Now—ignore the cheesy title and take this as some of the experience I’ve learned over the years, as opposed to actual advice.
One of my best friends just shared with me: “Don’t give other people advice, unless they’re asking for it or if they are in danger.”
Now I’m the type that loves to play the “friend therapist” from time to time. If you’ve stepped into this role before, you know that unnecessary frustration, resentment, and drama stem from this duty. The frustration begins with the feeling that you need to control someone else’s life. How do I know this? Because every time I give someone advice and they don’t follow it—I’m frustrated as fuck. So there.
Frustration builds resentment. All of a sudden, I start getting extremely angry at this person, and not just angry in the way that you say a few snide remarks and walk away, it’s the punch-them-in-the-face-kind of angry.
And, after you want to fucking kill the person, you get into a big blow-up fight, or just avoid them like the plague. So, you’ve caused unnecessary drama for no reason.
Here’s the deal with all of this bullshit. It’s completely avoidable! Unless your friend is in danger—let them lead the life that they want to lead!
Did you ever break-up with that guy all your friends told you to? No. Because you had to learn whatever they were saying for yourself—or—it worked out. Who knows.
You do not have all of the answers to the world. I do not have all of the answers to the world. And, by trying to control someone else’s life with advice, you’re robbing them of life experience. They’ll learn—so let them.
Vice versa, I’ve learned that listening to the advice of others will never make you happier. You need to follow your own path in life, and figure out the advice for yourself. Obviously there are exceptions such as: an abusive relationship, a dangerous situation you’re in, or a monumentally bad decision you’re about to make. Sure—your friends and family are there to step in and guide you, but they will never be able to control you. That’s your job.
Maybe you’re dating someone all of your friends and family hate, there’s probably a reason for that, but it’s one you have to figure out on your own—and maybe they’re wrong! Maybe you’re not doing the job everyone expected of you or wanted you to do—so continue with whatever you’re doing, because clearly life is guiding you on a different path.
Even if what you’re doing is sitting on the couch all day and watching Netflix, you’re only hurting yourself. Nobody can make you get a job, and realize “your potential” (the dreaded two words of advice nobody wants to here).
So let people live their lives. Live your own life. And, if you’re getting angry over someone else’s bad choices, realize that you’re not an angel, you certainly don’t know all of the answers, and maybe you have to dig deeper and figure out why this person is bothering you so much. It all comes down to you.
Remember that therapists exist as a profession for a reason, and you’re not one of them (unless you’re a legitimate therapist reading this). So step back, take a breath, and just roll with life and all of the great things you’ll learn in the darkness. Again—I’m not telling you what to do, I’ve just found this to be a much easier way to live.