- Marie Queenan
Who do you take most of your advice from? Many of us say our parents, close friends, co-workers, a sports coach, or maybe even a mentor. But often, we don’t consider why we should take the advice of those exact people. I’ve been thinking about how easily and willing we are to ask unqualified people, and in turn, we receive unqualified advice. It’s so much easier to fill our egos and “help” someone out, than to simply say, “I don’t know.”
One could take advice from a wide variety of people. To figure out who we should trust, first ask why? What are the reasons that lead us to seek this advice, and why are we going to these people? Whether its relationship troubles, business struggles, family interdependence, life goals, or any range of decisions, it’s easy to go to the same people for advice in all of these different categories. This might not be the best avenue to take, unless this person exemplifies what we personally deem successful in all of these categories; that type of person is rare. I might go talk to my mom about family affairs, but I would go to my banker to give me financial counsel. The best way to determine who you should take advice from is to first establish who you shouldn’t.
I see many people taking advice from anyone that will listen to their problems. Stop taking the easy way out. For example, I went through some boyfriend troubles, because I wasn’t getting what I wanted from my relationship. Intent on finding a solution to my problems, I vented to my roommate. She gave me a lot of advice, which came from a place of love, and wanting me to have the best, but like me, she had never been in a fulfilling relationship. I hadn’t sought someone with the knowledge and experience that I needed, and as a result the relationship ended badly. Herein lies the problem that we have in life when we face a challenge and need advice. We can vent and talk to people who will offer us comfort, but what we may need is someone who can competently lead us to be better.
Venting frequently leads friends to fill our open-ended, and sometimes rhetorical, questions. Taking advice from someone you’re close to, but who hasn’t ever had the type of relationship that you admire and want for yourself, is not the person you should be taking advice from. Think of how much your relationship could be if you only spoke to people who challenge you?
I’m not saying you don’t respect your friends, but it’s easier to do so when they act and behave in ways that reflect attributes you would like to have in your life. When you find these people, you can ask them for advice, and talk to them about anything because you trust them. Any advice they give is founded on who they are and how they live. Find those people, it might be hard, but those are the type of people that should be your friends and mentors in life, and the type of people you should never let go of.
- Marie Queenan