Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Since the last post, two things have changed.

Since last post, two things have changed.

1) I have a girlfriend.

2) I have received no new letters.

Both of those things have contributed to me updating this less.

Number Two makes a difference for obvious reasons. Number One has just made me think a little differently.

I'll put it this way: I went from thinking, "I'm good at this," to, "I'm actually clueless," to realizing that just because I'm not excellent at relationships doesn't mean I have no good advice to offer others.

For much of my life, I've been able to come up with the right things to say - not just the most comforting things, but the things that challenge people in the right ways - to many people with more experience than myself. I haven't changed too much- it's just that I'm now discovering more than ever how incongruous a person's ability to give helpful (I'm attempting to eliminate the phrase "good advice" from the English lexicon. I don't believe that advice has inherent value. Only varying degrees of helpfulness.) advice can be with their ability to take good care of themselves.

That incongruity used to floor me. When confronted with it, it used to make me think one of two things, depending on the situation:

1) I'm an idiot and my opinions are worthless! 

2) Since I'm smart, if things don't work out the way I thought they would, it must be the other person's fault!

Both are wrong. But like most wrong things, they are very easy to believe.

I guess what I believe now is this:

1) Most advice is worth listening to, but only about 15% of what most people will tell us will be helpful to our unique situations, and if all of us, both when we're in the advice-giving role and in the being-advised role, accept that, then we will probably learn a whole lot.

2) Being clumsy in a relationship doesn't disqualify a person from giving advice to anyone else. If that were the case, most psychiatrists would probably get fired.


lalalalauren said...

Congrats on the new girlfriend!

Also, I love this blog and the advice you dish out. I may have to write you a letter so you can keep giving out advice. I don't have any real problems with boys right now but if/when one comes up, you're getting an email. :D

Mel said...

I think I just got inspiration for a post. Thank you, Benny!

Holly Renee said...

It's so true, just because you aren't perfect in your relationship does not mean you can't help others. In fact, you are learning from your relationship just as everyone else is. My therapist has a blog and I read it. I know she struggles with relationships and life in general. It makes me listen to her all the more because I know she's trying and doesn't see herself as some perfect guru. Also, congrats on the new relationship!

Rebecca said...

Okay I am in need of some advice :),so I am having to take care of my best friend who just got dumped by her boyfriend. They started dating two months ago and everything was going perfectly until he wouldn't quit smoking pot (which - at the beginning of the relationship she told him was a deal breaker and he told her that he wanted to quit because she was more important to him then pot. She never asked him to change, but she did warn him up front that she didn't like it). They got into a huge fight and he broke it off with her. Well really he told her they were on a break - but has taken their relationship off facebook and completely quit talking to her.

So here is my question: She is obviously distraught as they both fell for each other quickly (I love you's were thrown around prematurely if you ask me). He just graduated from college and is having to find a "real job" and is having a hard time with transitioning from the party lifestyle of a college student to a more grown up life style. Her and I both think that he broke things off with her because, although he was attracted to her and liked the idea of her, when the reality set in - he couldn't handle it. And instead of continuing to hurt her - he just decided to end things. Are we looking to much into it? I can't help but think that guys are so simple - that maybe we are just creating this complex analysis to make her feel better and what the truth really is is that he is just being an asshole and didn't want to give up partying to be with her. What do you think?

kerrie elaine said...

you're so adorable, mr.benny.

(ps: such a new follower of yours. how could i not be?)