People Don’t Really Care How Much You Know… Until They Know How Much You Care

caringHow do you reach another person’s heart?  In this case, I don’t mean romantically.  Rather, to move a person to action.  Why should someone else listen to you?  Who made you the fountain of all knowledge?

Parents, teachers, gurus, advisers, counsellors… do not always have an easy task!  It can involve a great deal of patience.  All of the knowledge, experience, insight that you have acquired and are now trying to impart to a child, student, disciple, client or patient.  It may seem to go in one of their ears, and faster than the speed of light, it fleas straight out of the other ear.


At the end of the day…no matter how much you might try, it is up to an individual whether they listen, whether they heed, whether they apply all the well-meant advice and guidance offered.  Each person has to make their own decisions and live with the consequences.  It can be painful to watch at times.

I have done a little teaching.  I often remembered a phrase which I heard from my parents many times.  As the title of this post indicates:

People Don’t Really Care How Much You Know…

Until They Know How Much You Care

I thought about that a lot.  I know it was true in my own case.  I heeded the advice of those I was convinced truly cared about my long lasting welfare.

clever clogs

I have family and friends who have many academic accomplishments under their belt.  However, at times, they seem to want to lecture us on a series of topics that are of very little interest to us.  We do not debate that they are clearly very knowledgeable on these subjects. However, it is difficult to endure a lecture on a subject that bears little relevance on your life.

Without sounding overly sceptical, I have reached an age where I can see that advice on everything from diet, vitamins, finances, health can change from year to year.  I am a lot more cautious and shrewd in general.

No matter how clever you might be, the truth often is, people don’t really care!

Unless…they know that you really care.

When someone is trying to teach me, train me, move me to change something or prompt me to action..what really touches my heart is seeing a glimpse of their heart.  When they put their heart, their conviction into their words.  When they skilfully help me to see the true value, the benefit of their advice.  When they are undoubtedly sincere, genuine and disinterested in their motives.  It is so much easier to swallow their goading, even if initially it is unwelcome.

HugAdvice reaches my heart when I am sure that they truly do care.  They might not be voicing exactly what I would like to hear.  Even if sounds perfectly reasonable and is delivered with polished eloquence, I may chafe against the counsel to begin with. Sometimes my own heart wants to lead me in a very different direction.  But at they end of the day, I am won over by realizing I am loved.  Someone cares enough to point out to me that I need to make a change or take an action that might be uncomfortable to me.  I am grateful for that level of concern.  Eventually I see the evidence of genuine care.

I have to make my own decisions.  I have to live with those decisions.  I have to be happy with my decisions.  If I regret my decision, it is wise to admit that and make a change.  I am more than happy to listen to the opinions of others.  But what sways me is not just how clever they seem, but the combination of how caring and concerned and convinced they are.

So whenever I am in a role where I have to offer advice…I try to keep that phrase to the forefront of my mind:

People Don’t Really Care How Much You Know…

Until They Know How Much You Care

I am going to admit to you… I am so tired my head feels numb, so I don’t think I explained that very well… but you do know what I mean don’t you?

21 thoughts on “People Don’t Really Care How Much You Know… Until They Know How Much You Care”

  1. Absolutely! In fact, I listen to all, paying close attention to what my well wishers have to say. In the end, I look within myself. I don’t know the answer is right or, wrong.The decision is mine and, I’m proud of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Crushed Caramel,
    Not sure why you feel you haven’t explained very well what you were trying to say. You did an excellent job!
    I first heard that quote from Maya Angelou. Your parents gave you some very wise counsel there.
    Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading and it was good to be reminded about our need to truly care for those to whom we may offer our counsel.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think you’re right. It makes sense. And the part about someone being knowledgeable but not relating to my life, that sounds like many of my university professors…


  4. I would say it depends on the question that I’m seeking advice on. Sometimes I want caring, but when it’s something specific, I may be looking for knowledge. That’s not necessarily academic knowledge; tradespeople are extremely knowledgeable about their fields and can give very practical advice based on that knowledge.


    1. True – we would rather a trained specialist operated on us and might be able to forgive his lack of bedside manner. But generally, as we float along through life, I don’t think many of us warm to a know-it-all, whereas when someone clearly cares about our welfare, they often have our ear.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Truth. I always keep that in mind with my students. And this line was often spoken by one of my favorite motivational speakers when I was younger, Zig Ziglar. Not sure if he coined the phrase or not, but I loved actually getting to meet him. He walked the talk. He cared.


      1. I think the real teaching heroes teach children. They are truly the ones on the “front lines,” especially in today’s challenging times. I’m just a college prof, in a very safe country, so it’s quite different. But, yes, I am learning to know what makes a difference in their lives. If I am too strict, it turns them off. I have to maintain a balance but always let them know I care about them more than I care about the content of the course.


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