She's Listening But She Doesn't Hear You
There we were; 4 girlfriends gathered around the living room with enough wine for a small army and the best chips and salsa you’ve ever had. We caught up on the week’s highs and lows, chatted about future plans, giggled at moments that only we would find funny and, of course, made time to all squeeze into a snapchat selfie. As glasses were being refilled a comment was made that froze the entire room.
“Steven and I are fighting and it isn’t pretty.”
As if we were robots with an SOS YOUR FRIEND IS HAVING GUY TROUBLE button we instantly began asking questions, analyzing the situation from every angle possible and giving advice. As I laid in bed later that night I had an overwhelming amount of thoughts run through my mind. The first being that the male brain will forever remain a mystery to me, for real. My second thought was that I wish I could shake my friend until she realized how truly amazing she is and last but not least I contemplated if I had given her solid advice.
There it was: advice.
Was my advice too forward? Did my advice help? Was my advice unsolicited? Would I have given myself that same advice?
The truth is, none of that matters. Regardless of your A+ effort to steer your loved one in another direction, 9 times out of 10 they will follow their heart instead of their head and you know what? Let her. Let her navigate down a windy path and let experience step in to accept the best teacher award. I know as an outsider it can be extremely painful to watch your ride or die be with someone who you would run over with a bus but I promise, in time, her eyes will open.
No matter if the drama is endless or if your BFF is in a minor tiff with her prince charming, sharing advice can be a hard thing to tackle so here are few things to give relationship advice with grace.
1. This Isn’t About You
As hard as it may be it’s crucial to realize that this has absolutely nothing to do with you or your past / present relationship experiences. Put aside your baggage, listen to the words coming out of your friend’s mouth and act on those words and those words alone.
2. Pump The Breaks
Let’s cut to the chase; unsolicited advice is a giant no-no. If you need to, bite your tongue so you save yourself from damaging a friendship.
3. It’s Not So Obvious
When standing in objective shoes you, most likely, see the situation clear as day with neon blinking signs but guess what – your friend does not. She is looking at the situation through a lens full of conflicting emotions and a thousand swirling thoughts that makes it difficult for her to process. Your job is to take a breath, calmly express your advice and then let it take its course.
4. She Didn’t Listen
If my friends were paid for every time they gave me advice that I threw out the window they would be flying high in a private jet. So, if your advice doesn’t stick right away do not be offended and know that your friend does in fact respect your opinion, she is just taking the time to make her own decisions.
In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with.”