Thursday, October 14, 2010

Giving Advice to Friends

Mood: Thoughtful and pensive

Listening to: Who Made Who (ACDC) and the beautiful silence that is one child in school and the other asleep.

Recently, both the husband and I had instances where we felt the need (and in husband’s case was asked) to dispense some life advice. I think most people give advice on things that they have been through, either positive or negative and just want to pass their knowledge along so that someone else can be successful at something or avoid something painful. I usually resist giving advice for people unless really, really pushed. I feel that even if I give solid advice, people will do what they’re going to do and need to learn their own lessons in life. While I try not to grudge them over this, on some level I get frustrated if a person doesn’t listen to my advice. Hubby on the other hand passes life advice out like candy. He’s usually pretty good at giving solid, logical advice too.

My advice was to a good friend about kids. I have some very definite theories that resulted from both my upbringing and having dealt with my own kids for the past 7 years. However, kids are just one of those areas that people just don’t listen to others about and can’t really understand the importance until they have their own kids. Nothing against my friend and whether or not she even remembers the advice when she does have her own kids, it was just something that seemed important to pass along at the time and I would love to see her successful at parenting. I’m not trying to sound like I’m a perfect parent (I’m DEFINITELY NOT!) or have all the right answers (I DON’T), I just have some strong opinions based on what I’ve heard and seen in my kids and others and things that I think are important to raising healthy, respectful children. God knows there are plenty who aren’t!

My husband’s advice to his friend was of a rather different nature. His friend asked him some very hard questions to do with a situation he found himself in. I’m not quite sure why he asked my husband for advice as the situation he is in can only be solved by himself and the other person involved. Either which way, my husband was afraid that I would be upset with him for the advice that he gave as he and I see this situation in two very different ways. I apologize for all of the talking around the actual problem, but privacy is prudent in this story. Anyhow, I did not begrudge his advice, but urged him to carefully consider whether or not he had any place actually giving advice in a such a person and painful situation as his friend found himself in. I told him that people can benefit from a calm, logical friend in a time of crisis, but eventually need to make their own decisions.

There are many things that I’ve found that you can share with close friend and family, but advice just doesn’t seem to be one of them for me. It’s like giving a friend a haircut because you successfully gave your kids haircuts. Just too many things that could go wrong and create hard feelings.


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