Sunday, April 7, 2013

Turning to the Decision Makers

Courtesy of
I used to think my bf was being silly when he would say this, but girls really do give bad advice to their friends. It's like a weird version of peer pressure that can mess up your relationships, kill dreams, or make you miss opportunities. There's something about this age where we think we know just enough to advise our friends, yet we forget to encourage them, or we encourage them too much and don't let them make their own choices. Take for example one story I heard about a girl who kind of liked this guy. He made her laugh, they had fun together, there wasn't much to complain about, except one thing. The guy was a little more shall we say "alternative" than what she's use to dating (on paper) or what she imagined she'd date. So basically, he didn't check off the boxes of these arbitrary qualifications of pedigree. But in her mind because he was so off paper, dating this guy would've been a risk. On one hand it could turn out great, on another she could permanently decide to never date guys that fall in that alternative category and go back to her list. When she asked her friends about giving this guy a chance, they shot him down. They presented her with a myriad of differences, painting the uphill battle as something that would definitely happen versus a possibility.
So the girl never dates him. And of course, he turns out to actually be exactly the kind of guy she'd want to date - even possibly marry. But, she'll never know... stupid peer pressure.
Now in retrospect, is taking a risk and seeing it fail in a minor category like dating such a bad idea? I'm going with no, unless this guy was a criminal, dangerous, had bad hygiene -- why not take a chance?
 I have a theory that when girls turn to their friends for advice on these risky (but not that big of a risk) type of life's questions, they look for validation for the small voice in her head saying "don't do it." The girl is looking for her friends to say "listen, it's not worth it, go with what you know." Once the co-sign is there she never takes the risk. And chances are the girls will console her and spare the heart, but spoil the girl. I don't think this has anything to do with being a bad friend. It's a weird way girls process situations and field questions to their friends for support in the fall out or praise in the success. But when you never take that chance ... you just keep a peanut gallery of friends feeding you negative Nancy lines.
Taking a chance on whatever it might be allows you to grow; it allows you to find out what's right for you and what's not. And sometimes you are the only person that can really make that decision. I'm also learning my Dad is a good sounding board because he's known me ... oh my whole life. So when there's something on the line, and you worry that you might fail the only way to definitively know what will happen next is to try. And I know it's easier said than done, but even if you fail there's always something that can be learned from it.
Let's face it none of us are fortunetellers, but maybe encouraging people to follow their hearts is the best answer -- versus picking one way over another.

1 comment:

  1. Yes. This is perfect, true and timely!


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