Posts Tagged ‘advice’

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no good advice.

July 26, 2009

I’ve always been someone to whom people have come to for advice, or to listen to their problems or whatever’s been going on with them.  As good as I am at talking (which is very!), I am a good listener and I try to keep a balanced perspective as much as is possible so I can evaluate people’s problems fairly and give the best support that I can.  And quite often, the best form of support isn’t advice where you tell them to do something specific, but rather where you just lay out their options in front of them, some possible scenarios of what might happen depending on what they choose to do, and then just leave it up to them.  That’s what I was trained to do in Peer Support and I fully stand by it.  Although I accept that sometimes people may know better than me, I try to listen to what people say and observe what is happening around me, and then choose whether to take certain pieces of advice or go my own way.

Nevertheless, in view of the rapidity with which my life appears to be falling apart and going the very opposite of whatever “according to plan” is, I don’t really feel that I’m the right person for people to come to for advice.  I feel hypocritical talking about relationships because my track record is pretty bad; I feel strange applying for a Careers Guidance course because if anyone could use some serious careers guidance, it is me!  But my friends assure me that I am “rational” and “have a sensible head on my shoulders”; I like to think they are right, and that I was brought up well and I’ve observed the world around me enough to know what is right and what is wrong (though the lines so often blur).  I think it stems from the fact that my advice works so well for other people, but when it comes my turn to take this advice, it’s so much more difficult… That, and the fact I seem to attract people who are batshit crazy (in a variety of ways!).

So I wanted to write this piece of advice down that I dispensed today… it goes against my usual strategy of “hard to get”, and it is an attempt to counteract the stressing of “what if” and strategising behind when to send texts and how many kisses to put at the end of them.  These things are important, but they haven’t gotten me anywhere… the only thing that’s been proved right (and all my friends proved wrong) lately is my paranoia!  So I want to make a record of this, in case it might help somebody, and hopefully I’ll learn to follow it too… :

Just do what you think is right, and do whatever is rational to you.  Men are so random and crazy, they can turn on and off at the flick of a switch, and disappear and reappear at will. So just be yourself, and don’t limit yourself to one of them until you’re sure they are at least temporarily committed to you.

It’s not a long piece of advice, but I imagine at certain moments I’ll find it a bitter pill to swallow. The job of my friends, and of you guys who are reading (hah, I bet you didn’t know you’d signed up for this!), is to make me swallow this pill when necessary… because the pill is, in reality, a vitamin.

(Thankyou to Nick and Hannah for making me blog this 🙂 – please give their blogs a visit, they’re both talented writers!)

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pride.

July 9, 2009

Pride is a funny thing.  On the one hand, we are taught it is a bad thing to act too proud, and we should aim to be humble human beings who are never too busy or too above our station to help out our fellow man or take a little time to do whatever.  But at the same time, we should also be proud of our achievements and who we are, and never lower ourselves or do anything that is genuinely beneath us.  They are both sentiments I agree with wholeheartedly, but they also seem to contradict one another and I don’t know exactly whether pride is a bad thing or a good thing. I like to think it is a good thing, because an overdose of pride to me is arrogance; just enough pride is when you are aware of your worth and what you should and shouldn’t do.

Another thing that people say is that “pride comes before a fall”.  I haven’t experienced exactly that, but today I went to visit my grandmother after a depressing morning at home which culminated in my receiving a phone call that was for my father (I am the house receptionist, after all) and my father asking where the phone was.  I stormed out of the house after quickly making myself fit for public consumption, and went to see my nan to talk to her about the current state of play regarding my uni funding (it looks like I may not get any after all, though if I do get it it will be like hitting the jackpot! But I’m sure I’ll expand upon that situation in due course, and there is nothing I can do for the moment other than wait and see) and to de-stress.  While I was there, she gave my some great advice about the job situation, but advice I didn’t really like at first: why don’t I get Jobseekers’ Allowance (aka. unemployment benefit) until the hospital pulls its finger out and gives me some hours like they promised?

The reason why I didn’t really like the idea at first was because I didn’t want to be lumped in with people who don’t ever bother getting a job but just live off handouts from the dole.  I didn’t want to feel I was lazy, and I don’t like accepting charity.  But then, as my nan gently explained to me through a couple of anecdotes from her own life, I was being too proud and I should accept something that I am currently entitled to, especially as everybody else in my position does so and more.  And I realised she was right.  I researched JSA when I got home and went online, and it’s £50 a week.  That is a considerable amount of money that would really help me!  So I have applied and am waiting for the Jobcentre staff to call me (within the next 2 days, apparently).  Fingers crossed!  Perhaps it will be a karmic trigger and something will cause the BRI (hospital) to call me Monday and say they have finally got some hours and want me to come and start working at the job I have been waiting on for a month now.

I generally wouldn’t characterise myself as a proud person – I don’t feel I am at all snobbish, and I am open to talking to and interacting with anyone regardless of their appearance or their walk of life.  I think I am friendly and I am willing to help anyone who genuinely needs my help.  But in this instance, I realised I was being proud (the bad definition) because I was essentially thinking that I was too good to be claiming this benefit.  And that brings to mind another saying: cutting my nose off to spite my face.  There is nothing wrong with being proud of yourself and your achievements, and rightly so – but I was today reminded never to be too proud to accept help when you need it and when it is available to you.