Advice. It’s the thing that friends come to me for, and what I seek from them when I find myself in a difficult situation. It’s ironic, because for the most part, I feel like I give pretty level headed good advice. Maybe the reason why so many people confide in me is because they see that to be true as well. And I’m sure others can relate, but when you yourself are in a pickle, it seems like all that good advice that you give others goes completely out the window. At some point, everyone has asked themselves this irritatingly true question:
Why is advice so easier said than done?
That’s something that will probably be true for the rest of our lives. I guess the reason why it’s so easy for me to give others advice is the simple fact that I’m looking at the situation from the outside. Everything is different when you’re not involved. That’s mostly part of the reason why we seek the advice from our closest friends and family, because they’re removed from the difficult situation and can offer (hopefully) mature advice. It’s way less complicated to be an outsider looking in. It means you’re more detached from the situation and don’t have the emotional component that makes it so hard for people to listen to their heads and not their hearts.
Sometimes you just need to hear the harsh truth, and hopefully, you have great friends that will let you know when the problem is you. But at the same time, they’ll still root for you to do better and encourage you to handle future scenarios better. I have amazing friends that do just that. Because there are times where you just need people who will listen to you bitch, cry, and cuss every other word if you need to. The kind of friends that will pick up the phone call, pull up and take you on a late night drive, or let you send100 texts per minute explaining in detail everything that went down.
We can’t help but tell the story biasedly when it’s from our own perspective, even though I really try not to. I will even try to play devil’s advocate every now and then to attempt to see someone else’s side. Most of the time when I seek advice, I want my friends to help me see the other perspective because I’m so wrapped up in my own head. When I think I’m right in an argument, I don’t back down. And when I really can’t shake something off that’s bothering me, I look to those around me to help me navigate those feelings and hopefully, uncloud my judgement.
The best advice anyone can receive is the truth. I realized I had real ones in my corner when they started to call me out on where I went wrong in a scenario. And that’s the same advice I try to give those around me. There’s no point in just saying what someone wants to hear for advice. Becoming an echo chamber of ideas where nothing is being challenged or thought over doesn’t help anyone. Because hearing someone else’s take on a problem you’re having can be just the thing that you need to have that lightbulb go off in your head and for everything to connect and make sense.
In my lifetime I have found myself taking on the role as personal therapist and advice giver by choice. People of all ages, all of which are at different stages in their lives, have come to me for advice. And I love to give my 2 cents for the people I care about. It didn’t matter if the topic was about relationships, family, divorce, scandal, trauma, and all the chisme in-between, I have given my advice when it was asked for. Depending on the relationship with whoever is asking for my advice, there were definitely times where I felt frustrated and too involved in a scenario I had no business being all up in. It would get to the point where I would give my unsolicited advice when it wasn’t asked for because I was already so invested in the topic at hand.
But since advice is just that – advice – sometimes it can be hard to take in, especially if it’s not something someone wants to hear, aren’t ready to hear, or can’t process at the moment. You can give all the right, mature, and supportive advice all you want, but at the end of the day, it’s up to whoever is seeking the advice to do as they please. As an outsider looking in, the obvious answers or ways to go about a situation may be completely apparent to you. And when you find yourself giving someone the same advice time and time again, it may not make sense to you why they find it so difficult to take the advice they were asking for.
You may find yourself getting frustrated when the advice you give is not being executed. I have been in this situation plenty of times. It can be easy to think someone should do this, or do that, or handle a situation differently. The frustration comes from a good place because you care and don’t want to see them in a difficult situation. But I’ve learned that there’s a thin line between giving advice that is wanted and overstepping your boundaries, causing you to give unsolicited advice. There’s a difference between looking out for those you love and being overaggressive with your opinion. You can only give advice to an extent. After that, you have to realize that it is not your job to make sure people act on the advice you give. At the end of the day, advice is easier said than done when you’re not the one emotionally invested.
When I find myself getting overly aggressive with my advice, I have to remind myself that my role is to be supportive, give good advice when I can, and just be there to listen. I can’t force anyone to act accordingly to the advice I give, because at the end of the day, people are going to do whatever they want. Someone can give great advice time and time again and have it fall on deaf ears each time. People have to make and choose their own decisions. It can he tough to watch sometimes, especially when it’s people you care about. But that’s life.
I have never been one to back down from my opinion, especially if it get’s me riled up. It can be really hard for me to tone it the fuck down when I feel some type of way. Even if I’m far removed from the situation, if it involves someone I care about, I can get pretty passionate about the advice I give. Recently, I have found myself bombarding a best friend of mine with questions about their scenario. Each time they gave me an answer, I would fire back with more facts and logical reasoning.
“It’s easier said than done,” they had texted me.
I felt really bad. They sounded so defeated and lost, and I was just adding to the chaos. It made me super sad, because I have been on that side of the fence in the past – where you just want advice because you’re stressed out and then you feel attacked. I had to take a step back and see what I was no longer being helpful. Because it’s true, advice is easier said than done. Sometimes taking the “obvious” advice can be scary. Since I was so emotionally detached from the scenario and was an outsider looking in, it was easy for me to give drastic advice. Regardless if my advice was the right choice or not, and for the record, it was lol, I had to be a good friend and support them through the difficult time, instead of being overly aggressive with my opinions.
I have been on the other side of the spectrum where I ask for repeated advice and do the exact same thing in the end. So I’m sure there are those that were annoyed of me and the advice I refused to take from them. Advice is definitely easier said than done. When you’re not actually the one in the situation, yes, the answers may be more obvious and clear to you because you’re not as emotionally invested. The advice and the push for others to take your advice comes from a good place because you never want to see those you care about in a shitty situation. But sometimes advice is just the cherry on top of someone being there for you and just listening to what’s on your mind.