Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Can we talk?

We all have that friend; you know her. She's the one who has something bad to say about every piece of good news you share. You say: I love my new job; She says: I heard that company's going to be announcing layoffs soon. You say: I found a great apartment; She says: In that part of town?

Big used to say, "Unsolicited advice is criticism." I think he's right (and obviously, I'd only admit that if it were absolutely true), and I think these conversations fall into that category. You didn't ask for advice on the job or the apartment; so when she offered what she (likely) intended as helpful advice - it sounded critical.

Should the same apply when it comes to dating? I think maybe it should.

Take my funny weekend-from-hell story. I mentioned the date to a friend who I knew would have some inside info on the guy. I wanted her insight - even though I didn't come right out and ask her. What she told me wasn't flattering - and she apologized. She said she normally wouldn't want to be discouraging, but wanted me to know the truth.

That's a real friend. I appreciated her honesty, and I knew she was only trying to look out for me.

But I've had friends who, in similar situations, were more - discouraging than helpful. I've had friends try to talk me out of a date, or tell me that a guy should be acting a certain way, when in fact, they're really just annoyed at their own relationships.

That's not to say that we shouldn't be honest with our friends. If you think a guy is being a jerk, or that a situation is bad, it takes a lot of courage to tell a friend the truth - but that's the "good friend" thing to do. She might not listen, or she might get upset with you - but, wouldn't you want someone to tell you the truth? Then you owe the same.

I think it's just like anything else; we have to be sure our advice is based on our friend's scenario, and not on our own problems.

What do you think?

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