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Hypocritical Relationship Advice Giver.

lolwuthalplolwuthalp Registered User regular
edited April 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey forum. whats up? bad thread title? hmmmm...

me and my girlfriend are going through a rough patch that started a month ago. We're not together, but we are together? Its silly. I understand that everyone feels like they are the only person thats been through this etc. Thats not what I am here for. I wont go into details about the situation, but in summary, she feels that she needs some time to sort herself out. There is no definite timeline or outcome. She just needs some space.

I've been pretty pathetic with not calling/texting her. I think out of the month maybe a total of 5 days have passed that we havent talked. We keep running into each other at the pub or in the street and talking about the same stuff. Its one giant loop and its not helping either of us.

Now, two nights ago I caught up with an old friend who happened to be going through the same thing. Shes not a huge talker though, so I ended up holding up the conversation. We talked over a few cups of coffee pretty much strictly about her current relationship situation.

Why is it that I was capable of giving her advice for certain scenarios and felt totally confident in doing it, but when I am confronted with these problems, I cant follow my own advice?

If I cant follow my own advice and help myself, should I be attempting to help others? I feel Im a bad person. Shed some light.
is it as simple as things are easier said than done?

Comments

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    lolwuthalp wrote:
    Hey forum. whats up? bad thread title? hmmmm...

    me and my girlfriend are going through a rough patch that started a month ago. We're not together, but we are together? Its silly. I understand that everyone feels like they are the only person thats been through this etc. Thats not what I am here for. I wont go into details about the situation, but in summary, she feels that she needs some time to sort herself out. There is no definite timeline or outcome. She just needs some space.

    I've been pretty pathetic with not calling/texting her. I think out of the month maybe a total of 5 days have passed that we havent talked. We keep running into each other at the pub or in the street and talking about the same stuff. Its one giant loop and its not helping either of us.

    Now, two nights ago I caught up with an old friend who happened to be going through the same thing. Shes not a huge talker though, so I ended up holding up the conversation. We talked over a few cups of coffee pretty much strictly about her current relationship situation.

    Why is it that I was capable of giving her advice for certain scenarios and felt totally confident in doing it, but when I am confronted with these problems, I cant follow my own advice?

    If I cant follow my own advice and help myself, should I be attempting to help others? I feel Im a bad person. Shed some light.
    is it as simple as things are easier said than done?

    I personally think this is just normal human behavior. It is sometimes easier to identify and judge other's situations than our own, especially when strong emotions are involved.

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  • FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    If your girlfriend wants space, you give her that space, permanently. Let her know very clearly that while she has her space, you will have your space as well and arrange your life for good.

    Don't look bad.

    Hear my warnings, unbelievers. We have raised altars in this land so that we may sacrifice you to our gods. There is no hope in opposing the inevitable. Put down your arms, unbelievers, and bow before the forces of Chaos!
  • EuphoriacEuphoriac Registered User regular
    'Physician heal thyself'.

    It's all about perspective and the effect of emotions on the brain. Your friend's problems have no impact on your life, therefore nothing is clouding your brain/perspective in that regard.

    But thinking clearly is harder when the choices affect you directly. You have fears, doubts and a history with the other person all combining to make it more difficult. Cast any fears away if you can. Know what you want to achieve, put her feelings into that plan (to see if they arne't hurt) and see if it still seems like it could work, then go for it.

    Your advice to your friend would be the same for yourself, but you hold your own experiences as though it's unique. It isn't. Maybe also try imagining that this was a story being told to you from someone else?

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  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Fantasma wrote: »
    If your girlfriend wants space, you give her that space, permanently. Let her know very clearly that while she has her space, you will have your space as well and arrange your life for good.

    Don't look bad.

    Sometimes people need time alone to assess their situations. You're being a little extreme here. This isn't a game where someone wins...

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

    Final Fantasy XIV:Lilja Sunblade
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    lolwuthalp wrote:
    If I cant follow my own advice and help myself, should I be attempting to help others? I feel Im a bad person. Shed some light.
    is it as simple as things are easier said than done?

    Yeah, basically it's really easy to say assertively what the right thing to do is when you know you won't be the one to live with the consequences and ramifications of actually doing said right thing. It's messier when you're the one left holding the bag when good advice might yield a less-than-desirable outcome. In this case, I gather that you're afraid that if you were to follow your own advice, give her space, stop calling/texting etc., a possible consequence might be that she won't ever come back even if she does sort out whatever it is she says she needs to work on. Even though you know that the alternative behavior is not any better for your relationship and may actually be worse, you feel emotionally safer by continuing this behavior because you believe it makes it harder for her to leave you.

    Upon reflection, would you say that's about the size of it?

    If so, consider the following questions:
    1. Does it *actually* make it easier for your relationship to fall apart? Or is it just as likely to end if you call her every day? Has it fallen apart already?
    2. If your relationship were to end, what would you do next? Do you think it would be the end of the world for you, or would you both eventually move on to a more-fulfilling relationship?

  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    This is one of the classical fallacies. You see it constantly in politics. A person's inability to follow their own advice doesn't negate their advice. The fact that your car gets 3 mpg and belches thick blue clouds of vapor that strip the paint off passing cars doesn't mean you're wrong if you say cars need to be cleaner. But it does make people more likely to reject your advice, or even resent you for offering it.

  • Colt45Colt45 Registered User regular
    Advice is easy to give and if it's good advice it's rarely the easiest option to actually do. I think most people know in their hearts what the best thing to do is, but love makes you do crazy things and most people want to believe that their case is in some way special and will end like a romantic comedy with some hilarious misunderstanding and everything is ok after all.
    Relationships are tough, but if she wants space you've gotta just give it to her. Maybe find a new pub for a while? You might find some new friends to connect with and piece your life back together without constantly being reminded of what used to be. Then if it does work out you've still got new friends so good for you, and if it doesn't you've started to move on and your world doesn't fall apart when it's officially over and all of your routines are now filled with your ex.

  • ceresceres Your photo framed Raw within my mindSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    I have this too. For example, my mother will come to me asking what she should say or do about a social situation, how to smooth over an awkward moment with a family member, etc., and she always says she has no idea how I'm so good at this stuff. The truth is that my life was such a mess for so long and is still kind of complicated in some ways, and I know I couldn't keep the cool head I usually recommend.

    As many here will tell you, the fact of the matter is that it is much, much easier to give advice than it is to take it.

    And I am done with my graceless heart,
    So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart.

    The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.
  • Rawkking GoodguyRawkking Goodguy Registered User regular
    Hevach wrote: »
    This is one of the classical fallacies. You see it constantly in politics. A person's inability to follow their own advice doesn't negate their advice. The fact that your car gets 3 mpg and belches thick blue clouds of vapor that strip the paint off passing cars doesn't mean you're wrong if you say cars need to be cleaner. But it does make people more likely to reject your advice, or even resent you for offering it.

    Yeah, it's pretty human to not be able to follow what you know is best to the letter. Don't let that stop you from helping others. As for the possibility of people rejecting/resenting your advice, feel free to to own up to the fact that you're not perfect if they're aware of your difficulties ("Considering X, I'm sorta not one to talk, but..."). A bit of humility can be appreciated sometimes, though you probably don't want to bring up the situation with your girlfriend to people who are not close enough to you to be aware of it.

    Hell, I'm saying this and I often chastise about not being able to follow my better judgment and feel I shouldn't contribute :rotate:

  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    lolwuthalp wrote:
    Why is it that I was capable of giving her advice for certain scenarios and felt totally confident in doing it, but when I am confronted with these problems, I cant follow my own advice?

    Introspection is a lot harder than extrospection, to put it in a very very brief way.

    Tube-san wrote:
    I apologise for my rudeness desu.
  • TheBigEasyTheBigEasy Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    As many here will tell you, the fact of the matter is that it is much, much easier to give advice than it is to take it.

    This. A thousand times this. I am the same. Giving advice is easy. But following my own advice or even worse, accepting advice from others is very, very hard, if not impossible for me.

    Of course you can give others advice, even if you don't follow it yourself. Just because you don't follow it yourself doesn't necessarily make it bad advice.

    You might wanna think about if the advice you are giving is applicable to your own situation and than actually apply it to your situation. But you don't have to feel bad for giving advice you are not following yourself at the moment.

  • WildEEPWildEEP Registered User regular
    Of course you're going to give advice better than you are going to live that same advice.

    When you analyze a situation for someone else, you can be objective. You aren't having to deal with the emotional baggage that comes with the conflict.

    Its not really hypocritical per-say, its the entire REASON we seek out advice to begin with. If we could all be totally objective in every relationship scenario, then advice wouldn't exist.

    If everyone was already living the objective based view...there'd be no reason to need advice. Does that make sense?

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