“You should really wait 3 days to call her. Otherwise she’ll think you’re needy.”
“Lower your standards. They are too high.”
“Moving in together can really help your relationship.”
“Sleeping with her on the first date helps form a special bond.”
“Girls aren’t attracted to good guys.”
Everyone knows that one loud person who throws their two-cents in on everything, specifically relationship advice. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been thrice-divorced and heading towards their fourth, they believe they are relationship experts. Some of the loudest and most persuasive people will give the absolute worst advice, and it’s usually unsolicited.
However, some people ask the wrong people for advice. Just the other day, a girl was asking two guys next to me about relationships. Forget that neither of them have been in a relationship for even a few months. Maybe she was looking for approval, but I cringed at everything they had to say. I really wanted to speak up so she could avoid her hundredth catastrophe, but it almost seemed like she wanted terrible advice.
Are you seeking advice or validation?
Some of the best advice you’ll ever receive will come from those who are the least apt to share.
There are too many people who offer advice, and not enough people with discernment. When you get bad advice, it’s like getting bad directions. You will go off course, and it might take days, months, or years to get back to the right place. Treat advice like a road trip map. You could end up in East St. Louis on a late Friday night.
There are really only five people you should take advice from:
- Someone who’s achieved success in that area: Look for someone who’s had long-term success, not short-term success. Only take advice within the area of success. Take business advice from a self-made millionaire, but beware of his relationship advice if he’s in a lousy marriage.
- Someone who’s a professional: At least find someone who has studied in that area. You wouldn’t see an orthopedic surgeon for a toothache. You’d find the best-rated dentist on Yelp. In the same way, find a counselor, a life coach, etc. in the area you’re seeking by doing a little research.
- Someone who’s part of the solution, not the problem: Get constructive advice. Everyone has an opinion on how things should be be, but are they involved, or are they sitting back on the sidelines thinking they know the solution? Are they your advocate.? Do they tell you what’s best for you even if it involves giving you hard truth?
- Someone who’s given you good advice in the past: If you’ve received good advice from someone in the past in a particular area, then you can put some weight on their word. If it’s not broken, why fix it?
- Someone who’s failed: For the most part, ask the person with success first, but if you need to take some precautions, why not learn from someone who’s made mistakes? Find someone who is authentic and open, and willing to share their past mishaps so you don’t make the same ones.
Bottom line is, be careful and be guarded with who you allow to speak into your life. The right advice will take you one step closer to your goals, but the wrong advice is just another distraction.