Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Teach Me Tuesday: Honesty

No wonder he has bad feet-he's standing in a puddle
I'm really enjoying the Teach Me Tuesday series--there are so many different perspectives out there and the blogosphere is a great way to bring them together. This topic isn't necessarily "horsey" per se, but but I think it's incredibly relevant and I certainly don't have the answer. So. Here's a fun one that you don't even have to own a horse to answer!

I am the sort of person that generally says what I think and then doesn't give a lot of shits what most people think of me. It probably alienates people, but it tends to attract fellow honest people, which I like. I do try to keep all "training" opinions to myself unless I'm asked (with mixed success).

OMG he clearly needs a flash

I've certainly been approached by people with wholly-non-solicited advice that I found offensive. I'm sure it was well-intentioned (however strangely delivered), but it hit me the wrong way. I'm sure they were being honest, but it was the biggest turn off to whatever it was they were trying to say.

So how do you handle it? When you have training advice or ideas for someone, do you just blurt it out because it's obvious and true? Do you sit on it until they ask you? Do you tell all your friends behind their backs and take snarky screen shots?


  1. I'm also an honest person! I feel like I've got nothing to hide, and if I'm asked my opinion, I generally don't sugar-coat it. HOWEVER... there's a line between being honest and having no tact. I will not give unsolicited advice, because that's rude. If someone asks me for advice, or if a certain topic just comes up in conversation, I will gladly give my opinion! But I try not to just blurt things out or impose my opinion on others without being asked first. I don't want to be "that person".

  2. lols, 100% honesty, I usually do the latter. I'm a terrible person, what can I say.
    I know I loathe being told by someone else their opinion on my personal training methods...I do remember a few years ago getting slammed by the SnarkyBlog and a lot of my followers for sitting on my "mini" (she was half Shetland and quite robust) for a picture. That was ridiculous and unwanted and I reacted violently haha. I don't take kindly to any kind of criticism. major flaw of mine.
    When it comes to other people, I rarely call them out, because I hate it, but sometimes I definitely SS it and send it to the bestie and go "lol wtf omg". I don't think Ive ever thought any of my blogging friends were glaringly in the wrong-per my opinion, but man, those teenagers on instagram sure are ridiculous.

  3. I wear my heart on my sleeve, for better or for worse. I am always honest, but I do try to temper that with putting myself in the others person's shoes and remembering that maybe I don't have the full story.

  4. Honesty all the way. But I keep my mouth shut unless asked, even then I try to be tactful. I have been called a perverse thinker and made fun of for what I think all my life so I don't readily share. Even when I know I'm right it makes it hard to connect to people BC I tend to be such an outsider, opinions and all. I like to see all sides before making decisions. What can I say, the devil's advocate has a place..

  5. In the end, I just keep my mouth shut because A) it isn't my business unless they ask, B) I am not a trainer/ vet/ farrier, etc, and C) so long as it isn't my horse that is being interfered with, it isn't my problem.

    I have no problem offering advice, but rarely do I offer to actively help because sometimes that can sneak up and bite you.

  6. I feel you can be both an honest person and keep your mouth shut. If you ask for my opinion you'll get it, but otherwise I keep myself to myself.

  7. Well I'm sure you know that I tend to offer advice and I know the way I do may offend people but I never ever intend too - it's just my tone and no matter what I do to try and change it I can't...I think it's just the way I speak and write. That being said I only offer advice in a means to help - I am never trying to hurt someone, it's usually because I have been there before or experienced it or something along those lines.

  8. I tend to offer advice a lot in blog comments, but I try to temper it by explaining that it's my experience and may not work in every situation. I tend to like it when people give me advice, even if I don't use it. It gives me another way to think about a solution to an issue. And god knows, we have plenty of issues! :)

  9. I will do several things. Mostly, I sit on it until they ask me. Sometimes if I see someone STRUGGLING over and over again I will just type out what I think regardless... which usually they ignore. Then I will basically shut up forever ;) I've been on the receiving end of unsolicited advice and I'm generally not a fan, so I try to hold my tongue.

  10. I almost never offer advice. When I'm directly asked, I give my opinion in the most tactful way possible. I dislike unsolicited advice and when I ask for advice, I dislike it when people are downright rude and disguise it as being "blunt" or "honest". I think you can be honest with someone without being offensive.

  11. I have a reputation for being honest, and most people value my opinion because of that. They know that, no matter what, if they ask me a question they are going to get an honest answer. Some people don't like that, and they don't ask me questions. Easy peasy.

    Unsolicited advice falls into a completely different category than honesty. I've actually noticed that most unsocited advice isn't particularly honest at all, it's just straight dickery.

    If you see someone having a hard time, the only appropriate response is, "I'm sorry, that must be really tough." If they're going through something that you have experience with, you can add "That happened to me, too. It was really hard." Then they might ask you how you handled it, and you can open up a dialogue (NOT a one sided lecture) about the problem.

  12. this is a tricky subject bc my 'philosophies' about speaking up don't always match my actions (we're all human...). i just try to be respectful and positive - and try to be sensitive to situations where a person might just be venting vs when they are legitimately looking for advice.

    but like others said - if i do have advice/ideas, it's usually couched in terms of my experience, and your mileage may vary. i've heard plenty of offhand remarks that annoyed me, but also quite a few that sparked an idea that helped me better understand a problem...

  13. I think what I do online and offline are a bit different. Offline (in real life) I don't really ever give advice unless asked. When asked, I am fully honest, but try to give the advice in as constructive of a way as I can. I know we’re all trying our best and faced with a million different options and opinions on any given query to navigate through. I try only to give advice when I feel like I have experience in the topic at hand directly so it's more of a “when I went through that issue, I did X,Y,Z and here was the result I experienced”, like emma said. I've been burned a lot with people disregarding solicited advice over and over again and who then go on to mess their horses up and that ticks me off (for the horse, not for my ego). Online...for those of us that blog we get a lot of 'feedback' from readers. 99% of which is nice and helpful. My opinion is if you're blogging about it, you're open to feedback about it and hopefully those offering their 2 cents are nice people. I am never ever trying to be insensitive or even worse directly or indirectly imply that the person is an idiot when I comment with advice, but written word sometimes leaves much to be desired vs. having an in person convo with someone, especially about a sensitive topic. Last week, my bell boot topic was a great example of some people wishing to make me feel like an idiot for my bell boot fit and that made me almost never want to ask for help via my blog ever again. My heart is always intending to be helpful, kind and constructive offline or online. We don't know each other's tone, style etc online, so it gets tricky I think sometimes in a limited space comments allow to communicate what we want to say effectively, at least for me sometimes I feel that way on the giving and receiving end of advice.

  14. MOST of the time I just stay quiet unless they ask or unless it's going to pose a real safety concern or if it's abuse.

    The majority of the blogs I come across are written by people who ride a different discipline than I do. And these blogs are personal even though they are public, ya know? It's like commenting or critiquing someone's personal thoughts in their own diary. I might not agree with everything I see or read but who am I to argue with them on their blog?

    So I just like to read about other people's journeys with their horses, learn what I can, hear different perspectives, enjoy the photos shared from around the country and world of others who enjoy the same types of things I do. And if they ask for advice and I have something worthy of adding, I'll comment.

  15. Most of the time choose to share my thoughts, and am honest but always aim for tactful and helpful - never negative. I put myself in the other person's shoes and word my things as best as I can. Generally I don't wait for someone to ask my opinion - after all, people may not know that I have experience dealing with such-and-such (though of course I keep in mind that I only have limited info on the situation). I think bringing up a topic is opening the door to discussion, especially with blogs. Personally I really appreciate the advice and comments I get on my blog, solicited or no - the ones that are hard to read are usually the ones that end up helping me look at things from a different perspective, which in my opinion is always good even if it just confirms a different course of action.

  16. In real life, I will ask if someone wants help. You might be surprised how often people say "yes" with relief. If they say "no" then at least I feel like I tried to help them and I leave them be.

    I have been offered unsolicited help my entire life, because I look younger than I am, so I try not to do that to others. Apparently, I have a vein in my forehead that starts to pulse when I am annoyed, because I am being given remedial advice, which only happens when someone doesn't know me. If someone gives me training advice that I don't agree with, I usually explain why I don't do something. If the person is a diva, then I ignore them.

    However, I will offer help unsolicited if the person or horse are in an unsafe situation or if I have more experience then the person in question. When I was employed as an instructor, I had a responsibility to keep the riders and horses safe and to preserve the training and well-being of the horses. The only time I ever had a problem with offering help was when I was trying to help a truly incompetent person who was treating a lesson horse unfairly. This person became very angry with me, but I didn't care. Advocating for the lesson horse was more important.

    1. Me too Val - if it's dangerous or abuse then unsolicited advice is coming their way! But other than that, it's their problem, not mine.

  17. Much the same as Val, I'll speak up if I see someone in a real dangerous situation (like a seriously loose girth), but otherwise I offer help and keep my nose out of it. This is Africa, and I've seen real abuse too often to have a hissy fit if I see someone using a gag or long spurs.
    It's also not my place to give advice 90% of the time because I have a lot less experience than most people, so I try to give advice only when asked.

  18. I hold my tongue unless they ask. I've seen a lot of cringe worthy moments around- and the instructor voice inside me is begging to be set free. But I know *I* get in a huff if people offer unwanted advice, so I do my best to stay quiet.
    Unless it's one of my students. They I let 'er rip.

    Thankfully most of the boarders know me, and know I'm an instructor- so they generally ask if they see me around.

  19. I'm all about honesty! Honest to a fault, however in real life I keep my mouth shut and my opinions to myself. I don't know why. I guess because if I say something then someone asks me to explain why I feel that way about something I get all flustered and can't explain why and then I feel stupid. Later on when I'm alone I think of all the things I wish I could have said lol. So yeah I just keep quiet. On blogs I will offer advice when asked because it's not face to face so I don't get flustered. I can take my time to think about why I believe something and not feel put on the spot. I'm weird, I know. :D

  20. I hate when people give me advice and I don't ask for it, especially when they're snarky about it, so I rarely give advice unless I really think it would be helpful. And then I try to phrase it very tactfully and like a suggestion rather than "You need to do this!" I find that if I share a similar experience and how I worked through it that is usually taken kindly.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...