“I Feel Compelled To Speak”

When you’re a public figure frequently appearing in varying media, you receive some bizarre emails. Here’s one from today:

“I’ve thought about, and I believe I can benefit from subscribing to
your videocast offer [Alan Weiss’s Common Sense® Worldview Weekly Video], certainly much more from these communications than some of the lame presentations I’ve attended at business professional
groups and associations.
“I have just one question about this: I like what you say, and it all
makes sense to me. However, as you said, expect opinions. You are
opinionated. I am, too. Does it bother you if I reply quickly with my
disagreement that has to do with your very subjective opinions that are
off the business track?
“I can’t listen to stuff and say nothing, I feel compelled to speak. I
don’t like Sinatra, and the Stones are way overrated, vitally important
to popular Rock music as they are. (I had pointed to Sinatra as an overwhelming influence on American music.)
“Can I reply what I disagree with if I hear you say something that I
don’t agree with? I don’t like shutting up even if it’s online. And
online is a vital communication method to me.”
I believe a sign of maturity is the ability to be judicious about what you use or don’t use from expert sources. That’s a personal choice. But the need to tell that source that you have a different opinion is a behavioral dysfunction that’s pretty severe. Imagine stopping in the kitchen and telling the chef she prepared the Steak Diane not as well as you do, or taking the podium, pushing the professor aside, and saying, “Let ME tell you why Baroque music isn’t melodic.”

5 thoughts on ““I Feel Compelled To Speak”

  1. I read hoping the Nigeria scam would make a guest appearance in the email. When I worked as a social worker, I had a client that would speak for an hour, but say absolutely nothing. Sorry he had to email you today.

  2. Dear Alan,

    You’re response to the email made me smile and I was comforted by the your calm and poignant chef reference. Recently, I spoke to a local group of consultants of varying industries on marketing tips, something I’ve presented several times at different venues and audiences. Not a quarter of the way in, a Marketing and Sales Consultant started heckling me as he didn’t agree with my proven subject matter. While it went on three different times and the event coordinators and audience tried to defuse the situation, I just couldn’t understand his behavior. What was the purpose of his outbursts, challenging statements and rhetorical questions? To appear more knowledgeable than myself? There are several ways to skin a cat and if you can back it up with analytics and case studies then the content can’t be all rubbish.

    I prefer and my experience has been to discuss differences of opinions off line and in a manner of mutual respect to create a new understanding of our personal perceptions so we both grow with our collaborative knowledge.

    Complaining for the sake of complaining doesn’t provide for any positive result; except to feed your own ego. Your emailer definitely felt his ego needed some stroking. Thank you for sharing your experience!

    Vicki M James
    Stand Out Results

  3. I told him not to subscribe. I want’t interested in whether he agreed or disagreed, and his immaturity in requiring his point of view be manifest to me indicated he wouldn’t get anything out of it and should save his money. I think people enable this behavior by being polite and responding, when what’s needed is to frankly say, “Who cares?” This is a genuine personality disorder.

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