Monday, July 27, 2009

Not "The Answer Girl"

I just watched "The Answer Man" this weekend, with Jeff Daniels and Lauren Graham. The story is (more or less) this: a man writes a book about his conversations with the Almighty, publishes it and becomes a worldwide phenomenon. He encounters many people, including two new friends, who really need answers to help them through difficult times, but he is reluctant in what he tells them. He avoids interviews, fans, etc. {SPOILER ALERT} In the end, he admits that he, in fact, did not have the conversations with God but rather wrote the questions he had for the Almighty and responses he would have liked to have received. In other words, he was human like the rest of us, without all the answers. (there's more to the story than that, and I do recommend you see the whole movie...)

Now, I can hardly compare this story with my life. However, lately, I've had a few good people ask for my advice on things like career changes, whether or not to get into a relationship, whether or not to get out of a relationship, and how to handle all things considered. I appreciate that these good people come to me and trust me to give a bit of insight. When it comes down to it, all I can do is examine the facts put before me, look at all sides as best as I can, and listen to my heart. But I don't have all the answers.

Also, in my experience, giving advice is a touchy subject - even when solicited. You ask me for feedback? Then, feedback you shall receive. But, it seems, often, that people don't always appreciate the advice unless it's something they want (or expect) to hear. I'll tell you this - you may be as close as blood to me, but I will always try to be impartial and fair and realistic. You want the moon and stars to come down to you because you think you deserve them? Fine. But, please don't expect me to tell you that you're the world's best astronaut.

At the very least, I have this request: if you ask me for advice, please listen. You don't have to follow it, but just listen. I've invested some of my time to give you honest feedback because I care about you. Maybe my advice totally sucks. Again - I don't have all the answers. But an open ear and a "thank you" are always appreciated...someday, I may need your advice.


Preston said...

Yes, I so agree. I have a friend who is constantly messing up her life. When she asks me for advice, I try to give her the best I can but if it's not what she wants to hear, she gets mad at me. She says, "Can't you be on my side and just agree with me," even though I am being on her side when I try to direct her in a better direction. (After all, she asked me my opinion.)

So I have learned that she really doesn't want my opinion. To her a friend is someone who says, "Go ahead, jump on that bed of nails because I know it's what you want to do anyway. And after you've hurt yourself, I'll still be here to help you lick your wounds."

On a lighter note, if you get a chance, stop by my blog and enter my contest for a Nanny McPhee DVD, electronic catch phrase, and a $25 Target Gift card.

Anonymous said...

What's the use of asking one's opinion it will not be applied anyway.

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