Tuesday, May 27, 2008

'How Not to Irritate People"

"How Not to Irritate People"

Mary’s husband handed her the newspaper and said, “You really ought to read this article.”

John said to his brother-in-law, “You should try my barber. He does a great job.”

“You ought to listen to this radio talk show,” Richard told his next-door neighbor. “The host is great.”

If I were Mary, John’s brother-in law, or Richard’s next-door neighbor, I would not have welcomed that unsolicited advice. How can another person know what I need?

All of this advice would have gone down more easily if made in the form of a suggestion:
Mary’s husband: “Dear, here’s an interesting article that you may want to read.”
John to his brother-in-law: “I get the impression you’re not happy with your barber. I’d be happy to give you the name of my guy. He gives a really good haircut.
Richard: “I’ve enjoyed listening to Henry Livingston on talk radio. You might want to try him out.”

Love and blessings,

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