On Giving Advice

How do I even open up this can of worms? I began with the idea of a general how-to in giving advice. You know, don’t say this, don’t say that, kind of thing. But really, there’s only one incident that prompted me to even write this post.

I told my friend about my sentiments regarding my friendships and my life, how I feel awful for feeling neglected by friends who are simply busy with their lives. I said, “I don’t mind if we don’t talk or see each other for a while, but I feel left out of the big things happening in her life.” I explained, “Maybe it’s also because I literally feel left out as in I’m still in school, no boyfriend/fiancé/husband, no career yet to speak of. … everybody else is moving away from me in life.” I wasn’t trying to compare my life with theirs, because really, I have come to terms with where I am in life. I just wish I could still be a part of their lives even if I’m here and they’re there where they are.

Well, there are a lot of people struggling. Just gotta face it. You shouldn’t look at it that way. There are people who are always in worse situations than you.

A, I love you, but that is the worst advice anyone could ever give. Ever. (And I told him that.)

Never tell anyone who is struggling that someone else is in worse situations. No matter how true it is, you shouldn’t say it.

And this doesn’t only apply to friends/family with mental health problems. Whenever someone is down, the way to cheer them up is never to put someone else down. And even if someone is dying from hunger in [insert country here], it doesn’t solve any of my problems. I’m not diminishing the importance of others’ suffering, but we all get a little selfish when we have our own problems. Because let’s face it, how will you help the poor hungry children miles away from you when you can’t even help yourself feel better? How could you even think about them when all you can think of is how miserable your life is? You’re not experiencing theirs, and your hardships are just as real as theirs, so why can’t you be allowed to feel down?

3 thoughts on “On Giving Advice

  1. I think your friend meant well. And I am well-meaning too in this comment. 😉 I used to think the best *solutions* to people’s problems were to cheer them up, give them a pep talk, let them count their blessings, etc. when in reality, they just want a “shoulder to cry on”, “a sympathetic ear”, “a sounding board.” We all have such days. After the “emotional onslaught”, once the rants have subsided, the tears have dried up, even we ourselves are able to see clearly and realize that our problems aren’t as big as we thought they were.

    1. Oh I agree. And I know he meant well. I just got frustrated about it because it’s always the “advice” I get when I try to talk to somebody about my problems. They always tell me that I’ll get over my depression, and see how other people are doing just as poorly in life or worse and yet they’re not depressed…

      I do appreciate your comment, however. That is pretty much what I wanted to say in this whole post, lol. Thank you, Aggie.


  2. Lol I totally agree. If I say I’m happy do people tell me I can’t be happy because there are happier people out there?

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