Multiple times I’ve heard people in the past saying that they seem to be able to give good advice in things like relationships and friendships. However when it comes to them themselves in they situations, they no longer follow their own advice and don’t have a clue what they should do. Seems pretty peculiar doesn’t it?
I think we’ve all experienced something similar to a certain degree. We’ve offered friends/family advice on what they should do as if we had all the answers, but as soon as we find ourselves in a tricky situation we’re hopeless. Why though? Shouldn’t the thoughts and ideas we come up with for other people not also appear when we ourselves are in trouble? Even more so it would make sense to come up with these “fixes” when it is us involved compared to others.
So why then does this happen? I tend to think of it like a spectrum.
Emotion & Logic
If we can picture a straight horizontal line (Yes I’m too lazy to make/find an illustration, use your imagination!) with Emotion all the way to the left and Logic to the right.
I believe we are always somewhere on this spectrum every living minute, though our position on the spectrum is very volatile, very subject to change. One little thing can push us all the way from the Logic side back to the Emotional side. Where we are affects how we feel, what we do, how we do it and how how we deal with things. It’s important to note that neither is a “better state” to be in as such, different states can help in different activities.
For example when someone is exercising, being on the emotional side of the spectrum can be great because you can channel emotions like anger into motivation. On the other side, the logical side, you are probably more likely to think about getting the best benefits out of your exercise e.g. perfect form and planning more goals etc etc. So really both states can be used to your advantage, and knowing this can really help you in a lot of situations.
“What does this duality between Emotional & Logical states have to do with the waffle you were spouting about advice though?” You ask.
Well here’s my thought (Or someone else’s thoughts I’m unknowingly plagiarising)
Your Biased Standpoint
Lets say you’re the one in a pickle, maybe you’ve had a fight with your beau, maybe you’ve pissed a friend off, or maybe you’ve used up the last of the milk so your friend can’t make a cup of tea.
Anyhow, you go to your buddies for advice and they tell you how it is and what they think you should do, All stuff that you know may help or solve the problem but you internally think to yourself “Oh I can’t do that, it would seem weird to say that” or my personal favourite “I can’t do that now, it would’ve made sense a week ago but not now”. Little did you know the advice was actually fine and would have probably worked. Why do you do this you idiot? *Ahem*… I mean why do we normal compassionate people do this?
Emotional State of course.
Blinded by Emotion
In this particular situation you are off the charts on the Emotion side of the spectrum and can’t think through it logically enough to see that the advice would probably work out absolutely fine.
So one of 3 things usually happen:
- You bite the bullet and do what you have been advised to do, it probably works out, you don’t learn anything from it and do the same again.
- You bitch out and do nothing, leaving the situation to resolve itself which it may or may not do. Either way it’s not the way to do things.
- Alternatively nothing resolves and you lose your friends, which implies you had any to begin with…
Don’t be a 2 or 3 guy, which is easy to say from someone with an unbiased view, oh that leads nicely to the next point!
Unblinded by Logic
Your buddies giving you the advice or when you yourself are giving this type of advice, you are coming from the side with none or little emotional attachment and therefore you think logically about the situation at hand. This is why it’s so clear sometimes to come up with an answer when you look at other people’s situations but it isn’t so easy when you’re the on at the emotional end of the spectrum.
Good to note however, just because the advice giver is likely to be thinking logically about the situation, does not mean he/she is going to right or give good advice. You should confide in more than one person to give you food for thought to put to no use, as we all tend to do unfortunately.
Remember the Spectrum
Yes, remember that spectrum I didn’t bother to draw up for your viewing pleasure (That just means you can imagine it with lots of pretty colours and unicorns).
Keep in mind that your current point on the line can affect what you are doing in good and bad ways, try to get the sweet spot, there’s no use in being emotional during a game of chess you sore loser.
Next time drama knocks at your door, what do you say? “Not today.” You know what to do:
- Remember that you’re likely to be emotionally biased.
- Remember to get advice from multiple sources and consider them all.
- Come to a conclusion from that of what advice to follow and take action.
- Take your time, life isn’t something to rush.
Now, I’m off to murder that guy that bumped into me last week, as per recommendation of some good friends, cheerio!
Featured Image: ©Soffie Hicks