I’ve realized recently that I really hate getting advice from people.
To the point where I regret telling them anything that’s happening in my life. For some reason, we as humans, feel like we need to have an opinion on any topic that we hear. It’s very rare that I have encountered a person that has asked me “what’s new with you?” and I tell them. And they nod their head, and smile. No two cents. No trying to talk me in or out of anything. They just take in the words.
I don’t mind having debates. I don’t mind having “what if” scenarios thrown at me. But honestly, when I tell you about my choices, don’t try to change them. If I want help, I will ask for it.
I used to be that person. I used to always tell my friends what I thought they should do, even when they hadn’t asked for it. Why? Because, again, like a majority of people, I thought that because I liked how I was living my life, and my decisions, that I could tell someone else to do the same and they would be happy. But that ISN’T the case. I went 20+ years reacting to peoples’ stories, life updates, gossip that way…until I crossed a boundary with a good friend in college.
“Caitlin, I’m not asking for your opinion, I’m not asking for you to tell me what to do, I’m telling you because I just want you to listen. If I want your help on making a decision, a choice, I’ll ASK.”
I get it now. I understand her frustration. I no longer try to tell others how to be, well, me. I listen. But damn it, why can’t anyone else!? So, I challenge you reader, to see what kind of person you are with your friends, your co-workers, your family: are you a listener, or are you a pusher?
Ask yourself: is the advice that you’re giving, what would be best for you or, the person asking for it?
The best takeaway I got from Amy Poehler’s autobiography, is now how I deal with super-helpful friends: “good for her, not for me.”