Have you ever advised a friend to move on from their ex while they held out hope to reunite?
If so did it create distance in your friendship or was your advice accepted by them as a concern for their wellbeing? If the shoe were on the other foot would you be offended if a friend advised you to move on? Some people feel their friends should only (support) or encourage their desires. Should a "best friend" be able to give their honest opinion about a friend's relationship?
I don't give advice to friends - period. And, I'm not interested in someone else's take on what I do or think (unless I ask for their opinion, in which case I think a genuine friend can and will give an honest opinion - just not in the form of advice). "Honest opinion", to me, can mean "what I think about your situation" or "what I think I might do if I were in your situation" (and if this one got a reply about why the person can't/won't do what the other thinks he would then either the other understands better, or else the subject can be let go. I respect my friend's too much and expect them to return the respect enough that I see no place for advice from anyone (but, maybe, a professional counselor if I thought I needed anyone else's two-cents' worth on my personal, adult, business/life.
Of course, if my friend had, say, an alcoholic husband who was beating her up; and if I said (as a friend with an honest opinion), "I wish you would leave because I'm afraid you're going to end up dead:" and the friend, for some reason, didn't leave; maybe I'd be worried enough about myself, my family to have to have to "phase away" from having too much of some types of contact and/or discussion with the friend at least until I wasn't worried about drunk and violent husband.
I'd give my friend enough credit for being able to understand. When all is said and done, however, the person with that kind of problem really should seek advice from a professional anyway. So again, it's not the role of a friend to give advice. Most of the time advice-givers only feel free enough to believe they have "advice" worth giving because they don't understand the other person's situation well enough. Not only that, but too many people don't want to understand the situation better because they wan/need (for some reason) to continue to believe that they have advice that's worth something (when it's just ignorant and misguided; and/or when the other person has long ago thought up and ruled out the "advice" on his own but couldn't take that route for his own reasons).
A true friend respects you enough to give you credit for being a capable person of good character and sound mind; and either helps if he can, listens if he can't, and leaves advice-giving to professionals and/or arrogant, ignorant, windbags.
People move on when they're ready to move on, and they figure out when they're ready for themselves.
I suppose it all comes down to the nature of the friendship people share.
Some people might feel insulted/angry if a friend offered unsolicited advice or opinion while others may welcome a pair of fresh eyes. I guess it's up to the individuals.
Never created a distance between me and my friends before, my friends know me, and they know I have their interests at heart. If they think I overstepped, they tell me straight up.
Friends should be able to talk, give advice and take advice from each other without fear of losing a friend.
My sister has been in several unhealthy relationships; I do the best I can to provide a listening ear. Sometimes I think she knows what needs to be done, but she needs to hear someone else say that it is okay for her to make the decision to leave. My sister has a big heart and it is not easy for her to leave someone she cares about, it can sometimes be several months before she actually follows my advice, because she is hoping the relationship will get better if she works hard enough at it.
My advice has never really caused distance between us, although there are times when I tire of giving the same advice over and over, so I get a little frustrated. When this happens I normally begin to tell her that she needs to decide for herself, that I have given her all the advice I could and I have nothing left to say.
If the roles were reversed, I might get angry initially if she suggested I need to move on, because I value my independence and don't always react very well to advice, but after I would accept it and know she was right.
I value honesty in every relationship, when I ask for advice or an opinion, I always want people to tell me the truth, even if it hurts, or disagrees with what I think. In the end I believe a helpful lie does more damage than a painful truth.
If the person you are giving an honest opinion to rejects your advice, then perhaps they aren't ready for it. If they reject you because of your honesty, perhaps they weren't really your friend.
One of the many things friends are for is to tell you the painful truth, even when no one else will.
"In the end I believe a helpful lie does more damage than a painful truth." Very true!
Ultimately our decisions are our own to make. However well meaning insight from those who love and care about us may help put things in a better perspective.
I've never discouraged a friend from perusing an ex, mainly because I don't recall ever having a friend that wanted to. But it would depend on the situation, I think.
My best friend got on me pretty hard about a guy I used to be with, because he wasn't a good guy. At the time I kind of just wanted her to back off (it got to the point where she actually confronted him about how he treated me when I wasn't around), but in hindsight I actually love her more for it. She was fiercely protective of me when I didn't realize that I needed protection, and I think it shows how much she believed that I deserved better.
But, based on my own experience, if someone wants something (especially when it comes to love), it's hard to discourage it from the outside (even as a close friend). I think it's usually something people have to come to on their own terms and something they need to figure out for themselves.
That said, I do think good friends should be able to be honest with each other. I think if there's a good reason to encourage the friend to move on (like the ex is now happily married with children), then it wouldn't be terribly sincere or supportive to say "yeah, go for it!" On the other hand, if they just broke up two weeks ago and they're still trying to get over it, I don't think it's super helpful to say "it's over, move on." I think there are ways to encourage happiness outside of the relationship without pushing the "move on" bit too much. Like I said, probably depends on the situation/circumstances.
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