Why You Should Stop Listening to Your Friends and Start Listening to Yourself

by Janet Ong Zimmerman on 10/07/2014

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From an early age, girls connect through conversations.  They confide in and commiserate with each other.  They are each other’s sounding board, support system, and they give advice with the intention of being supportive.  As young girls grow into adulthood and develop an interest in guys, much of their conversations center around what they should do when things are not going well.

When it came to love, my girlfriends and I would spend hours talking about the guys we liked.  I remember analyzing and wondering why guys would flirt but not ask me out, why he came on strong and lost interest soon after, why a relationship ended when I still loved him, etc.

These why questions soon made way for what questions like, “What should I do if he calls?  What should I do if he doesn’t call?  What if he doesn’t really like me?”  Instead of the clarity and certainty I hoped to have from these conversations, the cycle of confusion and uncertainty continued from trying to figure things out with my friends.

What Happens When Asking Friends for Advice

When you have a dilemma with the guy you’re seeing, it seems natural to talk with a friend about things.  Talking about these dilemmas leads to one of more of these scenarios: (1) she being judgmental about you, your guy or situation; (2) you asking her what you should do; (3) she listening without saying much; (4) she being very vocal and telling you what you should do.

Have you found yourself replaying your dilemma, unable to figure out what to do, and talking to your girlfriend about your problem?  While there may be comfort in sharing your problem with a friend, the information you share tends to come from a place of confusion and doubt.

Since you aren’t seeing things clearly for what they are, these conversations don’t usually accomplish what you want.  Instead, they perpetuate the cycle of confusion and doubt.  These conversations actually take away your power to decide and do what is best for you.

Why You Should Not Ask Friends For Love Advice

A friend’s opinion and advice are mostly biased and rarely impartial because they are based on her experiences, perspectives and outlook on love.  You may think you want advice when you really just want her to listen.  And her advice will lean towards what she would do which isn’t necessarily right for you.  These reasons show why you should not ask your friends for advice.

  1. She has not worked through her own problems in love
  2. She may not be objective and will side with you, even if you are wrong
  3. She may give you a lecture on the things you are doing wrong
  4. She may dislike your partner and if things work out with him, things could become awkward
  5. She is giving you answers based on how where she is at in her love life, not where you are at; in other words, her path to love is different than your path
  6. She is unhappy, bitter and jaded, and hasn’t healed from past love
  7. She is in an unhealthy relationship
  8. She gives judgmental advice, making you feel hesitant about sharing things with her
  9. She may be envious of you and is secretly glad you are having problems
  10. She has not walked in your shoes and is giving you theoretical, not concrete advice
  11. She has experienced your same problems and continues to have these problems herself
  12. She gives good advice that you aren’t taking, which can drive a wedge between the two of you
  13. She is not a dating or relationship expert; her advice is just her opinions
  14. Being on the receiving end of conversations about the same issue can be exhausting; you risk the possibility of losing a good friend.

Exception: Only discuss your dating or relationship dilemmas with these kinds of friends – friends who have worked through their internal barriers and are in a good place to be objective; friends who have personally experienced the problems you’re going through and have successfully learned and grown from their problems; friends who have a healthy perspective and experience about love; or friends who are in a healthy romantic relationship.

What Happens When You Stop Talking with Friends About Your Love Problems

When you stop talking to friends about the problems in your love life and start listening to yourself, the answers will come to you.  By turning inward and calming your overthinking mind, you will begin to notice how your thoughts are keeping you stuck and confused.  You will start to connect with the feelings in your body.  And in hindsight, you will realize how your conversations with friends kept you looking outside for answers and from taking responsibility for your role in your love life.

There was a time when my mind would overthink things and grasp onto the minutia of my love dilemmas.  I would tell certain friends about my guy problems and ask them what to do.  At the age of 41, I finally stopped asking my friends for advice.  Through self-reflection and changing within to become my best self, I built a strong foundation based on my truly self and my core values.  This made it easier to see things clearly and feel confident about making decisions.  Practicing meditation helped me connect with and read the feelings in my body.  This was especially helpful – when things were not clear cut, letting my feelings guide me yielded positive results.

Learn to Trust Yourself

I’ve shared my story with you to show that answers to matters of the heart are found within.  The way to the love you desire happens when your mind is clear and you are connecting with and responding from the feelings and emotions in your body.  The next time you start to talk about your love dilemma with a friend, take a deep breath and talk about something else that is uplifting.

Then when you are in a quiet space, turn inward.  Notice your thoughts with judgment-free awareness and pay attention to how your body feels.  Let your clear mind and feelings bring forth the answers that let you know what to do.  What will you start doing to find your answers from within?

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