Even with today’s technology there are certain things that can’t be fixed with a click of a button: broken hearts, teacher-to-student relationship, friend troubles, etc. When all other resources fail us, we go to our close friends. We need closure; we need support; and most of all, we need advice.
This is where things get hypocritical.
When facing a conflict – whether it’s temporary or long-term -we assume it’s the end of the world; we feel stuck and want all of the help we can get. BUT once we get the advice we don’t usually listen or take it. This leaves the advice-giver in the dust. There’s a huge difference between someone who asks for advice and someone who gives advice.
Usually this person has been struggling with the same problem for a few months and maybe even a few years. She has made her rounds through a variety of friends. She asks the same questions until she hears what she wants to hear. She listens and takes action until she is comfortable. Although she is seeking for advice, she won’t make a change until she is ready. See, there are different types of advice seekers.
Personally, if I need advice on something, I contact the person I trust the most and knows has my best interest. For me, that would be my mom or boyfriend. Depending on the conflict, within 24 to 48 hours I will do something about my issue.
Other times, I am so engrossed in a problem; I am constantly thinking, breathing and living the insanity. Some days I am ready to set boundaries or call everything off and other days I prefer shoving everything under the rug. Because I have been struggling for so long, I don’t know how to end it. In this case, I may not do anything for six months to a good year.
I have shared a fair amount of advice. With that being said, it usually never ever ends well. Although the person continues to ask me for advice, and I keep reciprocating, this does not mean they take my advice. After a while I feel like I’ve been wasting my time and end up frustrated. The advice seeker does not realize they are being annoying – not taking my advice at all – and continues to ask for more help without doing anything about it.
This can be upsetting for anyone, but let’s look at it differently.
Professors provide students with study tips or formulas. It’s up to the student to take the advice. A professor doesn’t care if you listen to them or not. That’s just one less exam or paper for them to worry about. Why don’t professors care? Because they are not emotionally involved.
If someone comes to you with a problem DON’T offer your best advice. DON’T get emotionally involved. Wait until they come to you. Don’t let it bother you. Remember: it’s their problem not yours. Keep conversation simple. When they have a problem say something along the lines of: “I’m sorry to hear that. You’ll work it out.” More than likely they’ll go to the next friend until they hear something better. That’s no different than how they reacted when you actually spent time helping them.