Take it from me – here’s some advice:
If you are that go-to friend, people come to you because they know that you’ll listen to what they have to say. They know that whatever advice you give them, it’s because you want nothing but the best outcome for them and because you genuinely care.
But have you ever had a friend come to you for advice yet did not take anything you had to say in consideration? You let him or her know your thoughts and opinions on the matter, but that friend goes right ahead and makes a decision completely opposite of what you had in mind. Not only that, but you feel that your friend’s decision is a bad one and that he or she isn’t making the best of choices for themselves.
Let me give an example: I had a friend who was going through a breakup. Her ex had not only cheated on her, but he dumped her so that he could date the side hoe that he cheated with. And to make things even worse – before he cheated, he had done several other things to encourage me (as well as her other friends) to think that he wasn’t a very good boyfriend to begin with. He had the tendency to mistreat her, and his cheating was just the icing on their not-so-sweet relationship.
Going through a heartbreak is never easy, so I tried my best to be there for my friend: I gave her my undivided attention by listening to her talk about the details leading up to her heartbreak; I started hanging out with her more often because she had a lot more free-time; I tried distracting her from dwelling on her emotions or questioning her self-worth. You deserve so much better, I kept reminding her. He doesn’t deserve you.
And as time slowly moved on, so did she. She no longer felt the constant urge to reach out to him – and she also didn’t think about him quite as often like she used to. She was handling the breakup pretty well, to say the least — until one day, she received a text message from her ex and told me that she was planning on meeting up with him.
Yo. I was SHOOK. Shooketh to the core of my very existence. One simple text message from her ex was all it took for her to scurry back into his arms? But what about all the progress that she had made? Why was she so quick to fall back 75 steps when she had already struggled to inch forward 50 steps? Did all of that time and effort spent on healing and getting over the guy that did her wrong mean absolutely nothing to her?
I usually never try to persuade my friends into making certain decisions, but when she told me she was going to meet up with him, I knew I had to say something to change her mind. I wanted to be a good friend, and I didn’t want to see her get hurt again. But no matter what advice I gave her – no matter how logical or persuasive or sincere my words were – I could already tell that she had made her decision. She was set on giving him a second chance and there was nothing I could do or say to change her mind or make her think otherwise.
To be honest, I was (hella) annoyed and salty (af) when she didn’t listen to my advice (lol). I no longer checked up on her to ask how she was doing like I used to. I wasn’t about to standby and watch her get hurt again. Then months later, we actually caught up and she told me that her ex played her yet a second time. I was not the least bit surprised – nor was I empathetic.
And then one day, it finally made sense to me.
One night, I had a dream that my boyfriend, Carlos, cheated on me with another girl. He apologized, but the sense of betrayal and hurt felt so real that I even woke up crying. I knew it was only a dream, yet I couldn’t help but wonder: If he actually did cheat on me, would I still want to be with him? Would I honestly give him a second chance? I considered these questions seriously and finally came to the conclusion that even though I’d know it’d be damn wrong of me to do so… I think I actually would.* (*Babe if you’re reading this, know that cheating is wrong. And I know where you live.)
Why would I give him a second chance, one might ask?
Because I love him.
And that’s when it hit me. Love, as cliché as it sounds, can be blinding. It can make you do things you never thought you’d do, no matter how irrational or stupid or illogical or wrong. It’s what helps encourage you to feel that it’s okay to get back together with someone even after they wronged you in the most unforgivable of ways.
Not only that, but I’ve witnessed that sometimes there are lessons that are best learned the hard way. Sometimes it might just take a couple (or several) heartbreaks to overcome love’s blindness and realize what you’re actually doing.
So, take it from me, or don’t take it from me – here’s my advice:
When another one of your friends asks for your advice and doesn’t take it, let them be. Let them learn from their choices and let them grow from their own experiences and/or mistakes. And while it is true that you will always want the best for your friends, it is ultimately up to them to decide whether or not to take your advice. So state your opinions and thoughts, and give your words of wisdom and pieces of advice – but know that there is only so much you can do or say to help your friends. Sometimes, they just need to figure it out on their own and help themselves. And that is okay.
Do you have a similar experience? Could you relate? Please leave a comment below – I’d love to hear your feedback! 🙂
Photo Credit: Moku Photography