Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Advice - Trying To Give It, Having To Receive It & The Mess In Between

Advice can be an uncomfortable thing to deal with, whether you’re being asked to give it or you’re having to hear it. 

Many of us have been in the position where a friend/family member/colleague is asking for advice on a particularly sensitive topic and you have to make the decision - do I go in blunt but truthful, or do I say what I am pretty sure they want me to say.

It can be a bit of a lose-lose situation. If you’re ‘brutally’ honest you can end up doing more damage than good and maybe damaging a relationship. However, if you just say what you think they want to hear, then are you being a good friend?

But also, let’s be honest, none of us know what the hell we are doing. It’s largely jus a bunch of guesswork and luck. How different did you imagine being an adult? When I was younger and I would see someone who was 30+ years old and think they looked so wise and full of answers. What a load of crock.

So although I can be opinionated on certain things, that does not mean I am qualified to give advice.

It’s so much easier to give advice and say what the right thing to do is when you’re not personally involved in the situation. When you don’t have to live with the repercussions then it’s easy to say “you should definitely do this”, or “oh my god do not do that”.

Then there’s the worst type of advice…unsolicited advice.

Why some people feel the need to reach out and give you unsolicited advice is beyond me, and so bloody irritating.

I have an Instagram account for my pet ferrets, I’m not that active on it anymore but when I was I would get people sending me messages like “I think it’s time to clip their claws” or “you shouldn’t be feeding them that ferret treat, feed them this one instead”.

Excuse me, but did I ask you? No, so shut up Susan!

I understand some people are trying to be nice but most of them would say it so rudely, I think they just wanted to make themselves feel superior.

I don’t have children but i hear parent bloggers get this a lot too, I remember Hannah Gale putting an insta-story up with the messages she regularly receives, it was so ridiculous.

Sure, some of the unsolicited advice I have received I can now get behind, like my mum telling me to “put a jacket on, it’s freezing outside”. 

I’ll never the forget the Friday night just before Christmas, when my sister and I were stranded in the town centre in nothing but our mini dresses, no jackets, no tights, nothing. All the taxis were taken and we had to walk home through the snow, my dolly shoes fell apart halfway home, so I was barefoot for the last part. Sometimes I still get shivers, I wish I listened to the advice.

I’ve recently made a big life decision, and while most people have been very supportive and encouraging, a few others have not. 

At first I was annoyed, if they don’t agree then fine, but keep it to yourself.

Then I realised that there are always going to be people who don’t agree with you, but those people usually live life in a different way than I would, so of course they won’t agree. 

They’re not going to be the ones who live with the decision, so I can’t take it too much to heart.

This quote sums up what I’m trying to say - 

“Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes.”

Use a bit of empathy, understand that while it would not be something you would choose to do, you are not that person. Your experiences and your challenges with the world are not the same as theirs. Try to understand it from their point of view, and it might just start making sense to you.

I feel like I’m rambling a bit right now, and the boyfriend is nudging me as we’re supposed to be going out for lunch as I’m writing this. 

So I’m going to wrap it up here and hope you get me.

I’d love to know about your experiences with giving and receiving advice, let me know in the comments section below.


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