Within this past week, I’ve had two of my best friends take my advice regarding their personal situations. Both thanked me & said it really helped them. Part of me is over the moon to help my friends & another part of me is weirded out. Here’s why:
For years, I had this best friend, JS. We were like sisters & almost to a fault. Throughout our friendship, she never took my advice. She was older than me (by 8 years) & therefore had “more experience” regardless if it was an area I knew or just the fact I was an outsider & could look at the situation objectively. She would ask for my opinion, I would give it, & she would dismiss it. Sometimes she would give me the courtesy of at least feigning interest. I don’t know why I stayed in a friendship where I didn’t feel valued. Our relationship crashed & burned several years ago. I’m honestly surprised it lasted as long as it did.
But today’s post isn’t about JS. It’s about my own insecurities & struggles. It’s almost as if I’ve been trained (brainwashed, if you will) to believe my advice is shit. Even if I’ve been through an identical situation, there is still a part of me that hesitates to offer my experience. I don’t want to look foolish or make a mistake. I don’t want to be mocked & embarrassed. Of course, my friends wouldn’t do any of that. They love me & value me.
Still, though, there’s a part of me that thinks, “Shut up. Nobody asked you.” I know now that’s just depression & yet another lovely side effect of it. Yippee. The good news is that I recognize it & I work to combat its lies. It’s definitely a process but I believe I’m on the right path. I surround myself with positive people who encourage me & make me feel important. By omitting the negativity & toxicity in my life, I can tell I’m slowly getting better.
Just know if I start to delay in giving you my opinion, it’s something I’m working on. And thank you for asking me. 🙂