It might be humorous if it didn’t prove to be so detrimental, how men and women wanting and needing advice regarding their relationships tend to ask people who like themselves, have no idea what they should do in a given situation. For example, take the lady who asks her best friend for advice about what she should do now that she has found out that her boyfriend is cheating on her, when she knows that her girlfriend has known that her own boyfriend has been cheating for quite some time and hasn’t addressed the matter at all, but acts like its not happening. Or the man who trusts the advice on maintaining a healthy marriage relationship, from a person who has admittedly been the major factor in the demise of the three marriages he/she has had. It seems that in these cases the old saying, “common sense isn’t common” proves to be true.
One would think that everyone would know better than to ask someone with a proven track record of an unhealthy, dismal, or maybe just boring relationship, how to have a good to great one. Yet, when many are having relational difficulties, sentimental connection, familiarity, and comfort seem to weigh in more heavily than rationality. So much so that the friend with beneficial advice, who has a proven track record of having a good relationship can’t help because his or her words of wisdom would pull the advisee too far from the comfort zone.
Just because a cousin is a beloved relative and listens to everything you have to say, be it of sound mind or insanity, doesn’t mean she is capable of giving good advice in this particular area. When we’re requesting advice, we must learn to go beyond our comfort zones and inquire of people who are able to not only listen to us, but give us sound advice even if it makes us uncomfortable.
Before we go to others for assistance re: our relationships there are a few things we can do that can help us to accept the difficult things they may say to us:
1. Prepare yourself for what you may hear – Before you go to someone, acknowledge that they may say something your weren’t expecting to hear. Think about the fact that you are going because you don’t have the answers and are in search of some. If you aren’t prepared you may, in a quick response, reject something good.
2. Choose your advisors wisely – Take the time to consider who would be the best choice to talk to about your situation based on their experiences and positive outcomes, your trust in them, and their example. Choose people who are successful in their relationships who you may imitate. There is nothing wrong with following someone who is doing right.
3. Figure out what you think – Do your best to formulate a stance on your situation before getting someone else’s opinion. It’s much easier for someone to come alongside you with understanding when you are able to articulate where you’re coming from first.
Remember, the truth will set us free, but only if we want to be.