I Need Some Advice

Questions and Questions

Hi there. I need to ask you a question.

Well, not so much a question as for some advice.

You see, I’ve got this situation I’m dealing with, and I don’t know what I should do. There’s all this emotional sub-text, and my head is telling me one thing, and my heart is telling me another, and… Can you tell me what you think I should do?

So, the situation is this. I’m…

Actually.

Before I explain, maybe I should find out a little more about you. I don’t want to waste your time. You know how sometimes someone gives you some advice, and you listen to it, and you think: Yeah, but you’re not really someone I trust to give me this kind of advice. You’ve got your own agenda here.

It’s like asking your employer for advice on how to pretend to be sick. Or asking your Dad for advice on which mini-skirt to wear on a first date.

And sometimes people just give you the wrong advice. I mean, you listen and all, and you say “thankyou” and “that’s a great idea”, but you know right away that they’re just plain wrong.

When I was a kid, my brother and sister and I would argue over what game we were going to play. So we developed a system where we’d each write five options on pieces of paper and put them in a hat and mix them up. We’d draw them out, one at a time, saying: “This is what we’re going to do first!”

And then we’d draw one and someone would say: “No…. I really don’t want to do that.” So we’d give ourselves a break and draw the next one. And in the end, we’d find what we all really wanted to do.

Which we could have done in the first place if we’d thought and talked about it a bit more, rather than relying on a system of luck and gut reactions .

But sometimes you think and think and think, and you just can’t work out what you want to do. And so you really need someone to give you some advice. To tell you what you should do. To lay it out in black and white and give you permission guidance to do the right thing.

And that’s where I’m at. So please, help me out. I need some advice.

So, the situation is this: I’m…

Wait.

Look, there are really only two options, and if you give me the wrong advice, I’m going to either (a) feel terrible, or (b) decide you’re wrong, and start questioning your intelligence. So just make sure you give me the right advice. Okay? Okay.

So, the situation is this: I’m…

Hold on.

I don’t really know what advice I’d like you to give me.

Let me think about this a bit more and get back to you.

And then I’ll really value your advice.

Do you ask for advice from people who are going to give you the advice you want, or the advice you need?

11 Comments

Filed under Opinion, Random Stuff

11 responses to “I Need Some Advice

  1. Jean-Paul Satre advanced a similar theory: that we only ask for advice from people we think will agree with what we have already decided. This seems fairly evident when picking a stranger to ask for advice on, say, the best place to eat: we pick someone who looks like they are like us.

    However, I am not certain if we do actually display the same trait with close friends. I wonder if, instead, we pick the person most likely to discuss the point; by talking it out we allow our thoughts to emerge from the unconscious, in a modern version of divination.

    • I love that you’ve managed to inject a bit of class into my meandering thought by bringing Satre into the discussion. Thank you. :)

      As for your final though, I think you’re right — to a point. Although there have definitely been times where I specifically haven’t discussed decisions and decision-making processes with particular friends, because I knew they would disagree with me on the topic.

      But, on the other hand, there are friends who I would happily talk to about anything, regardless.

      I think, for me, the decision comes down to a sense of whether that person will judge me, or whether they’ll simply encourage me to talk it out, whether they agree or not. But perhaps, in the end, a “close friend” incorporates the notion of being non-judgmental by its very definition.

  2. I have different friends with very different views that I ask for advice on important issues a regular basis so I can get all points of view. I usually have my mind made up though as to what i’m going to do, and I’m more using my friend as a sound board as Dave pointed out.

    • Yeah, I tend to be the same. I just get cranky when someone tries to give me advice that doesn’t mesh with the decision I’ve already made — which is actually awesome, because sometimes I don’t KNOW what decision I’ve made until I start to get defensive. :)

  3. Bec

    I love the similes

  4. I was just relieved you didn’t ask me for advice, lol. ;)

    My “rl” friends come to me when they want someone to play devil’s advocate. I tend to over-analyze and try to see a situation from different povs before I can come up with something coherent.

    In short, asking for advice from me usually requires a long discussion over drinks. :)

  5. writinggeek62

    Most of my life, I’ve been one of those folx that everybody talks to. So much that I’ve often thought I should have a “the doctor is in 5cents” sign like Lucy in Peanuts. Contrairily, I rarely ask people for advice because a) I don’t want”to bother them” or b) I try to rely on myself. I’ve been trying to be better about it, because I realize my deficiencies.

    • Asking for advice and asking for help are both things that are difficult to do. I know I was raised to feel that needing to ask for outside assistance is somehow an admission of weakness. I’m also trying to overcome that perception. :)

  6. What I need. Buy sometimes what I want. You have to suggest what you think.

Speak to me.

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