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I don't believe my own thoughts. So how do I give/take advice?

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J S S, modified 10 Years ago.

I don't believe my own thoughts. So how do I give/take advice?

Posts: 11 Join Date: 11/15/09 Recent Posts
Hello, all!

I'm having a slight problem, and I want your take on it and hear what experiences you may have.
I really don't believe my thoughts. So when I'm going thru a rough time, I can think of my own little justification of why it happens and also see all the reasons I can never be sure if I'm right (or rather, it's more of a feeling of knowing it could be wrong, not logical reasons it's wrong). So when I tell people this little justification, am I lying? It's not really truth. I also have nothing better to go off of and people get frustrated pretty fast when all you say is "I don't know". Sometimes I need to give concrete answers (as per the social exchange) , yet I... I'm so unsure of what I say. I feel like I'm lying or making crap up.

Has anyone run into this problem? Any pro-tips?
Trent H., modified 10 Years ago.

RE: I don't believe my own thoughts. So how do I give/take advice?

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hi, I don't know the context the difficulty is arising within, and so this reply is a generality as well.

J S S:
I'm having a slight problem, and I want your take on it and hear what experiences you may have.
I really don't believe my thoughts.


If I may ask, what makes you think that it's a problem in the first place? Believing is to "wish something to be true"...Perhaps the notion that you do not know the answer to a question/situation/whatever is simply the fact of the matter and you are intelligently aware of this. As such, you would rather be genuine? I would not want to put words in your mouth, of course.

J S S:
So when I'm going thru a rough time, I can think of my own little justification of why it happens and also see all the reasons I can never be sure if I'm right (or rather, it's more of a feeling of knowing it could be wrong, not logical reasons it's wrong). So when I tell people this little justification, am I lying? It's not really truth.


Belief and doubt are quite a pair, eh? That is, I am assuming that doubt is what you are referring to when you say "it's more of a feeling of knowing it could be wrong." What I have found personally to ameliorate this conundrum is to strike belief and doubt from one's psyche entirely. Instead of belief, one looks for where one may be confident; that is, one looks for a fact or facts to substantiate one's thoughts. If those facts do not appear readily available, or perhaps there is some suspicion on one's part that inhibits one's confidence on a matter, there is the oft overlooked option of naivete (which you seem to be familiar with). To be naive ("innocent, artlessness, unsophisticated", not "gullible") rather than doubtful, one is simply acknowledging one's own lack of information on a matter or matters. To sincerely say "I don't know" when one does not know is to be honest with oneself whilst perserving one's integrity. I am of the opinion that naivete/innocence is an esteemable quality.

J S S:
I also have nothing better to go off of and people get frustrated pretty fast when all you say is "I don't know". Sometimes I need to give concrete answers (as per the social exchange) , yet I... I'm so unsure of what I say. I feel like I'm lying or making crap up.


Something that seems to work for me is to guide one's peer into articulating their question further or in a different way. Often times people are not specific when communicating because they are speaking to their own projections, and as such, assume that you know what they are talking about when they are vague or mix-mash language. Probing the question can lead to a situation wherein you may be refered to as "pedantic," so I usually don't dig too deeply. If I can't answer with confidence after asking the individual a few extra questions, I usually just defer the question in the most unabrasive way possible. "I don't know" being my favorite.

Regards,
Trent

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