Social Question

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Why would a friend call you for your advice then refuse to take it?

Asked by WillWorkForChocolate (23098points) May 16th, 2011

A girlfriend of mine called for some relationship advice specifically because I’m blunt and refuse to sugar coat anything. Frankly, her questions sounded a little stalkerish, but instead of hurting her feelings, I gave her some good advice about what to do.

She kept saying, “Yeah but” and “I still think”, and I just wanted to scream! You call me and ask me what to do. I tell you the best way to handle it and I can hear you shaking your head by the tone of your voice!

WHY THE HELL do people do that?

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26 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

Some people seek advice, when they really just want someone to agree with them to justify whatever it is they’re doing.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

We smart enough to know when we’re wrong or need advice and too dumb to follow it.

Kardamom's avatar

I’m in agreement with @Blackberry People often want to vent and they may want sympathy and they usually also want you to agree with them. They really don’t want you to tell them do something different.

That’s happened a few times recently here on Fluther

JilltheTooth's avatar

Cuz they’re stoopid poopy-heads.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

They just want to vent.
That is why I sometimes tell people to beat themselves silly with a bratwurst to see if they’re really listening.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Kardamom I know, and this friend is quite a bit older than me, got burned by a divorce and is now paranoid and jealous. She knows a guy; they’re “friends with benefits” but she has stronger feelings for him than that. She went through this guy’s cell phone and saw a text from another girl, wrote the girl’s number down and wants to know if I think she should call her!!!!

It’s like, WTF? You’re not in a relationship with him at ALL, you violated his privacy and you want me to tell you to go ahead and harass this other girl that you don’t know?? Really?

I told her to leave the girl alone and decide if she’s okay with the “friends with benefits” relationship, or if she’s not. If she’s not, she needs to distance herself from him.

Even though she said she called because I’m a “rip the bandaid off” kind of person, she apparently didn’t want to hear anything other than, “Yeah, it’s cool that you swiped her number from his phone. You should call the girl and ask her if she’s banging your friend.” UGH! Why call me for “crabby advice” if you don’t want to hear it?

SpatzieLover's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I am SO like you. I am a band-aid ripping, blunt, open, honest person. If you call asking for my advice/opinion I’ll give it.

Why not take the advice??? She isn’t open to input yet. Maybe she thought she was when she called you, but then realized she wasn’t ready to hear the truth, or the truth hurt.

Sunny2's avatar

I agree with @Blackberry. Next time it happens, you might ask her what she thinks and if she doesn’t have an answer, tell her to call back when she does. I believe the saying is “throwing pearls before swine.” If she calls again you can refute her answers or agree with them. Make her think for herself. It will be less frustrating for you and, perhaps, helpful to her.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

Cause they are dumb.

Kardamom's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate That sounds horrifying! What’s the deal with all these women these days putting up with the FWB type of relationship? Most women just aren’t wired for it, but they jump in hook line and sinker and then wonder why their lives are so messed up.

Ladies, if a guy tells you that he doesn’t want to be in a “relationship” nor does he want to make a “comittment” nor does he want to be involved in a “romantic situation” BELIEVE HIM!

And the guy usually ends up leaving (and not caring) anyway

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Kardamom Exactly!!! I know I’m the crabby, blunt person, but I couldn’t bring myself to say, “You know you sound like a stalker, right?”

JilltheTooth's avatar

Oh, no, @WillWorkForChocolate , don’t tell me you’ve mellowed with age??? ;-)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

HA! As if! She’s just too sensitive for me to call a stalker!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It sounds like a combination of both what @Blackberry and @lucillelucillelucille said…the desire for agreement and/or a desire to vent.

This friend knows you well enough to come to you for the reality of the situation. Otherwise, she would have sought out the ‘advice’ of those that she knew would support her pity party. Don’t take offense if she doesn’t agree with you right away. It takes time for the emotions to settle and to let reality to sink in. While there is always the chance that she doesn’t take your sage advice, don’t be surprised if she does.

MacBean's avatar

I agree with @JilltheTooth. My sister does this to me all the time and it drives me crazy.

Facade's avatar

No one’s obligated to take any advice people give them. Perhaps she was just looking for a different point of view.

wundayatta's avatar

People are not obligated to take advice if it doesn’t make sense to them. She clearly had a number of objections to your advice. She didn’t like it. She should take it anyway?

Remember, there may be more information that she has that you don’t have. She may be unrealistic or have poor analytical skills. She may have very intense desires you don’t know about and so on.

I shoot my mouth off all the time. I give all kinds of advice. As far as I can tell, not many people take it. Kind of funny story. Just before I got on this question, I gave an answer on another question in a field that I am an expert in. The OP made some nasty comment about why did I bother to answer the question. My answer was the correct answer, and it’s on a question with no ambiguity for the answer.

But people don’t take my advice or my answers. What can I say? You can lead a horse to water, etc. There’s nothing you can do to force someone to do the right thing.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Some people just want someone’s opinion. They really call you to “vent” , to bounce ideas off of….to just talk to get some of their frustration out.

I’ve done this…..I’ve called friends when I needed to just “talk”...and when I say, “I don’t know what to do. What would you do in my situation?” I would listen, but the truth is that I already usually knew the answer….the only thing that I needed to do was to simply get past my fear and do it (whatever the “it” was…move, break-up, get a new car, change jobs, etc).

So, it’s not that your friend is not listening and not taking your advice….she already knows what needs to be done and is just dragging her feet or is afraid to take action. She needs not to confront the woman on the phone, but the man she is seeing.

Next time, if you are that direct (and you say you are) just say: “Listen, I told you what to do, right? So, do you just want me to listen to you rant? Because I would rather do something else. What you are proposing is ridiculous. This guy can text all the girls at the Playboy Mansion if he wants because you are not in a mutually exclusive relationship with him, okay? It’s not that other woman’s fault. You need to _talk to the man_okay? And if he wants to simply sleep with you without being in a relationship with you, then, you have to move on, sweetheart. Is that clear?”

BarnacleBill's avatar

When it turns out as you said it would, you get to say, “So, how’s that working for you?”

ninjaapantz's avatar

I used to be the ‘rip the band aid’ type. But about 2–3 years ago it dawned on me that there was no point to it, all it was doing was making me frustrated and it wasn’t even my issues. So why bother, people aren’t paying me for an opinion – why give it? They really only want you to commiserate, like that saying… Misery loves company.

creative1's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I think of giving advice as this that ultimately the person can take it or not, even it was the very be thing for them it really was their call to make. You can’t let it get to you or effect your friendship because really even when I go to my mother for advice she will start off by saying its your decision but if it were me I would do this….. It gives me leave to make my own decisions without feeling like I am going against her. So I tend to try to do the same and think of my advice the same. The way I would do it but not necessarily how I expect someone else should live their live. Because you can’t live someone else’s life for them. I hope the decision your friend made works out for them and I am sorry she/he didn’t take your sound advice.

Kool_Gal's avatar

Because it wasn’t a good idea? Each person got their right to decide the best thing to do in their life.

filmfann's avatar

Sometimes I think I have the right position, but I talk it over with friends to make sure my argument holds water. Once we talk, I will decide if that is the right choice.
So, your friend may have just wanted to make sure she was on sure footing.
She wasn’t asking you to run this part of her life.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@filmfann No, I know that, but she literally said, “I’m calling for your advice because I know you’ll give me your take without being gentle. I called specifically because you’re a “rip off the bandaid” kind of person and I need to know what you think.”

She told me to tell her what to do, then proceeded to say “yeah but” and “I still think”, when I told her it was NOT a good idea to call the other girl and to just make that hard decision to stay or go. I think she was hoping I was going to be bitchy and say, “Yeah, he’s playing you. Call that girl and rip her a new one for interfering!” Oh well. She’ll have to learn the hard way on this one, I guess.

Hibernate's avatar

Maybe she wanted to hear someone’s opinion [ even she won’t think about that ] just so she can fortify hers in that matter. But it’s just a maybe.

markylit's avatar

i think some people are just like that. they already have something made up in their minds but they just ask for advice to kinda get through with the feeling that they atleast asked around for advice. i have seen quite a few of friends do that.

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