We share a lot with our best friends – late-night secrets, overflowing glasses of red wine, the tiny details of every crush and text and first date. We talk each other through changes big and small, and sometimes that means acting as an unofficial life coach. Unfortunately, that means that we often receive tons of unsolicited advice that we’d rather not listen to. But what if we should be keeping our ears and minds open? If your BFFs give you any of the following 10 pieces of advice, you should consider taking it. They just might know what they’re talking about.
You need to quit your job. Sure, we all need money. Rent and food and happy hour drinks are all pretty crucial to survival. But if you’re working a dead-end job and keep whining to your friends that you’re desperately unhappy, you can’t be surprised if they suggest getting the hell out of there. They have your best interests at heart, after all.
You seem depressed. Mental health is no laughing matter and it’s no secret that your 20s are a super rough decade. If you’re suffering from depression, the people around you will be able to tell – and maybe you’re too down right now to even notice yourself. You just know something isn’t right. Guaranteed, someone in your friend circle has gone through the same thing, so if they mention talking to a therapist or at least your mom, don’t shrug them off.
You’re unhappy with your new guy. It would be a dream world if your friends loved every guy you did. Sadly, we all know that almost never happens. Sure, they’ll lie to your face and say he seems nice (the kiss of death) while secretly hating them, but if they actually say they don’t like him, well, that’s another story. If they can’t possibly keep their feelings inside any longer, you should stop and listen. Have you ever wondered why your BFF can’t see that this guy she’s texting 24/7 is actually a jerk? Turn the situation around and you’ll see that if your friend mentions that your new BF might not be right for you, they could be on the right track.
You should meet more people. One of my good friends has been talking my ear off about Meetup.com for so long that I’m finally going to join a book club or two. She’s been pretty persuasive about why we should all be finding new ways to meet new people, and she’s totally right. It’s so easy to focus on meeting guys but don’t discount the necessity of making new friends, too. It gets harder as we get older but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
You should get out of your comfort zone. You’re super comfy in your comfort zone – that’s why it’s there. You love your cozy apartment, your workout studio down the street, your fave bar. That’s all well and good, except you’re not stretching yourself. If a friend mentions that you might want to join them for yoga or consider taking a class to learn something new, you should definitely consider it. What’s the worst that’s going to happen – you’ll have a new experience? What’s so bad about that?
Your family could be wrong. Some of us have super close relationships with our parents, others dread the holidays and those awkward fam-jam dinners. No matter what category you fall into, you might not want to take your mom or dad’s advice all the time. You want to listen to your heart and the path you feel you’re going down. If your BFF suggests that your mom wanting you to enroll in law school might not make you happy, she’s not trying to insult the good people who raised you. She’s just looking out for you. And you would do the same for her, right?
You might want to network more. For a super small percentage of the universe, networking is super fun, and for the rest of us, it’s a terrifying nightmare. Don’t be surprised if your friends listen to your frustrations at not being where you want to be in terms of your career and suggest going to a networking event. Instead of rolling your eyes, hear them out. It’ll be a learning curve but you’re not one to shy away from hard work, are you?
You should dump your crappy roomie. If you’re not like those lucky few who live alone, you most likely share your apartment with some roommates. Even if you’re friends or found them on Craigslist, things aren’t going to end well. It’s like Murphy’s Law of roommates: you start out friends and leave hating their guts.
You’re being reckless with your money. They say there are two things to never discuss in polite company – religion and politics – but how much you make is right up there, too. Your friends have a right to wonder if you’ve got a shopping problem or are in some serious debt if you complain you can’t go out for dinner this weekend… then buy a $500 TV (a friend actually did this). Try not to get pissed and remember that your friends wouldn’t even be mentioning money unless it really was a big issue.
You’re not giving guys a fair chance. In Aziz Ansari’s brilliant book Modern Romance, he suggests that we should truly get to know someone before casting them aside after a date or two. Why wouldn’t you listen to your BFFs if they said the same thing? They may not be super famous actors/comedians/writers but they’re right there in the friendship trenches with you. After all, the time will come when you want to give your friends advice, and you definitely want them to listen to you.
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