3.30.2009

Easy to Give... Hard to Take: Advice & the Modern Woman

Giving and Taking Advice

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't. -Erica Jong
Often we seek advice because we need someone to give us the cold hard truth that we would prefer to avoid. I can attest to receiving advice while mumbling I know... I know...because I DO KNOW but I wish I did not, yet I am grateful to have a loved one who is willing to advise me anyway.

"Do-so" is more important than "say-so." -Pete Seeger
Much like the phrase "Practice what you preach."As we dish out advice we should pause and ask ourselves are willing to take this same advice and have we done so? When receiving advice, note if the person is walking the walk or just talking the talk. I'm sure they mean well but it makes a difference when weighing the impact of the advice if the person isn't taking it themselves.

In giving advice, seek to help, not please, your friend -Solon
We have some friends who don't mind telling you what they think you want to hear... then there are those who will be straight up and tell you the real deal. Sincere advice should not destroy a friendship so don't be afraid to share your real thoughts. If you have friends who constantly seek to please you and not push you... then how can you grow?

Don't try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night -P.K. Dick
I'm no stranger to 4am calls and neither are any of my friends! I think whenever an issue is consuming your thoughts and emotions you need to take time to talk it out... but 4am is not a time to solve issues. Dawn brings new light both to the world and to your mind and heart, take that time to really think and reflect not to react in haste.

Never take the advice of someone who has not had your kind of trouble -Sidney J Harris
I believe it is important that the advice isn't mere speculation, some issues people just will not understand because they have not been there, and as a person giving advice you should tread carefully if you have never ventured in that territory. The same with receiving advice, it is great to listen to a voice of reason but always consider the source and their experience. It doesn't make it any less valuable but it may not be easy to take the advice.

Never trust the advice of a man in difficulties -Aesop
A lot of people have their own shit going on and you just can't blindly take their advice. It may sound good, but that may because they are not only telling you what you want to hear, but also what they want to hear. And if asked for advice while going through personal difficulties do your friend a favor and admit that you may not be in the best place right now to advise on that issue but you are here to listen.

Advice is like castor oil, easy enough to give but dreadful uneasy to take. -Josh Billings
Everyone is quick to give advice, maybe because it feels great to be asked for it... maybe because we are happy to share the lessons we have learned or maybe we think we are far wiser than what we are. Nevertheless sharing is the easy part, but taking advice is a challenge. Some people seek the advice of several people before coming to terms with a resolution, and that is because often we don't hear what we want to hear or how we want to hear it and the repetition of the message will slowly began to sink in no matter how it is told.... Hence the next point...

Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into, the mind. -S.T. Cooleridge
When giving advice consider your deliverance, it makes a difference. I know I can be pretty uhm... cold when dishing advice and I am learning that deliverance can make all the difference. Giving the fact that advice is so difficult to take, if you going to give it to em give it to em nice and easy... but not in order to please, but in order to effectively get your point across.

Sometimes people just need someone to listen to them... -Me
Just because you're friend calls you in tears, baffled with many unanswered questions doesn't mean it is time for you to lay it on her. Just listen, as the first point makes they may already know the answer but need someone to listen to them think it through. At times they may ask for advice but allow your instincts and your knowledge of that person determine if they really just want you to listen. Its okay to take heed and realize your words of advice is not always needed but your listening ear would certainly do!

3 comments:

(fŭng'kē) [blak] [chik] said...

My favorite is Aesop!! It's always ppl who have worst off situations that are trying to offer advice. They immediately are put on mute!

Certified Diva aka Chivonne said...

Gurl Yea! No lie there are some people who I will NOT ask for financial advice... because they are reckless with their finances- bankrupt and all!
I also wanted to stress that with relationships I tread carefully because I don't know many young black couples that are happily married and i want to be able to speak with someone who can relate, even amongst adults i don't really know any married couples that are still together, often I yearn for an example, and I think that contributes to the number of broken homes in our community because there are few examples that show us how to do it or that we CAN do it.

LLnL said...

Another brilliant post. I can tell you have books in you. I agree with everything you wrote but have never articulated it for myself before.