telling how to afford one, where to buy it, ask for it as a gift, etc. I was not asking for advice at all. Obviously that is minor compared to what you deal with but it just shows that people, for whatever reason, just have to offer advice, no matter the situation. I try to remember how annoying that is and give support without advice...but it can be hard sometimes.

    (visiting from the Shine blog hop)

  8. Preach it, sister! I absolutely despise those moments when other people tell me what to do when they really have no idea what my heart is feeling (or what God is prompting me to do.) I am a recovering people pleaser, so I hate to disappoint others-- which sometimes would cause issues because I feel like I need to make excuses. Fortunately, my hubs always reminds me that it isn't other peoples opinion that matters- only Gods. And I don't think God would tell me to spend an 8 day trip in 6 different hotels either ;-)

  9. I recently heard that the words silent and listen have the same letters. I didn't know that. But pretty cool huh? This ties right in with what you are talking about. We need to shut up and really listen to people. Focus on them on not ourselves.

  10. Even though people usually mean well, they often aren't listening... and that;s what we really need.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely week.

  11. Visiting from the Inspire Me Monday linkup. There is just something wonderful about sleeping in our own beds and being in our own houses.

  12. You should really go bird watching ;)..ok, I'm absolutely joking. I, too, share a dislike of people telling me what I should do (even if it is good advice some times), and I got years' worth of advice on what to do when my husband had cancer. I'm trying to eradicate the word 'should' from my conversations with other people--because that makes the conversation about me and not about the other person.

  13. Those hotel rooms tend to all look alike as well as the shopping malls. I can understand you not wanting to travel with your husband when he is on a business trip. Those who try to suggest what you should do are thinking how they would enjoy a trip somewhere. They meant no harm, but being told what to do can be discomforting. The only one I really want to listen to is when the Holy spirit is telling me to do something. I ask, "Are you sure?" Yes it would be best he will tell me. So dear Sandra, may you enjoy your time alone at home when your hubby is away. Thanks for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

  14. We are who we are and we should make our own choices! Thank you for sharing this at the #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup!

  15. I completely understand what you are saying and appreciate that you shared your thoughts and feelings. I have pinned your story to my Pinterest.

  16. Good thoughts here! It's so easy for us all to presume we know the inner workings of someone's mind, heart, or even their body (thinking lack of sleep if you're constantly checking out of hotels, etc). It's so important to remember that God works in each of us in individual ways. Thank you for sharing with us at Grace & Truth!

  17. Listening...that is the first thing to do. Be a shoulder or a sounding board. It's like sometimes I just need someone to listen and maybe even just understand me rather than try to fix me or the situation. We can show God's love by being there first and foremost. The rest will be as God says...

  18. Very good thoughts. I am sure that I am guilty of this as well, and I know that at the same time, sometimes it annoys me when people do it. I think that I probably do it unconsciously, as if it is part of the conversation.

  19. When did people get so self-righteous and bossy? I'm with you. If I can't enjoy these fabulous places with my husband or loved ones, why go alone? I would be weary too, unless maybe it's Hawaii or a beach I can lounge at all day long. Gimme a book, a beach chair and I'd be happy. :) Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup. Pinning to our linkup board and hope you found some great posts to visit this week!

  20. To be alone in an unknown place is not fun at all! Shopping just to pass the time, would not be my favorite thing either:) Enjoy your time, where you want to be and the way you like it!

  21. I think everybody should decide what is the best for her or him ! I am just the opposite of you, I like to travel and it wouldn't bother me at all to be alone the whole day ! I find always interesting things to see but certainly no shopping !

  22. Great heartfelt post. I am sorry for the hurt you must have felt when friends were inconsiderate. I have had many opportunities to travel with my husband and have enjoyed them. Mostly because his company was very accommodating to spouses and provided activities for wives as well as family. It was actually a Blessed time for our entire family allowing us to see alot of the U.S. that we would not otherwise been able to. But, I can understand how everyone doesn't have these perks and that should be considered too. Your right it is hurtful for people just to make assumptions and then give advise. I love how you shared this and the wonderful scripture reminders. I know we all need them. Thanks for sharing.
    Have a blessed Friday.

  23. Oh. Man. Going through this with my own family right now.

    I just keep trying to take deep breaths and not let it get to me.

    Hugs and thank you for linking.


  24. Thank you for sharing your heart. It is always loving to consider others feelings and you gave a good example and perspective to a common issue. Visiting from #livefreeThursday