I’m guessing most of you have seen the show Friends before. (If you haven’t, please emerge from the rock you’ve been living under.) Chandler Bing – the best character on the show in opinion — has one iconic line that I personally love: “I’m not great at the advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?”
Not that I’m competing with Mr. Bing here, but I do find that I have a way of delivering both. Some say there’s a time for a dry sarcastic comment dripping with cynicism, and that there are other times for genuine, heartfelt advice. I say – why not combine the two?
If you’ve read at least a few of my articles, you’ll notice that I give pretty no-BS advice. I enjoy throwing shade at my own generation for our sheer stupidity, and drawing attention to quick fixes that we’re blind to because we’re too busy taking selfies or something.
That being said, regardless of my “wise asshole” persona, I still struggle with taking some of the brutal advice to heart. Do you find yourself constantly giving people quality advice, yet failing to take said advice yourself? Read on, because you’ll likely find yourself shamelessly nodding to most of these.
1. It hurts more when you know you knew better.
There are naive people out there who constantly believe the best in people, and think that everyone has the same heart as they do. These individuals get let down often, because they never stop and think: “Hey, there’s always a slight chance that this person sucks, so I should probably stop building them up in my mind.”
However, you’re not one of those people. You’re a total realist and extremely slow to trust, consistently approaching situations as cautiously as can be. However, there’s always, always, always, a Toxic Tom.
Toxic Tom is that person you meet and immediately know he’s a terrible idea. You get bad vibes immediately but ignore them because he’s hot with tattoos. You’ve seen your friends in these situations and immediately tell them to abort mission. But when it’s you? It’s like all of your logic goes out the window. You don’t know why or how, but it does.
When it inevitably goes south, it’s all the more discouraging because you know it could have been prevented. You weren’t blindsided. The signs were there. You just chose to disregard them. You’re not sure if you’re more upset about the situation, or just generally mad at yourself.
2. You feel like a total hypocrite.
Giving advice to others comes naturally to you. However, when it comes to advising yourself, your emotions are much more likely to cloud your judgment. It’s easy to say to someone “Just tell him how you feel!” or “Stop talking to him already!”, but telling yourself internally to do the same thing isn’t exactly a piece of cake.
Obviously, we’re human – certain decisions are much easier than done. However, there’s more to being a confidante than spewing out advice. You have to practice what you preach, or where is your credibility?
3. There’s a gap between your intellectual, logical view of the situation – and how you truly feel about it.
When I make a foolish choice to revisit something I shouldn’t, I always get crippling, sick-to-my-stomach anxiety leading up to it. Obviously, that’s my body’s way of reacting negatively because it’s a bad idea. However, sometimes our “whatever, fuck it” mentality prevails.
It doesn’t matter how smart, emotionally intelligent, or rational you are. Sometimes you just do things because you want to. There’s no rhyme or reason, and you’re not even defending the fact that it’s a good decision. You’re just doing it.
In conclusion, to all of my advice-givers who still make questionable decisions from time to time: I hear you. I am one of you. One day we will learn to fully practice what we preach.