So, to start, let me just say that this is a topic I have mixed feelings on. There is really no right or wrong answer. It is truly a matter of preference. There are many factors to consider when going to your friends about your relationship: are they in a relationship? If so, is the relationship healthy? Does this friend genuinely want what is best for me? Will they be honest with me?
- It does not actually matter whether a friend is in a relationship or not. Some of the best advice comes from single people who have made their fair share of mistakes in relationships and aim to prevent others from going down a similar road. But if they are in a relationship, we should probably find out if they are in a healthy one. A healthy relationship is not one void of problems and hardships; the couple was just able to overcome the difficulties using positive coping mechanisms like communication. If a person who is in an unhealthy relationship gives us advice, we could be less likely to take it because it could be ungenuine. We may even find ourselves paying attention to how it is they handle their problems, and if they aren’t following their own advice, we probably wouldn’t follow it either.
Disclaimer: Anyone is capable of giving great advice; it’s just harder to take advice from people when their water is not clean.
- We all have friends who genuinely want the best for us and some who would try to sabotage our relationship because they are not happy in their current situation. The hardest part about knowing this is determining if our friend is the former or the latter so we know who we should and should not take advice from (we obviously would not want to take advice from someone who has bad intentions)! Then, we have to consider that among those friends who genuinely want the best for us, are some who find it hard to be honest for one reason or another. For instance, one of my closest friends recently revealed to me that she could not stand the person I was dealing with a few years ago. Her exact words were “I never told you this, but I could not stand him.” When I asked her why she did not tell me then, her response was “You were not ready, but I knew you would have gotten it right someday.” A few years removed from the situation and no longer defensive, I was able to meet that statement with understanding instead of holding her decision against her. I know she is a friend who wants what is best for me, but sometimes those kind of friends get caught up in the line of fire if they tell us the truth about the person we are dealing with WHILE we’re still with them. At that point, our minds are clouded by our emotions, and a friend giving us sound advice before we are ready to hear it or come to terms with what the situation actually is could be detrimental to a friendship. I had other friends who I pushed away for that exact reason. They refused to enable me when it came to my dealings and rather than looking at the guy as the enemy, I pushed them away to save face.
I polled this question a week ago and 58% of voters said they DO find going to their friends for advice beneficial versus 42% who selected no. One voter messaged me and explained why she was against seeking advice. She said that she never listens to her friends even if they’re offering logical guidance because at the end of the day, the heart and mind will not accept what it is not ready to. She believes people ask for advice hoping we will get cosigns for what we say or think; we need validation and I agree. We usually go to people to vent until we finally come to terms with what we need or want to do. We only take advice when we want to.
This topic is not black and white for me. I have arguments for going to your friends and arguments to keep your business private. However, if I had to choose a side, I would say it is not beneficial to go to your friends for their input. While some advantages are that they may be able to see in your partner what you cannot and can help point out if and when you are sabotaging your own relationship, the majority of the time, we are not taking our friends’ advice until we are good and ready. By that time, we realize that we don’t even need their help anymore because we came to an ultimate decision on our own.
Editor: Sweenie Nicole; Instagram: sweenie.nicole; Twitter: @simplysweenie; Blog: Relishn’Rise