When is it, if ever, acceptable to give someone relationship advice? One would think that people share their problems because they want others opinions but then again maybe they just want to vent and get things off their chest. So how do you know if you should chime in?
Right off the bat I would like to point out that I am not a ‘sharer’. I don’t like to talk about my feelings. I don’t know how to respond when someone is crying. I am not a good person to come to if you want a shoulder to cry on. If you want someone to listen to you and analyze the situation then I’m your girl. I have always been interested in how people behave and what it is that drive them to do the things they do. I used to love taking psychology courses, I found them fascinating. Human beings are so complex yet we are able to understand, much of the time, why it is that people behave the way they do.
Back to relationship advice. If it is a close friend talking to me, I’ll listen and then ask “do you want my honest opinion?”. The grey area is someone you don’t know all that well talking to you. You don’t know if they are telling you just to tell somebody or if they want advice or answers. Recently, an acquaintance was telling me about her problems with a guy she was dating. It seemed obvious to me that he was trying to find a way out and trying to do it gently but I didn’t know if it was my place to say anything. So I just listened. Maybe I should look into becoming a ‘Dear Abby’ type of person. I am uncomfortable with emotions but have been told that I give good advice. Maybe a write in advice column is something I should look into. At least when people write in you know that they want your advice and opinion. It takes the awkwardness out of the situation. If they don’t like the answer they should never have written in. Yes, I like this idea.
What do you think? Do you share aspects of your relationship just to share or do you usually want the person’s opinion? I’m curious if I should pipe in or not.
I had this friend that I had known for a years. She was one of my best friends, we told each other everything. She knew everything about me and I knew everything about her; or so I thought.
She had a story for everything, some were ordinary but some were completely outrageous. They ranged from eating strange objects as a child, having ghosts in her house that had to be exercised, knowing someone who was a drug addict on skid row and everything in between. I would tell my mom these stories excitedly because they seemed so crazy and interesting and after a while my mom started to doubt their authenticity. How could one, ordinary, middle class girl, have had so many things happen to her and her family? But she was my friend and I believed her; every word. To me it didn’t make sense that she would be lying. What was she gaining? I was already her friend, I had known her for years, why would she keep lying?
She was a really spontaneous person. I never knew what I would be coming home to (oh, did I mention we were roommates too?). A couple times it was a new pet, sometimes a new piercing or tattoo, maybe a new craze diet. Whatever it was, she would get it in her head and be obsessed with it. She would decide that facebook was evil and delete her account (for about a week then reactivated it), she would be really into yoga one week then it would be the gym everyday instead. Whatever it was she would go all out for a few days then it would calm down. Looking back I wonder if maybe she had something going on like OCD or some other kind of obsessive disorder.
One day she decided that she didn’t want to be my friend anymore. Moved out when I wasn’t home and left the key under the door.
I often look back on her stories and wonder how much was true. When a couple stories started to unravel it made me question everything. That’s the trouble with lies, they aren’t just stories you tell, it is a trust that you are breaking. When someone discovers a lie it makes them question everything else that they are told. The person becomes a ‘liar’ in their eyes and it is hard to come back from that.
It is sad to think of our friendship because, like I said, now I don’t know how much was true. How much did I actually know about her? Currently I don’t even know where she is living, my attempts to stay in contact after she moved out where rebuffed. I guess I’ll never know what was real and what were lies.