Jan 042013 14 Responses

Love Your Friends, Don’t Listen to Them

Your friends don’t know what they are talking about.

They mean well. They have your best interests at heart. You wouldn’t trade them for the world. Friends are wonderful. Anyone willing to be a true friend deserves nothing but your absolute loyalty and devotion. You will never regret loving a friend.

But don’t listen to them.

Friends are great companions, but they are often horrible counselors. They give bad advice. They encourage poor decisions. They make the same mistakes we make.

The qualities which make someone a potential friend also makes them a poor guide. We befriend people like us. Our friends generally have the same income, drive similar cars, have the same hobbies, vote like us, and see the world like us. By befriending people like us we tend to have great fun.

However, what creates great fun does not often create great wisdom. Friends are excellent sympathizers but horrible advisors. They are bad advisors because they are like us. They often struggle with the same struggles, have the same weakness, and are prone to the same blind spots.

What makes them great at friendship makes them horrible at advice.

When I was a kid, everyone on the golf course would try to give me advice. They were adults and I was a child, it made sense. I would always listen and try to apply what they said until one day it hit me: if you can’t beat me, you shouldn’t instruct me. I instituted a new rule—I don’t listen to you unless you can beat me.

Its a rule that works beyond the golf course.

  • Don’t take marriage advice from someone in a struggling marriage.
  • Don’t get a stock tip from someone in debt.
  • Don’t receive career counseling from someone unhappy with their job.

Find an advisor who is an expert in the area in which you need advice. You don’t have to like them, enjoy them, or want to be like them. They are not your friend; they are your advisor.

If your marriage is struggling, listen to someone who is happily married or seek the advice of a counselor who has helped many couples on the verge of divorce. Do not take counsel from your friend whose marriage is just as bad as yours.

My friend should be my friend; advice about life should be left to the experts.

“Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war,” Proverbs 20.18.


14 Responses to Love Your Friends, Don’t Listen to Them
  1. [...] from wise people or ignoring the advice of wise people because we are listening to our friends (See Here... https://www.kevinathompson.com/how-darr-you-a-bill-a-signature-and-a-reminder-about-leadership
  2. [...] Clarify relationships. Understanding where one’s allegiance lies is vital for decision making. It ... https://www.kevinathompson.com/what-a-timeshare-presentation-taught-me-about-bad-decisions
  3. [...] listen to your friends. They mean well, but friends rarely give good marriage advice. They lack the... https://www.kevinathompson.com/when-a-marriage-falls-apart
  4. […] Love your friends, but don’t listen to them. Generally speaking, your friends are no smarter ... https://www.kevinathompson.com/you-are-bad-at-decision-making
  5. […] It’s in these moments in which we should be quick to seek the wisdom of others. Remember, this... https://www.kevinathompson.com/life-falls-apart
  6. […] Why call a pastor for premarital counseling when you can call a professional? While I might be bette... https://www.kevinathompson.com/pastor-premarital
  7. […] This has ended many modern marriages, talk less of celebrities’ marriages. Always remember that yo... https://braveachiever.com/why-celebrity-marriages-crash

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