Becoming the best version of yourself

When they just don’t “get it” . . . .

on March 9, 2012

Friends, I have quite a few.  They come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, and our lives cross paths for a multitude of reasons.  Some of these friends I hear from or talk to almost daily, some weekly, many only on special occasions – but I know they’re there.  I truly believe that if I really needed any one of them in a crisis, they would be there for me if at all possible.  Isn’t that what the words in Dionne Warwick’s song really mean??  “That’s what friends are for?”  Or how about “Friends in need are friends in deed?”

Now, what to do when you start receiving all that unsolicited advice from those same wonderful friends?  Do you listen politely?  Do you argue back that they don’t know what they’re talking about?  Do you try to make them see your point of view, try to explain to them why you feel the way you do?  Do they listen or do they really even care?  Hard questions for sure, and touchy to answer.

When I was going through my divorce, I received plenty of input from people.  But for the most part, unless you really wanna air your dirty laundry, these same people don’t know what specifically is going on in your situation.  Every relationship is different, every break up is different.   In my case, it was all about adultery.  Promises to stop, promises to seek therapy, promises promises promises.  Along with those promises came advice from his friends, and my friends – mostly just to “hang in there”.  I tried, he didn’t.

When he filed for divorce, a new round of unsolicited advice started pouring in.  Everything from what attorney to hire to how to take him to the cleaners.  I didn’t stop any of the advice because I was in shock and felt like I needed all the help I could get.  After the divorce the advice increased ten-fold.  Everyone had an opinion.  If I started to do something someone disagreed with, nothing kept them from letting me know what they thought I was doing wrong.  For the most part, this advice was coming from people who had never been through this same situation.  So I wondered, who are they to be telling me how to live my life?  How could they possibly know how I feel?  Didn’t they understand that I’d just left a relationship (30 year marriage) with someone that was always telling me what I was doing wrong, what to do to be correct, and how to live my life?  Had I jumped from the frying pan into the fire?

I wish I could tell you that it’ll ease, it’ll go away, it’ll get better eventually – but I can’t.  People are always going to have opinions, they are always going to share them even if you don’t want to hear it.  You will just have to determine the best way you can handle it to not hurt anyone’s feelings.  After all they mean well, they hopefully have your best interest at heart.  So even “when they just don’t get it,” just try to smile and say . . . . . . AHHHH!!!!!!!


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