We’re friends right? Mind giving me a little advice?
When you’ve got an important decision to make, it’s fine to ask for a little friendly advice from your girlfriends – that’s what friends are for.
The thing is, it’s always a good idea to spend a bit of time up front to determine which of your girlfriends are going to give you the answer that you need. I say “need” because it’s not all that difficult to find a good friend who will say what you want to hear to make you happy. That is often not the best advice or the right advice or even honest advice. And you can never really be angry with someone who gave you what turns out to be bad advice when you asked for it in the first place.
I’m not talking about asking advice on what shoes to wear to a social event here.
There will be as many opinions as there are shoes. What I’m talking about is life advice on everything from finances to romances to serious health issues. The point is, you don’t want to ask a girlfriend who is notorious for carrying credit card debt advice on how to invest your 401K. So when you’re looking for sage, honest advice, there are a few things to consider about who you ask. I’ll call these the 3 Qualities of a Wise Girlfriend:
1. Living that validates their opinion
Look at the friends you have who are successful and happy in the areas that you want to ask advice about. Someone who just bought a new car that you know was painstaking in their research and is really happy with their choice. That person will love to share the legwork they put into buying the right car. Other friends might just tell you to buy that Jeep you’ve always talked about just because they think it will make you happy.
2. Listening more than proscribing
To really get an honest, thoughtful, considered opinion, think about the friends you have who are good listeners. Those you know make good decisions not on snap judgment and gut reaction, but on listening to as much as you can tell them about a situation first, then ask meaningful questions to clarify their understanding before they even begin to offer advice. When they do, remember it’s your turn to quietly listen to all they have to say – without interruption. Lots of great advice can be stifles with a single “but…”
3. Loving truth more than approval
For advice that will ultimately lead to your happiness in a situation, think about your friends who have it in them to be totally honest with you. They are the friends who will consider your asking for advice an honor, take it very seriously, and be honest and truthful in their response. Remember that they may not always tell you what you want to hear, and yes, the truth sometimes hurts, but they believe in the long run that what they tell you will have the best outcome and eventually result in your happiness. If you ask for advice, ask for truth rather than validation.
We’ve all experienced getting good advice that we’ve ignored, as well as giving great advice and having it go unheeded. It’s natural to push back on advice that doesn’t meet our expectations; it’s difficult to put your emotions aside and objectively consider an opinion that is opposed to yours. You always have the option of doing exactly what you want.
As far as advice on what shoes to wear, my advice is to ask as many girlfriends for their opinion as you can. We do love to give advice on fashion – and it can’t get you into too much trouble.
What girlfriend do you trust for great advice? Why?
Some girlfriend advice on girlfriends:
- The ABC’s of Female Friendship (and why YOU need to be a better friend)
- 5 Ways to Beat the Heat with Your Girlfriends this Summer!
- 6 Ways to Have More Supportive Friendships | Be a Better Friend
- The Poison Ivy of our Happiness | Elements of Happiness
- 45 Life Lessons – things Girlfriends Share. What Life Lessons can YOU share?