Sunday, October 16, 2016

Why You Should Stop Asking Friends for Advice

In high school and college, its pretty much the same for everyone. You have a best friend, or a group of gals that you tell everything to. You asked them what they thought of Johnny, or Henry, or whoever it was you were crushing on. "Is he cute?" you would ask indecisively. On the weekends you would head out shopping together and walk out of the dressing room asking, "How does this look?"

Now we're older and things have changed.

Or have they?

I was thinking about this the other day when I was out with a friend. We were talking about boys (surprise, surprise) and I mentioned that looks really didn't matter to me when I was dating my now husband because his personality was just so amazing. She replied that he "wasn't bad looking" and I immediately went into protective mode. She meant absolutely nothing bad when she said it, but it sure got me thinking.

What if I had polled my friends before I got married? Would they have thought my husband was cute and told me so? Or would they have been brutally honest and disparaged his looks, putting me in doubt? Perhaps I would never have gotten serious with the man that means everything to me now. He and I got married quickly, and I know some of my more acquaintance type friends didn't approve. Since we are happily in year 3 of our marriage, I'm sure glad I didn't listen to their doubts.

I fully understand that sometimes friends get in bad situations with men that include abuse and cheating. Please do everything you can to help a friend in such a relationship. However, I'm pretty darn sure that if you are the one who feels the need to ask your friends about a guy, especially in terms of "should I marry him?" you probably know in your gut that it isn't right.

What about things other than guys?

I was looking in my closet and thinking about all the comments friends have made shopping with me. I remember once shopping with my closest friends and saying "ooh isn't this cute?" Before turning around she said, "Victoria, if that is stripes, I'm going to strangle you." I slowly put the striped clothing piece back on the rack.

She was just kidding, but I've definitely learned over the years to buy and wear what I like, and wear it with confidence. When you ask for friends' opinions beforehand, you run the risk of getting an opinion that doesn't match with yours, and shaking your confidence.
Be confident; its time to fly on your own two wings little bird. - Tweet This
Lately, I've been trying this in the reverse with my friends. There are some things that they've asked in regards to work and personal issues that I truly do not feel comfortable answering. I know what I would do in that situation, but I am not them, and they are not me. I would hate for a friend to become bitter and resentful towards me if she took my advice and then later really regretted it. I am learning to try and answer their questions with my own questions, like "how do you feel about it?" "What does your gut say?" These types of questions get down to the heart of the matter without implicating yourself and leading your friend astray.

Friendships are wonderful things. Lets continue building one another up while learning to stand on our own two feet.

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