Writing Up Old Ideas VII: The Same Advice From Different People

Published in Personal - 2 mins to read

Full disclosure; I was going to try to write a satirical one of these under the guise of it being April 1st. After a couple of hundred words, a bolt of enlightenment struck me in the temple, and I came to the sudden realisation that I am not funny. I have decided to spare you all from my pathetic attempts at humour - or at least I have today, when you’re likely already inundated with other pathetic attempts at humour. You’re welcome.

Something that I’ve noticed I do is respond differently to the same advice, from different people. I suppose this is human nature, but it also seems pretty stupid. I have, for example, wholly ignored advice from close friends before fully embracing it once it has been imparted unto me by a licensed therapist. I do it between two friends too though, or perhaps most interestingly, rejecting it from a close friend before accepting it from an altogether more distant source, like an acquaintance or some stranger on the internet. When it’s someone close to me, for some reason I seem to second guess their intentions, or feel safer in doubting them knowing that we have a close bond regardless. This is obviously dumb; I’m close to the people I’m close to for a reason, and it’s because I trust them, their advice, and their intentions.

I’ve ignored a lot of advice over the past few years. Some I am incredibly glad I did, and some I’m full of regret that I didn’t heed. There’s also something of a split by person too; one in particular sticks out as someone who has got to say “I told you say” far more times to me than I would’ve liked. Now I know to pay more attention to their counsel in future, but it is still curious to me that it’s so easy to disregard something from one person before readily internalising it from another. Perhaps this is something to work on too - should I spend less time thinking about why a person might give me advice and what ulterior motive they might have, and instead try and evaluate their imparted wisdom for its own merits, and on how it might affect me?

See other posts in the Writing Up Old Ideas series