Are you telling or asking?

It is often difficult to determine whether someone is simply notifying you about something or asking you for your input. Out of a desire to help we begin to give them our opinion and ideas. We go through the entire spectrum of helpful ideas and suggestions. We may even volunteer our services, time, and effort to help them solve their difficulty.
But they simply were not asking you for your opinion. It was just a notification. They just want to let you know what they’ve already decided in their minds. Their mind was already made up. We were only supposed to listen, smile and nod. We feel rejected and misunderstood – so do they.
If we would just hold our tongue a bit longer, things would be different. Allow people to speak their minds clearly. Wait a few minutes and just listen to all they have to say. Be sure to listen “between the lines” for the heart of the matter. Their desires, intentions, and plans. Once we understand that they have made up their minds, hold your tongue. Listen intently and try to understand. Then smile and acknowledge their decision.
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