Copyright © 2002 by Joe Freeman. All rights reserved.
You Call Them Friends?
We sometimes need to talk with someone about the troubles we are experiencing. We confide some of our most personal thoughts to the people we call ‘friends’. We trust them to listen us, perhaps provide some feedback on the problem, but mostly just to be there and provide some support to us during a trying time.
If you have a friend like that described above, you should cherish that relationship. The problem is sometimes we have a friend who sees them self as the anointed one to guide us through the dark passages of life, to take us where we would be unable to go alone, for they know what is best for us. You can identify these people through the language they use when giving you some ‘friendly advice’. When you are discussing a problem with a friend and they start giving you advice by saying ‘You need to’, this is an indication that they believe you are unable to solve the problem and 'you need’ their guidance.
There are times when discussing a problem with someone who is qualified to tell you what actions you might consider with a given problem, but these are usually professionals who have some insight into the consequences you could expect when you do take that action.
The problem with taking advice from friends is they do not live in your shoes, they do not see the world as you see it, they have not experienced what you have experienced, and most of all, they will not have to suffer from any misguided advice they give you.
Most of our friends have our best interest in mind, and they really want to be of help. They have good intentions. No one wants to see a friend or loved one hurting or struggling with life's issues. The best thing you can do is listen and weigh their comments along with your own experiences and come to your own conclusions.
If you are still unable to make a decision, then your next stop is to see a professional who can guide you through the decision making process, but it will still be your decision.
Friendship will not stand the strain of very much good advice for very long.
One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty councils.
The best advisers, helpers and friends,
always are not those who tell us how to act in special cases,
but who give us, out of themselves, the ardent spirit and desire
to act right, and leave us then, even through many blunders,
to find out what our own form of right action is.
The Web Sage