Date: February 09, 2011 01:02PM
I just have to vent. Does anyone else besides me have an "overly helpful" person in their lives? This is the kind of person I'm thinking of...
* Chimes in with a "more informed" opinion whenever you say something or try to express an opinion.
* Usually has some kind of unsolicited "helpful advice" for you.
* Likes to play "devil's advocate" or present a contrary opinion to any given subject.
* Is rarely just supportive, but instead seems to feel the need to "one up" everybody else and be the voice of reason.
* Doesn't seem to understand how condescending and annoying they come across.
There's a woman in my online life who is like that. I try not to engage her, but she always seems to engage me. And it doesn't matter how innocuous the topic is, this person always has something more "helpful" to add.
For instance, last fall, I decided to buy a new iMac, switching from a PC. I had been considering buying the machine for awhile and was excited about it. I'm hard on my computers and I generally need to replace them every few years, but this time I just wanted a Mac. I posted about this to a messageboard which mostly consists of friends. Most of them were happy for me and didn't try to insinuate that I was somehow making a bad decision. Not Ms. Overly Helpful, though. She had to ask me twenty questions about what I had done to my old computer to necessitate buying a new one. She suggested things like defragging, cleaning the fans, buying an external hard drive... all stuff I had already done.
On my way home from Germany, my husband and I decided to buy me a new car through military sales. We needed another car and military sales offered us a generous discount. We also got better financing by buying new. Ms. Overly Helpful asked me if I had considered buying a used car because they're "so much cheaper". No shit!!
Another time, I got nervous about a creepy guy hanging out at the end of my driveway one day and thought there was something off about him because he was asking me strange questions about my dogs and had a dog crate in the back of his truck. When I was a child, one of my dogs was stolen, so I have a tendency to be very careful with my dogs and don't let them run. This guy asked me why I didn't my beagles run. When I expressed concern about this to my online friends, most of them were supportive. Ms. Overly Helpful decides to be the "voice of reason" and chimes in with alternative explanations for the situation... as if I had never considered them myself.
And just today, she offered her input when I commented on some cool food preservation tricks I found on the Web. One of the suggestions was to rub cheese with butter to help preserve it. I had never heard of that tip before, thought it was cool, and said so. Ms. Overly Helpful decides to correct me by saying it's far better to wrap cheese in wax paper and seal it in a baggie. Again... no shit. Obvious.
I know I may be oversensitive and maybe this is more a reflection on me than her. I also know I'm not the only one she annoys. But I have to say I often find her highly irritating and insulting and if I had to spend time with her in person, I'd probably lose my temper and tell her to fuck off. The funny thing is, Ms. Overly Helpful has herself complained about people whom she thinks insult her intelligence. I'd like to hand her a virtual mirror coupled with a virtual bitch slap!
Thanks... I'm done and feel much better now.