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Make more friends. Have you ever had someone tell you that before? I certainly have and this post will go into detail about why I don’t necessarily agree with this piece of advice.
I’ve been writing a lot of blog posts about luxury goods and my thoughts on blogging but it’s going to be a little different today. This topic has been weighing on my mind and that is, people giving you advice that you disagree with.
I’ve always loved reading posts about life advice. I was scrolling on Reddit on a thread that’s about life advice you disagree with and along with the conversation I had with my mom recently, it inspired me to write this blog post.
As you may know, I’ve moved back to Hong Kong for a few months now. My life hasn’t been the most exciting because of COVID and all, but I’m perfectly content. Things have obviously changed in the past year. I mean, I moved halfway across the world!
I was unhappy for a while because I applied to a teaching job in China around a year ago and got hired too. Unfortunately, the company closed down permanently. I felt lost and frustrated. Who wants to go through the job-hunting process all over again when I had a job opportunity literally in my hands?
I then had another work opportunity but since the borders weren’t open, my job was delayed indefinitely. I waited for a month or two to see if the COVID situation would change. It didn’t, clearly. I couldn’t keep waiting mindlessly, so here I am, back in the city where I spent 9 years living.
Although dealing with both of these wasn’t pleasant, I still felt like I didn’t have much to complain about. Many others have it worst than me. I am mostly staying at home (shopping on Vestiaire Collective), catching up with friends on the phone, going to work, and working on my blog. I’m generally pretty happy. What can I complain about really?
I guess my mom didn’t feel the same because she has been telling me multiple times that I need to go out more and make more friends.
First off, let’s start with the obvious. I am not comfortable meeting many people due to COVID. My grandpa lives in Hong Kong and he’s my only living grandparent left. He is in his eighties and someone I love dearly. I don’t visit him often because I’m worried about bringing COVID to his place. However, since I do visit him, I have to be mindful of the decisions I make. I don’t want to add more reasons why I can’t see him especially when I do want to spend time with him.
Even if I don’t have to consider my grandpa as a factor, I, personally, am very cautious when it comes to COVID. I have known people that have died from it as well as have family members that are nurses. It has been tough for MANY medical workers. They’re people with families too and there are so many irresponsible people already. I don’t want to add myself to that list. I also don’t want to deal with the possible COVID lingering effects.
Okay, but let’s put all of that aside. My mom has told me to socialize more even BEFORE COVID. My other family members even have said similar things to me. Growing up, family members have always told me that I should make more friends. I get confused because I do have friends? Why do they keep telling me I don’t have friends when I do? I’m the type to have a small circle of close friends. In fact, I can count on one hand the people I can turn to for emotional support (more than 5 if we’re counting family members) so maybe to them, that’s too little.
You see, there’s this belief where people assume that there’s something wrong with you if you don’t have a ton of friends. If you have many friends, you’re a ‘good’ person and it’s something people admire. If you don’t have many friends, something is wrong with you.
I don’t agree with this because some of the best people I’ve met don’t have a lot of friends. They’re shy but extremely loyal. It also depends on your personality and lifestyle. Some people don’t need a lot of friends. It’s about the quality, not the quantity. I’ve tried explaining this to my family. Either, they see me explaining as an excuse or they’re just too set in their ways to listen.
I’ve questioned myself more than a few times. I feel like they’ve been saying this for YEARS. The first time someone tells you something and you find it ridiculous, you laugh it off. You hear it often enough and the fear/insecurity creeps in. There must be some merit to what they’re saying. What if they’re right? What if I’m this terrible person?
Have you experienced anything similar to this? If you have, this is my advice to you.
People share advice based on THEIR life experience. For example, my mom’s more social than me but growing up, she wasn’t the most social kid. It’s her learning throughout the years that she needs more friends. She’s also the type who doesn’t like doing things alone. Maybe she looks at me and thinks of her past self. She could be thinking that she should have gone out to socialize more which is why she’s pushing this piece of advice to me.
That’s when I truly realize that people might THINK they know what’s best for you but it’s actually not the case. Even those closest to you.
This is a concept that I’m understanding more now. It’s been on my mind quite a bit because this conversation happened so recently. Their advice often comes with good intentions because they want what’s best for you. They don’t want you to make the same mistakes as they did in the past.
I understand. Really, I do but everyone has a different path and ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if that little nugget of advice is worth following. You need to truly know yourself to see if that piece of advice applies to you.
When listening to people’s advice, you have to take into account their experience and personality. My mom’s the type to ask strangers where they get their clothes from if she likes them whereas I will admire it from a distance. Can I ask? Of course but I probably won’t.
Does it sound like I hate being social? That’s not the case at all. I can be social when I need to be. I love being with my friends especially when I’m in a bad mood. Most of my friends have been in my life for 10+ years. Then, there are work friends. They are people I enjoy talking to. When you’re in an environment for 8-9 hours a day, it gets boring if you have no one to talk to. Your colleagues are there for you when you need professional help but, also, for times when you need someone to talk to.
I keep consistent contact with my childhood friends and friends I’ve made at previous jobs. Although I’m open to meeting new friends, it’s not an absolute must for me (unless I’m in a new work setting). Other than that, I’m satisfied with the number of friends I have now.
The biggest lesson here is that YOU know what’s best for you. You can try explaining the first few times to people who give you unsolicited advice but if they keep repeating the same ‘advice’ over and over again, likely, they’re not really listening to what you have to say. They still believe their way is best and you’re wrong.
After a while, you just learn to shrug off their comments because nothing you say or do will convince them otherwise. Trust yourself and do your own thing! As Taylor Swift says, shake it off!
What’s a piece of advice that people have told you but you disagree with? Let me know in the comments down below!