Advice Column

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Advice Column

Ansley Ansley
I think everyone of us on Eden has, at some point, encountered a situation where we would really like objective advice on situations we're facing. Sometimes we just need to see all sides of a situation, sometimes we just need our own thoughts validated. But, we don't always want to put ourselves out there to be judged in future interactions.

If you all had a way to submit anonymous emails concerning problems you may be facing in life, would you be willing to let the community openly give you advice?

The way it would work is:

- You submit the email.
- A forum post is created with no mention of your name or email address.
- The community at large gets to weigh in and you can select your path based on their open-minded, objective responses. You don't have to respond to any of the comments and if someone's advice jumps out at you, you would be free to message them to expound on the matter if you so choose.

What do you think?
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
I would love to be able to do this!
26
I'm not sure I would ever send an email, but I'd be willing to give advice.
21
I'm torn, I think it could open up issues where people are attacked and it might be too impersonal to be productive.
7
Other, I'll answer in comments.
2
Total votes: 56 (42 voters)
Poll is closed
03/26/2012
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ksparkles16 ksparkles16
I wouldn't really want to send an email and have everyone see my problems but I'd totally give advice and it would be nice to know it's there.
03/27/2012
js250 js250
Holy Hell!!! Are you reading my mind or what??? I was just getting ready to open a discussion about how we could have a discussion or area where we could anonymously post issues for advice or give advice. Also a message me area for those who have advice but do not want to post it on the site due to personal reasons. Glad I came to the forums first!! Great idea, Stormy!! That is so weird, though.
03/27/2012
funluvinmama funluvinmama
i would love to be able to do that. I've had lots of questions I've been embarrassed to ask.
03/27/2012
Errant Venture Errant Venture
I think it's a really great idea.
03/27/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by js250
Holy Hell!!! Are you reading my mind or what??? I was just getting ready to open a discussion about how we could have a discussion or area where we could anonymously post issues for advice or give advice. Also a message me area for those who have ...
Hahaha, that's so awesome!!!

While we don't allow the option to post anonymously on the forums for a variety of reasons, if the questions are sent directly to me via email accounts, the chances that I'll be able to connect account names to email accounts is pretty much slim to none.

So, I would get the question and then make a forum post with the question, opening it up to the community and the person who asked the question will be able to read over the answers and chime in if they choose to, but they certainly don't have to do so.

It would essentially operate like a Dear Abby column, except you guys are giving the advice instead of one dedicated person. The only identifiable information will be the details in the question, and it's entirely up to you what you reveal.
03/27/2012
Ciao. Ciao.
I'm not sure that I would have an interest/need in submitting something myself but I'd be happy to weigh in on other people's entries. While I think Eden already offers a fair bit of anonymity this might encourage some people to ask for advice that they would otherwise feel uncomfortable bringing up.
03/27/2012
Lickable Lollie Lickable Lollie
I voted that I'm torn because I've been in that situation on this site before. It's difficult for someone to give advice when they don't know the whole situation. I do think it's a good general idea, but I think there would have to be strict rules.
03/27/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
It depends on what the issue is. I used to write an advice column for teens in our local paper when I was a teenager. It was fun, but I got bored with it after a while. I also wanted to get a "real" job, despite the fact that I was getting paid to write the column for the paper.

I find people often ASK for "advice" when what they really want is for people to tell them what they want to hear. You see people getting upset all the time when they post a problem to Eden (or any website) and people get down to the problem and ask questions and suggest things that might be different than what the person presenting wants to do. Then they get upset that others are making them "feel bad" or telling them what to do.

I think if there were a disclaimer, that if you present a personal problem, you will graciously accept advice even if you won't use it yourself. No shooting the messenger, and no getting out of sorts when people hit on things you'd rather not think about. Because when people have problems, often the MAIN problem is their not wanting to address one or two obvious issues that WOULD solve the problem or don't want to delve into the actual issue itself or don't want to DO what it takes to solve the problem.
03/27/2012
Khanner Khanner
I love giving advice so I'm for it.
03/27/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
It depends on what the issue is. I used to write an advice column for teens in our local paper when I was a teenager. It was fun, but I got bored with it after a while. I also wanted to get a "real" job, despite the fact that I was getting ...
I'm not sure you understand the format that we're after here.

An email would appear in my inbox and it would say something like this:

"Dear Eden,

I have a problem. I'm in a great relationship and everything is going well but, and this is going to sound silly, I think my boyfriend likes his dog more than he likes me. If I'm standing by the door when he comes home from work, he greets the dog first no matter where the dog is in the house and then takes a few minutes to greet me. All I get is a peck on the cheek and sometimes he'll ask about my day, but it's rare.

He buys little presents for the dog, but I haven't even gotten so much as a flower picked from our lawn in the five years we've been together and he got the puppy AFTER we started dating. Is this natural to be so jealous of a pet that I've thought about dropping him off at the pound and saying he ran away? (I wouldn't but it has been tempting in the past.)

Signed,

Down About the Dog



Then a post would go up with just that email. It would be posted by an administrator, not the person who wrote it. The community at large would weigh in and the person who submitted the email can sit back and watch it all come to light and then take the advice for what it is or what it isn't.

It would be an anonymous arena for the submitter and they could respond to the comments if they so choose, but they really wouldn't need to comment at all. It's like a sounding board for your problems. Sometimes you just need to see how others would react using the criteria you've chosen as the most important pieces of information about the situation when weighing all of your options.

So, no there is not going to be an opportunity for people to become indignant over the advice given unless they choose to reveal they are the person who submitted the question. And if it gets out of hand, it can always be shut down and we'll never do it again. But, I trust the community to be open-minded and to remember that no matter the situation, if you're reading it on Eden it's attached to a real-live human being with feelings who just needs a different perspective.
03/27/2012
Lickable Lollie Lickable Lollie
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
It depends on what the issue is. I used to write an advice column for teens in our local paper when I was a teenager. It was fun, but I got bored with it after a while. I also wanted to get a "real" job, despite the fact that I was getting ...
I almost feel the opposite...As stormy` said, it's important to keep in mind that the person you are helping is indeed a living breathing person with feelings. When I've asked for advice in the past, people attacked ME instead of the situation. It's a good idea, just makes me a little nervous that some people won't be considerate of other's emotions.
03/27/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Lickable Lollie
I almost feel the opposite...As stormy` said, it's important to keep in mind that the person you are helping is indeed a living breathing person with feelings. When I've asked for advice in the past, people attacked ME instead of the ...
Being considerate is certainly understandable, but often other people can see things the person IN the middle of the crisis doesn't see. I see often people getting upset when something obvious, but not necessarily what they wanted to hear, was pointed out. Being HONEST is also important when dealing with people who ask for help.

F'instance, the person who posts the "boyfriend and dog" issue may want people to simply say, "What a jerk your boyfriend is he "should" be paying his attention to you." When there are often other issues, that may need to be brought out into the open, before the issue is really solved. Do we want resolution? Or do we want to only tell the person who submitted the issue that they are being victimized?

I mean, if people want to do this, they are welcome to it. But, I do find often when people "ask for advice" is isn't really resolution that requires them to make any changes that they really want to hear about.

Honestly, I think one of two things would happen, it would turn into a forum for empty platitudes and greeting card sentiments, or it would turn into a powder keg. But, that's just how I'm seeing it. OR, if those who sent in their issues were OK with it, it might be helpful, but questions would need to be asked OTHER THAN the original question so the root of the problem could be uncovered. How will that be handled? Unless it's handled properly and with honestly, I don't know how it would turn out.

Just sayin'.
03/27/2012
Lickable Lollie Lickable Lollie
I can see where you're coming from. I think the solution to that problem would be to ask questions rather than assume, that is if the person with the issue is willing to answer questions, which would be difficult if they weren't able to post the answers anonymously.
03/27/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Lickable Lollie
I can see where you're coming from. I think the solution to that problem would be to ask questions rather than assume, that is if the person with the issue is willing to answer questions, which would be difficult if they weren't able to post ...
Right! I posted this in an edit, and I agree. MORE than just the original issue as presented would need to be reported, so the entire problem could be dealt with.

This is what I was going to post as an edit to my last post: OR, if those who sent in their issues were OK with it and wanted to really deal with the issue, it might be helpful, but questions would need to be asked by the community OTHER THAN the original question so the root of the problem could be uncovered. How will that be handled?

Unless it's handled properly and with honesty, I don't know how it would turn out.

Rarely is a relationship problem ONLY one person in the relationship's fault. That seems to be what upsets people so often and causes others to perhaps lack honesty in their questions and suggestions.

How would questions asked by the community be dealt with AFTER the original post was (anonymously) posted?
03/27/2012
Lickable Lollie Lickable Lollie
I can imagine that the original poster could e-mail stormy` again to answer the question, but that would make a lot of work for her to try and find the original post to add the anonymous comment...unless she replied to every first email she got and the answer to the questions were replies to her replies.... lol sounds complicated!
03/27/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Lickable Lollie
I can imagine that the original poster could e-mail stormy` again to answer the question, but that would make a lot of work for her to try and find the original post to add the anonymous comment...unless she replied to every first email she got and ...
It's not nearly as complicated as one might suspect, but I think we're over thinking the concept here. I will give it some more thought and keep reading these responses to see what everyone else thinks of it. I do appreciate all the feedback, so keep it coming!
03/27/2012
Lickable Lollie Lickable Lollie
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
It's not nearly as complicated as one might suspect, but I think we're over thinking the concept here. I will give it some more thought and keep reading these responses to see what everyone else thinks of it. I do appreciate all the ...
you know, sometimes it's good to over think stuff! Unfortunately, it's a preview of what will probably happen with an advice column lol
03/27/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Lickable Lollie
you know, sometimes it's good to over think stuff! Unfortunately, it's a preview of what will probably happen with an advice column lol
I agree. It might be worth a shot. But, it will be a lot of work for the person organizing the column.

If someone wants to give it a shot....
03/27/2012
Beck Beck
I think it is worth a shot. I am not sure I will use it or not, but maybe.

I would be happy to help out in anything you would need, Stormy.
03/27/2012
Lickable Lollie Lickable Lollie
I have a test question! It's from a friend of mine and it's fairly simple but I want the opinion of others before I say anything to her. She wants to join eden, and she wants to try new things with her husband but she doesn't know how to tell him that without making him think that their sex life is boring, because it's not.
03/27/2012
Beck Beck
Quote:
Originally posted by Lickable Lollie
I have a test question! It's from a friend of mine and it's fairly simple but I want the opinion of others before I say anything to her. She wants to join eden, and she wants to try new things with her husband but she doesn't know how to ...
Here is a test reply:

Have her look at some lingerie and pick out a piece to wear for him. Then after they get good use out of the piece, tell her to show him the site. Have her tell him how she learned about the site and that they have a points program for all this interesting stuff. Then she should say something like " I can get more lingerie for free, do you think you would be interested in trying out some of these items?" And she should show him what she is interested in trying. Have her tell him it could be a lot of fun!
03/27/2012
ECU Pirate ECU Pirate
neat idea. maybe
03/27/2012
Azule Azule
I think this is a good idea and would be happy to add opinions. Not sure if I would be sending anything more anonymous than I already ask under my user name, but I could see how it would be useful.
03/27/2012
lilly555 lilly555
I think it's a great idea. I know sometimes people use the forums to ask for advice and either don't receive enough replies for a legitimate answer or they might end up feeling attacked. This will allow them to submit their fustrations without causing any offense or feeling offended by what people have to say. Everything would be unbiased and impersonal. I don't know if I'd email a query but if I had advise for someone who did I would be willing to help give it.
03/27/2012
Secret Pleasure Secret Pleasure
I think its a good idea but some people are so judgmental it may cause problems.
03/27/2012
Gary Gary
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
Right! I posted this in an edit, and I agree. MORE than just the original issue as presented would need to be reported, so the entire problem could be dealt with.

This is what I was going to post as an edit to my last post: OR, if those who ...
I don't disagree with your point... but I think you might be over-complicating a simple idea. The basis here is for an in-community platform for members to ask questions and request 'simple' advice anonymously; and also to benefit from the vast wisdom of the community.
03/27/2012
Woman China Woman China
I think it is a neat idea.

I think as long as everyone remembers to keep an open mind about the possible advice being given, it would be great!!!
03/28/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Woman China
I think it is a neat idea.

I think as long as everyone remembers to keep an open mind about the possible advice being given, it would be great!!!
I think, honestly, that the community members need to be aware of how they speak and relay their advice when participating in these threads. It's all about presentation. If you are compassionate when dealing with people, they will see that you are genuinely trying to help, not trying to tear them down and point out all of their flaws. We are human beings and we are all flawed, some more or less than others, but flawed nonetheless.

As Gary said above, this is for people who are at a point where they have to make a decision and wish to seek objective, third-party advice. I realize that we all have anonymity due to screen names and such, but sometimes you just need to air your dirty laundry without anyone knowing it's you...does that make sense?
03/28/2012
Swish Swish
i don't know about going through email
03/28/2012
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Total posts: 35
Unique posters: 20