The Problem With Friends & Advice

The Problem With Friends & Advice

Doris Lavoile, Impact Staff

There is always that one person in a group of friends who is sought after for their advice.  In my group of friends, it is made clear that I’m that person. I try to be as compassionate and understanding as possible. I know that coming to anyone with a personal problem can be nerve wrecking, even if it is a close friend.

Unfortunately, a lot of irritating things can come with being the friend who seems to have all of the answers.

One problem being is that  you really  don’t have all of the answers! Sometimes my friends will expect me to be a licensed psychologist at their beck and call when all I really want to do is enjoy TV series marathon on Netflix.

If you believe that honesty is indeed the best policy, you might risk seeming like the “blunt” friend. I have been referred as this all too often.  My approach is never malicious or harsh, but I see no point in sugar coating things either. Telling a friend what they want to hear for the sake of sparing their feeling is nothing short of blindfolding them while they walk on the edge of a cliff- it only gets them into trouble. Annoyingly enough people want sound advice but don’t want the truth.  This can also potentially make your friends uncomfortable talking to you even though that it is far from your intent. You will also aggravate yourself trying to childproof your opinion.

Inconveniently enough, with every friend that gives good advices, comes a friend who never takes it.. You are constantly invited to the pity parties they throw themselves, on the phone discussing the same issue and forced to deal with any topic of conversation reverting back to their problems. Whenever you present them with a possible solution or words of encouragement, it is as if you’ve never said a word.  Granted, no one is obligated to take your advice, but it certainly isn’t fair nor enjoyable to sit through a slew of complaints with no resolution in sight.

The biggest problem that the friend with advice always faces is that it seems like no one ever has advice for them. I know personally that this has always been the case for me. You often find yourself conflicted with trying to help your friends while trying to juggle  your own problems. When it is your turn to express your feelings and concerns, the same friends who you’ve helped have suddenly run out of things to say.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my friends and I find it  flattering that they value what I have to say. I just know that there are many people who are put in this position in their own circle of friends deal with the same things

So here’s my advice for giving advice:

It is really important to set things straight with friends before they ask you for your opinion or input on their issues. Let them know what type approach you have when giving advice, Wether it’s the honest type or the non-repetitive type. If they value your advice then they will value what you have to say about your relationship with them.