Stop Asking Your Friends To Help Make Important Life Decisions


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Nice Move


I’m pretty cold-hearted. I don’t mean this in a negative or positive way. I’m merely stating facts. I’m a truly horrible person to pour your heart out to. Things rarely shock me. Friends have told me their deepest, darkest secrets only to have me respond with un-raised eyebrows and a guttural “huh.” It’s not that a don’t care – I really truly do. I’m actually pretty empathetic. But once you’ve told me something, some odd robot part of my brain activates and goes: “Information synthesized. New discovery is now truth. No reason to comment upon clearly known fact.” After all, I don’t really talk to you about the fact that the sky is blue. We both know, obviously. What’s the point?

I really don’t mean to be an ice queen, really. But my general unshakeable-ness combined with my God-given resting bitch face and the fact that I wear sunscreen every day so I have no wrinkles and thus zero emotive abilities mean that I sure do look like one. So with all these un-therapist-like qualities oozing out of every pore of my body, sending wavelengths out to every fellow humans’ chakras, and generally telegraphing “DANGER: CONTINUE AT OWN RISK” I just have to ask: why the fuck do people keep wanting my help making life decisions?

Maybe it’s just due to the fact that my friends and I are all at fairly precarious junctures in life in almost every regard — work, school, love, relationships, family — but lately, all anyone talks about it all their problems and how they need help “solving” them. They need direction. Guidance. A path. And I’m just all like “Bitch, this ain’t my problem.”

Look, I completely understand needing to vent. Wanting a shoulder to cry on. Getting something off your chest. But this is not that. One friend asked me to review her financial aid options and help her decide which grad school to go to. Another asked me to intervene in a family dispute. One gal told me that my opinion would be the tie breaker on if she should break up with her boyfriend for fucks sake. And I’ve been told that my choice of city post-graduation would be a consideration in which job offer a friend accepts. Do these all sound like insane things to assign someone other than yourself responsibility for? Because they really, really should.

I do not, I repeat, do not, want to help you make your life decisions. That is not at all what friendship or adulthood is about. Your life needs to be about you making your own choices, to the best of your ability, that make you both happy and fulfilled in the long run. As your friend, it is my job to support you in whatever choice you make and ensure that you know I’m always here for you. Just not as a fucking life coach.

Whenever you make a choice, you need to know that the reasons you’re doing so are purely yours. Can you imagine if I helped my friend pick a grad school, only to have her end up hating it? Next thing you know she would be miserable, in debt, and blaming me because “I should have helped her more.” No. Fucking. Way.

So the next time you ask a friend for help, make sure it’s for something she can actually help you with. Like hitching a ride to the grocery store. Holding your hair back when you puke. Needing to borrow a dress for formal. But if it’s for anything that actually, you know, matters, make sure that the person you’re consulting most is yourself. After all, that’s the only way to ensure you actually get what you want.


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