Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bias Opinions

What does it mean? Whoever you talk to- a friend, spouse, family member or a co-worker, 95% of the time, they will agree with whatever you have to say regarding a personal matter that’s going on in your life. Some advice may be a little too over the top, and others may be generalized for the sake of staying neutral, but overall, you’ll come to notice that the advice you get from the people closest to you will deter you from making a conscious and wise decisions of your own.

Influences. People who are close to us have the influence to persuade us one way or the other. Sometimes, people do it out of self-gratifying reasons. Sometimes, you have to ask yourself, does this person want something out of this? What would he/she gain if I told them this, or got advice from them about that? Does this person have a romantic interest in me? Or is this person jealous of the relationship I have with whomever I’m having the problem with for whatever reason?

How do you determine what’s “good advice”? What may be good for me may not be good for you. So who’s to say what’s “right” and what’s “wrong”? Look at psychiatrists. They don’t give their opinions. Did you ever think why they never give their personal opinions on a matter that’s important to you? They want “you” to figure it out on your own. Only “you” can make a decision that’s important for you- a decision that’s healthy for you. Somebody may think ‘this is the healthier choice’, when in fact, it may be just the opposite.

I remember sitting in my shrink’s office getting so frustrated with him.
“Well, what’s your opinion on this, doc?”
“Do you think this decision may be right for you? What do you think would happen if you went ‘this’ route?”
“Huh? I’m asking you what you think.”
“What are your options? How do you feel about it?”

I never understood it, until I looked around my environment and discovered that there are way too many opinions being flung over the fence for free. Life’s one big puzzle. Doctors are there to help us figure things out- to push us along. Then I have another theory: conflicting viewpoints that help with our growth in dealing with people, adversity and understanding. If you can manage to have a healthy debate, you can learn a lot of things. If you can maintain a level of calmness while in a disagreement, you can be reassured you’ll learn something from it all.

Going back to the influences of people and their advice—if I went by my mother’s advice, I’d be married to a “rich Jewish man” with a ton of kids by now. But, that’s not happening obviously. My conscious decision is to be with who I “love”—not for money or for reasons that are most acceptable to society. I truly believe that in certain situations, when mothers give their children advice, it’s for a self-gratifying nature. Their little girl is off to do something that wasn’t what the mother had planned. I’m not saying “all moms” do this—but the majority sometimes overwhelms their children with advice and suggestions that go with what ‘they wanted out of life’…not what their children wanted. And that’s normal. They care and want the best for their children. But, what’s the definition of “the best” to the parent? Naturally, when a parent stifles their child with strict rules, forced religion and decisions that are only made by that parent, for the sake of ‘keeping them safe’ (and I speak of strict rules in the terms of “YOU MUST BE CHRISTIAN” or “YOU MUST MARRY A MAN”), the child ends up doing the very opposite sometimes.

And at times, we get advice from family and friends that tell us, he/she is no good for you. Move on. Get rid of him/her. They’re not good enough for you. 9 out of 10 times, the person getting the advice who takes the advice will soon regret it, depending on their situation. They didn’t think for themselves. They didn’t listen to their own heart. Their conscious decision was the very opposite of the advice that was given to them.

Discernment. Learn to decipher who is telling you genuine heartfelt advice, and who’s talking your ear off just to gain some sort of self-gratifying need from you and your situation. There’re too many yentas out there flapping their gums talking about who did this and who did that. Washwomen if you will... It’s sad, because usually these types of people have nothing better to do, because there is nothing exciting going on in their own lives. They need to meddle in yours.

So sit back and let the gossip and bad advice go in one ear...and out the other. Listen to your heart and what’s best for “you”. For me, if I have questions about life and my personal decisions, the best source is going straight to the top: God.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths. ~Proverbs 3:5-6


Victorya said...

Gotta love that advice that floats around, no? I always figure advice is worth what you pay for it. Had I listened to my mother, I would have worked at Mcdonald's out of highschool while going to Community College. Instead, I ignored her and got a scholarship to a good private school.

I love your picture, it's easy to say someone means well when they give you advice, not so easy for me to beleive it.

Art said...

Great advice, Deb ;) Seriously. But what I've found is that advice can be good as long as you're not letting the other person make a choice for you. I've been in situations where I've followed advice that was given and where I have not, but in each case, the advice helped ME determine the correct answer.

~Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~Deb said...

Victorya: It’s hard not to take advice from somebody that you feel you trust, but sometimes you have to just step back and take a look at where it’s coming from. I’m glad you went with your heart and did what you had to do…for “you”. Thanks for stopping in!

Art: Well, I think a lot of people let others make the choice for them by simply taking the advice- thinking that their own thoughts about it aren’t good enough. They always seek for a second opinion, which is great, but sometimes it can cause more harm than being helpful. It can definitely help to make up someone’s mind, but I’m hoping the receiver listens with an open heart for different options. We all want options! Thanks, Art!

CP said...

I personally leave advice to the big guy upstairs. I don't necessarily take the advice of friends and loved ones. Being bipolar, I tend to be untrusting of others to begin with. I don't know that what they tell me is right for me is not actually more right for them. Everyone is selfish in that manner. Everyone is out for self. When I am truly betwixt and between, I meditate and let God speak to me. This isn't only a Christian thing. I am Jewish and I turn to God often for help. I ask him who I can trust. Usually, his guidance is all I need. Sometimes, I take stock in the advice of others, but frankly, it isn't often.


~Deb said...

I hear ya. I have to say that I do take advice from my close friends who I only know will direct me in an unselfish direction where they have absolutely no reasons for motives. So if I come to someone for help, I know in my heart that they have no reason to deter me from a truthful heartfelt advice.
xxoo!!! Thanks, CP!

DaBich said...

Truer words were never spoken. " Listen to your heart and what’s best for “you”." That usually works best.

Matt-Man said...

Deb, it's great to see that the sexiest Lebanese I know is back and blogging. Cheers!!

Crassius Maximus said...

Amen, sister. When my lady tells me I'm the handsomest man she's ever seen, I have a tendency to listen. When she tells me I'm an " obnoxious, gamecockesque prima donna ", my hearing level drops dramatically.

~Deb said...

Dabich: Usually, when my heart’s against something, or my gut tells me otherwise, I have to second guess it. Thanks!

Matt: Why thank you for that flattering compliment. It’s nice being Lebanese and the food is great here! Nice to see you again!

Crass: It’s called “selective hearing”. I do it too. Thanks for stopping in!

Jay Cam said...

speakin of the religion thing.. i kinda hate it when parents force their kids to be the same religion as them.
i mean, i can see how that might be nice is some situations, but shouldnt kids have to choice to be what they want to be?

yah lol... thats about it

~Deb said...

I agree with you Jay. I think they should be given options, but I guess it happens with every family, where the parents like to give the child the knowledge of "God"----because in their beliefs, God is "real"... It's tricky I guess.

CP said...

Deb - You know I give you nothing but love, baby. Love...and honest advice. You know why? Cause you are one of the few people on the planet that I TRUST!!! *hugs*

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Advice? My experience is that most people listen to it, say thank you for it, and then do what they want to do.

That’s why a learned as a therapist to turn the question back on the asker: if they’re going to do what they want anyway, I may as well earn my pay by responding to their intended action.

I remember one client who wanted my advice (blessing?) on having an affair with a guy with whom she worked. I turned the question back on her and she responded that her only concern was that her husband would find out, but she was going to be “extra careful” and have the affair. “What do you think?” she asked me.

I replied, “Remember to call me for an appointment with you and your husband when—not “if”—he finds out.”

Such is the reality of life.

kathi said...

I tend to surround myself with people who don't tell me something just because they think it's what I want to hear. Sometimes I wish they did, lol...but I could tell they were just taking the easy way out. I love honesty, and weave that with genuine caring and you get great advice. Sometimes when we're too close, we can't see clearly. I do believe that those not too close to a situation can often have a better perspective. Sometimes not, but most times can.

When I let the kids get Danny (our latest dog) my best friend Katy went off on me asking me what I was thinking, I was barely able to feed the mouths I had and I add another one to the mix. She was right. I could have got mad, or offended, but I knew she was concerned...and that she was right.

I want someone to be honest with me, not just taking the easy way out and telling me what they think I want to hear. But, it's got to be done in love, not to degrade me or to hurt me. I've known those types of people too.

GirlGoyle said...

I think in most cases people give advice based on their perception of the situation and their experience. You are right, it's not always fitting advice but I would like to think that it's at least heartfelt.


that's why sometimes, i always think twice before giving advice because of fear that my advice could be wrong, often times, i try to play it safe by saying, "i am not trying to be intrusive but..." knowing i have shared my thought to someone who asks for advice is enough, whether he takes it or leave it is up to him...when someone gives me advice on the other hand, i feel good, but more often than not, i practice discernment^^

CHEWY said...

Hi Deb,
I breezed in from Victorya Chase's Blog.

Thought provoking blog you have here, and intelligent comments. I'd like to add your link to my blog roll.

The index card attached to this post is a good candidate for Post Secret

Leah said...

Wow. I needed to read this years ago.But, finally, at 30 I figured it out myself. It's amazing how clouded our vision can get. In the end, it is only I who really knows what is best for ME.
I enjoy your blog!

Oswegan said...

Interesting post deb.

Your photo looks like somthing you would see on the post secret site.

Very cool.


TK Kerouac said...

Washwoman...so true, I know a few of those, its sad

I'm out of private now
just wondering if you could change your side link to


my new blog

Glad to see you've returned since computer problems

GW Mush said...

Hi Deb!

My advice to you is to never take advice from me :) hehe

Does this font make my butt look big? be honest...

~Deb said...

CP: I. just. love. you!

Nick: Well affairs on any level would eventually come out into the light and ruin the relationship. I guess there’s only one type of advice: the obvious one. I loved your response to her. Thanks for sharing that, Nick!

Kathi: I agree with you, if we’re too close, we don’t see clearly. I know that there are people who do give advice that’s heartfelt, but I just wonder about ‘some’ people’s motives. Thanks, Kath!

Girlgoyle: I always give them the benefit of the doubt…but some people are just way too opinionated for my taste! Ah well, I guess I am too though! Nice see you!

Lord Manila Stone: Well at least you’re aware of it and conscious of giving ‘good advice’. That makes all the difference. I appreciate your input…

Chewy: Thanks for stopping in! I appreciate your kind words. The photo would be a great idea for Post Secret! I found this off photobucket.

Leah: Your heart never lies…regardless of what others may think. That’s what I believe anyway. Thanks for dropping in!

Oswegan: It definitely does! Thanks!

Tk: Glad to see you again! She came out of hiding! I changed your link, thanks for the update! Hope you’re doing well.

GW: I’ve taken some of your advice and got myself in heaps of trouble! (heh) And as far as your font----*inserts a Twix in her mouth*

Neers said...

good post, deb! long time.. had been away for a while! hows you?