0175F: Consulting Counsel

For a guy who claims to be antisocial, I've always found it odd how many people come to me for advice, and how eager I feel to offer it. And I'd like to think this isn't about being a know-it-all or anything like that, but I think the puzzle solving part of my brain is often keen on trying to do just that - solving people's problems. In high school, I oddly found myself giving relationship advice even before I ever got into one myself. But friends seemed to find me to be a decent enough sounding board and maybe I'd get lucky with a line or two.

I certainly hope that I lack proper perspective when I say that I feel like I have a decent grasp on human behavior. Given enough time, people fall into patterns of behavior and these can be analyzed and put into the proper perspective. And maybe this is a rather cold, harsh and almost cynical way of looking at the infinite diversity that is the humanity, but that's honestly how I see things. I like solving things - and people are also solvable given enough data, analysis and time.

I don't claim to be amazing at it nor do I claim to be in any way infallible. But working through people's problems with them is a process in itself, one that involves a little trial and error as you calibrate and in the end you reach a point where the affected parties are satisfied with the outcome.

My main consideration is the need to hold back - it's human nature not to enjoy being told what to do, even in the form of advice. No one likes someone else meddling in their lives or trying to dictate how things could be better somehow. Forcing my advice on other people would be horribly arrogant and conceited of me and that's definitely not my attention. I honestly want to help people when I can, but only if they want my help.

Until then, I tend to watch and observe from a distance. I analyze things from my side and hope to get more data one way or another. It's not like I can turn my brain off - this sort of thing keeps on happening as I see people at work or go through everyone's social media updates. Data is painfully plentiful in this digital age and people reveal so much about themselves in terms of what they share and even what they don't say. And maybe all this data will come in handy when I finally get that instant message or that text message asking if I have some time to talk.