There is one word that I despise in the English language almost more than any other word.
I think of it as “the S word.”
The problem with this word is that the person who’s saying it feels good – and the person to whom it is being said often feels bad.
Attending a masterclass earlier in the pandemic, I learned of new scientific research on what lights up different areas of a person’s brain.
When we tell others what we think will be in their best interest, pleasure centers in our brain light up.
In other words when we are giving advice, that’s when the pleasure centers in our brain light up.
If that advice has been solicited – in other words, if the person on the receiving end of the advice has asked for it – the pleasure centers in their brain light up too.
But when someone gives unsolicited advice – advice that was not asked for – the pain centers in the recipient’s brain light up.
Perhaps you have had that experience of being given advice that you did not ask for. If you’d like, in this moment, call to mind a situation where that’s what happened.
The situation I’m thinking about: when someone close to me tried to give me advice on my skiing. I was going along, happily skiing, and thinking that all was right with the world when suddenly this person pulled up next to me and told me “You really should…”
Boom. Pain centers immediately came to life in my brain. Continue reading “The S word”