Most families have one or two individuals who seem to think they know a lot of stuff about….a lot of stuff. They’re the kind of people who can contribute to pretty much any topic of conversation, reflecting as easily on Angela Merkel’s foreign policy, to the greatest prog rock LP of the late 70’s. Give me these people any day rather than the punters who seem simply happy enough to let life wash over them without any real interest in what’s happening. These are the kind. of people who will happily attempt to cut their own hair based on Youtube videos, and anyone outside a Royal Navy submarine who attempts to cut their own deserves all our unbridled respect.
Occasionally, however, they will ruminate on things of which they have little or no knowledge, mainly because so they’re so used to being an authority, they simply can’t put themselves in the position of rank amateur. This can be fun too, as it always nice to watch people get themselves into a tangle. However, these are not the people I find most dangerous lurking in families all over the world.
The most dangerous people, usually partners, are the ones who become speechwriting experts when you ask them to be. So many people say to me that they’re going to read the speech to their partners and see what they think. And guess what happens? For no other reason than the fact you’ve appointed them as a critic, they feel compelled to fall into theta role and justify their new found status. Perfectly funny lines are questioned, rational timelines are quizzed, and gags have to be changed because they’ve never heard of Neymar.
Probably the most destructive thing you can do for your confidence is to ask a relative to listen to your best man speech, because it will only end badly. If you ask them to critique it they dive in with gusto, what was a really great speech is now shrouded in doubt thanks to someone who spends their professional lives in IT support.
Have the confidence to know when you think something is funny and well written. We all know when something on paper is doing the trick and rarely need confirmation from others. Asking a second opinion will always lead to self doubt, and if you do it in the week before the wedding it can be catastrophic.