In my rose-tinted past, I saw the word being split into ad/vising and in my mind, vising implied vision, foresight, some type of knowledge in a circumstance over someone else. An agony aunt, a person who's been there and done that, who's been through what you've been through and lived to tell the tale. Advising comes from the more basic and honest word ad/vice. At least this word can be split to show how crippling it can be. Advising comes off as a more trustworthy word. Which is often a front, just like the people that give and take too much advice. It creates a superficial bond where one should not be, where one person has a form of control over another, or sometimes, amazingly, both people have more control over each other than they do themselves.
Advice has its uses, but it has to be given by the right people who will not gain from any of the consequences involved, and it's a very humble and powerful person who can say that they are given a life to control and don't want to at the very least tinker with it, be it asking for information and delving into the past in a voyeuristic fashion, or who wants to play with the strings on this soul-ridden marionette, or who simply wants to be given a thousand thank yous and gain a boost in their ego, in their self-worth.
Advice has a less obvious and more negative energy to it: by giving advice out in circumstances I believe I know something about, I am often deluding myself and I may be telling a person they are flawed when they are unable to accept that as a positive response. I used to suggest A Plan to perk themselves back up to feeling better. And woe betide the people content to try Plans A, B, X, Y, one after another, being spoon-fed into the delusion that their world will change once they get past this obstacle, this problem. It only reinforces a back-up plan for when things go wrong the next time, and at that point, it's questionable if someone is living their live as much as they could, or are instead taking a route devised by a bumbling architect, with both parties possibly missing out on some of the most important realisations they should have found for themselves.
When I used to hand out advice to anyone that wanted it, back in the days when the internet was fresh and filled with teenagers using its qualities to escape from the realities they contained themselves in, I suggested what my elders suggested to me: to contain sadness and try to keep a positive outlook. I tried to get people to look at their problems logically and would suggest taking a few steps away, looking subjectively at their problem, and seeing if it makes as much sense. This was done to try to promote self-worth but instead belittles the person into looking at a problem until they find a flaw in themselves. Most problems stem from a fear, a lack of belief in something. Be it a lack of belief that a person will get a job, a lack of faith that a friend will pull through, a lack of faith in a rusty faucet. These problems apparently all need to be fixed; it's what I was told at a young age. When I was sad, I was told to cheer up, to ignore the negative feelings, hide them away, forget them. I don't need them. I'm wrong.
And thus the passive-aggressive personality was borne in myself, to some extent, and I'm sure to many others besides me. Congratulations, society, for moulding such a dangerous individual. Individual being the key word. Too many people are secluded out of something for who they are and how they want to live. How many people do you see on the streets these days who won't make eye contact with you, unable to appreciate their kind or their world any more? How many times have you neglected to make eye contact with people today? We've learned to put up false smiles, we've learned to detach our pain away from loved ones. This is the 21st Century, and it's not going to get any better now that technology isolates us further. We're more distant towards each other than we've ever been. We are now psychologically able to brush off the fact that we've brushed people off.
How dare I try to enforce the notion of looking logically at a situation, as The AnswerTM. I am ashamed of myself for that. I suggested that because I am a logical person - well, perhaps not logical per se, but at that age I was definitely able to handle my understanding for logic better than my tumultuous emotions. I am an intelligent person. But I am by no means a learned person and was not deserving of helping people through things, for the self-gratification I earned out of it. The irony of the situation was that I was probably at my most depressed at that point in life, and I used the power people let me have to ignore my own pains, my own problems. If I could make someone else happier, it meant if I did disappear away, someone in the online world might miss me! Meanwhile, all my friends in real life murmured and/or gossiped about my psychological state and I lost a lot of friendships at that stage in my life.
I bought so many presents for people, became the guardian angel to some people. And it was all done for the thank yous, not for their well-being. It was done for myself first of all, and if my suggestions worked out, even better! If not, they'd turn right back to me for Plan B. But there's an interesting flipside to this. Just like I was glad I could offer help and become someone's fan, that other person might have been making up drama just for me, to create an entirely fake bond of friendship and compassion.
I have heard so many one-sided stories, and still do. At least these days, from listening to enough tales, I can dissect the components down to see where the chinks in the armour are, the flaws in the story, the places where drama is being created and where the other side of the story would project an entirely different account of what is going on. I've done this in the past, recently too, while unhappy with life and trying to find scapegoats in the situations I would not allow myself to fix. That's the big problem, and the reason why I have grown distant with a few people in recent months and years: at what point are you going to develop some self-worth and self-love and stop treating the world with the burden of trying to cheer you up for the life you unhappily contain yourself in? Amazingly, every so often someone can offer you advice and everything seems better, but then something else comes along, something else burdens you. Your problems control your life.
This should be a signal in giant flashing letters that you need to change something in your life. Be it your workplace, your partner, your friends, your leaking faucet, your living situation, your state of mind, but go ahead and do it and see where you end up. Challenge yourself - don't let yourself believe that the unhappy life you have is what you deserve.
And there's the irony. I begin to offer unsubstantiated advice. Yes, I see it; and I accept I'm a hypocrite. But this is as generalising a bit of advice as I can give. I don't do this to strengthen friendships, I do this to empower some people I know have been so consistently low and don't know who to turn to, when the best person for the job is right there with them, every step of the way. Maybe if these people started to look at themselves and accept the flaws they have, they wouldn't have to plaster over the cracks in their life with their idealistic and dramatic stories to others.
It becomes a frustration when you know someone is close to changing their life for the better and then falls back into the same pattern. But then, why do we want to fix problems? I think it's because it's in our nature to find problems, and we can even make things worse for ourselves just to have something to fix and feel better about. It's hard for us to have to just accept what is going on. We all wield too much power by ourselves, from our own vantage points on this web, being able to spew bilious comments to all and sundry, being able to receive feedback that implies that person is right with their one-sided stories. We really should hate their family member or ex or co-worker or faucet. So much venom in this world due to isolated and inflated egos.
Now, some of us do have genuine drama we have to live through and likewise, we can people who will try to make us stronger, but they usually do it by promoting genuine self-worth, by making ourselves a better person, rather than by trying to choose their paths in life, who they shouldn't talk to, and whatnot. They promote the idea of embracing love into situations, rather than hate. To accept and be open-minded rather than secluded and closed-minded.
I accept I am where I am because of my decisions. I cannot let anyone else take claim for any direction my life has taken, even if I know my decision was biased by someone else, it shows I let myself become controlled. I am not at all unhappy with any of my past, I love it and embrace it all because that's how I know I'm me. Damned if I'm not going to make some mistakes again, but that's what life is all about. Believing in myself, learning, constantly learning. Finding flaws and embracing them rather than hiding from them. Accepting that we all have emotions in us and that we can't go on with life until we understand every aspect of ourselves, the good and the bad.
For all of this I have written I patiently expect something to try to throw me off-course. The difference is that now I can embrace the good and the bad and accept it with a nod of the head and a shrug of the shoulders either way.