Was I Asked?

I must really have an incompetent look on my face 24/7 because I am being constantly bombarded by advice, and some of it is from people who really can’t afford to talk. Normally, we know what is desirable and required, or not, so how come we don’t know, or choose to ignore whether or not our advice is needed? While we can argue that we have a choice to let ourselves be imposed upon, the experience of having someone force their opinion on you is highly avoidable, to say the least, and yet, there are enough people inclined towards trying to control others. 

I did some research on it and got some interesting insights. People who like to force their opinions on others may be driven by insecurity, envy, fear, or the need for power. Their need to feel sure-footed and secure is quenched by controlling those around them, whether they are family, friends, colleagues, or even pets. Having to deal with such people in our everyday life, where we know there is a major breach of boundaries and we’re dealing with somebody who just doesn’t gel on core values can be hugely challenging.

People who like to impose their will on others employ different tactics. For example, they may introduce something in a fashion that directly or indirectly communicates that we must do it or else, confident that if we refuse to do their bidding, they will immediately override our refusal, rebuffing any of our concerns and going as far as to belittle us, often by resorting to emotional blackmail and even downright insults.

Recent studies have shown that only people who have respect issues impose themselves upon you. And you are not the only person that they do this with. They may not even recognise their behavior, but they have little empathy and concern for people who are in their way. They have never truly considered things from your position or even if they have, they don’t care or simply feel that the end justifies the means. These people are deeply critical of themselves in their own minds, and underlying that critical nature is unhappiness.

Trying to impose your will on others can be tempting for many reasons. You may feel that your way is the best way or that you have a keener insight into the direction of other people’s life. But, in imposing your will, you are indirectly saying, “I want to control you.” Even when you have the best of intentions, others may end up resenting you for your actions. It is always helpful to remember that it is possible to influence people and change their behavior through suggestions or by example without imposing.

When we want something, we really value it. When we are hungry, we relish the food. When we are sick we are desperate for medicines, when we want to party we want music. The same applies to opinions. When we want it, we truly value it, be it legal, medical or financial. We take appointments, wait for our turn, pay hefty bills and still say thank you at the end of it. Why don’t the people who are distributing their opinion without even remotely being asked to understand this?

Even the Bible says “Ask and it will be given to you”. So, the next time we are giving our opinion, let’s pause for a moment and think,” Was I asked?

Was I Asked
Shilpa Bhasin Mehra
Shilpa Bhasin Mehra

A lawyer by profession and writer by passion/default, she lives and laughs king-size. Often overruled, she loves to pen down her thoughts. Author of the book, “All Battles Aren’t Legal”, she is a regular contributor to ‘Khaleej Times’ and ‘Lawyers Update’. Mommy to two boys, she swears by wine and music to keep her ahead of the game.  Shilpa lives in Dubai.   

Read more by Shilpa Bhasin Mehra


Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

6 thoughts on “Was I Asked?”

  1. Better still , when you are being showered with free advice , stop them by asking … did I ask for your advice!
    Though sometimes it could also be out of love and care.

  2. I love this piece for many reasons. I’ve had the pleasure of reading multiple articles by Shilpa, and I love the fact that her writing is raw and honest. She doesn’t play around with words or ideas, instead gives it to the reader upfront. This particular piece is like the others, it delivers a much-needed message with humour and honesty, both of which are needed not just in writing but also in the world. Looking forward to more 🙂

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