Saturday, September 23, 2006

Rosemary, SAGE and thyme

Olie and I had a conversation about sages yesterday. Not the herb but people who were sage like. I'd always thought that sages were people who were wise beyond their years and had a quality about them that well, made them sage-like. I always thought of them in a good way.

According to her, however, sage like people were not people who were wise. They were people who went beyond being wise. They were wise and overbearing and unloaded their opinions and advice on people, even people who weren't really seeking their advice/opinion.

There really are many people like that out there, who, in her words, dish advice like a dispenser. Often these are people who think that they have the answers to your problems and go out of the way to tell it to you, in a not so subtle, not so sensitive way. Often these people make you feel cornered, where you feel like a deer in the headlights, where there's no way to run and it's coming at you with the speed of a MAC truck and you will be hit and floored by it.

We came to the conclusion that the difference between a wise person and Olie's interpretation of a sage like person is the art of listening. A wise person knows when to shut up, knows when the advice is not really welcomed, knows that it would probably be a better idea to just shut up and listen. A sage like person doesn't really hear you, just barrels through, telling you what he/she thinks you need to hear and doesn't stop until they're content with their spiel.

We also came to the conclusion that if we're at the receiving end of unwelcomed sagely advice, the only trick one can employ is an oh-so-important life skill where it goes in one ear and goes out the other with a few well timed nods and uh huhs thrown in for good measure. If we are feeling generous enough and not yet homicidal, a good tactic is to nod and go "I'll take that into consideration. Thank you" without reinforcing whether it was good or bad advice.

Another solution is to turn tail and run and not give the sages the opportunity to even start. Of course, that's provided these are sages you don't encounter on a regular basis. In my opinion, if there's a spiel that's bubbling below the surface, it'll find some way of erupting and the longer you put it off, the more it's built up and the more lethal it becomes.

So, I don't really know what the best way is to deal with these herb like people. I guess like all people management techniques that I've learnt, you mix and match and see what works best. But lesson learnt from my exchange with Olie, don't feel too good about yourself if someone calls you a sage.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 12:25

1 thoughts...

1 thoughts...

At 12:47 pm Blogger Olie said...

Welcome to the world of Olieism! Where Olie coins impossible words which no sane person understands!

I think it's one thing to share your experiences with people and another to tell people what to do with their lives. The latter is being sage-like.

If you ever feel that Olie is being sage-like, hit her with an umbrella!


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