Many of us give out advice. Some of us aren’t the advice-giving type. But in one way or another, advice is shared and taken by all. In high school, and currently, I am someone people go to for advice or guidance. It came as a shock to me because I never really got out much or went to parties or ever had been in a relationship, and I still wonder ‘why do so many people trust me to give them advice?’ It was baffling to me because I was probably the least qualified person. But when I did give advice, I would try my best to be kind and non-judgmental in order to find a way to help them. It was usually taken and followed through so I must be doing something right.
But where am I going with this and what does my lack of qualification have to do with giving advice? Well, we, as a whole with a few exceptions, are fairly good at giving advice for certain circumstances. Maybe from experience or maybe from observing others, either way we don’t completely suck at giving out advice. What we do suck at, is taking advice…especially our own. I am by no means saying every single person is bad at taking theirs and other’s advice. But there is a good amount of people, including myself, who don’t always take the advice they are providing.
When asked, I gave guidance on relationships (somehow, it is still a mystery to me as to why they came to me for such matters) and self-help, the area I struggle in myself to this day. I keep a journal and I try to write away my issues and get them out of my head to a safe place. It, unfortunately, came to a point that it became an effort for me to write and I just didn’t want to anymore so anything going wrong in my life would just be bottled up until I just shut down. Very few people in my life know this but, due to me bottling up how I was feeling and not taking my own advice to write, when I shut my self down, I turned to self-harm*. I was rather quick to advise “never resort to self-harm” but there I was resorting to it. The guidance I would give I almost never heeded, even if I needed it as much as the person I was trying to help. I’ve talked to a few of my friends and they seem to have the same problem: advise others but never heed one’s own advice. After all, taking someone else’s advice is far easier than taking our own.
So, the next time a friend, family member, or even a stranger feels they can confide in you, remember to be non-judgmental and kind to them and do your best to help. As for yourself, listen to what you are telling that person because it may not only help them, but it could possibly help you just as much.
“Have courage and be kind”
*I no longer self-harm. I have gotten a lot better in caring for myself. Though I may struggle at times