When Shit Hits the Fan, Who Do You Call?
Every day we are faced with issues, decisions, and events that have us at times in need of help. “I am overwhelmed with my schedule!” “This dude hasn’t called me back!”, “My boss is driving me nuts!”, “I might be pregnant.”, “My kid is acting a fool!”. We endure so much that sometimes we need to vent, have someone to hold our hands and clear the fog so we can make better decisions.
I decided to write this piece because you might as well call me the Dr. Phil of my squad. If any of my friends are going through something, my shoulder, my couch, and my ears are ready for them. At this point I don’t know what makes me the “go to” person for them but I always try to give unbiased, positive feedback or just an ear to listen. I have learned through my experiences that advice given should be custom to the person receiving it and not based on your own personal experiences because most situations are different and involve different perspectives.
Not everyone knows this though. Be careful who you go to for advice. Make sure to filter yourself when speaking to others. Pay close attention to others weighing in on your life. See what type of relationship you have with the person you are going to for advice. Everyone plays a different role in your life and I believe not everything you go through should be shared with everyone. This is your BEWARE SIGN. Let me explain..
Let’s start with the best friend advice. The one you are probably hanging out with the most. The one that you can call for any life changing event, from a job raise to a nail polish change. I am not talking about the friend of the week. Not the one you are up and down with this month because of shared interests. I am not speaking about the friend that you are partying with. I am referring to that one friend that you don’t see for months yet can catch up in two seconds without a wrinkle in your vibes. The one that has been through thick and thin with you and knows the real you no matter where you are in life.
Lucky are those to have best friends with genuine bonds. It is truly amazing to have someone always there for you. Ready to pick up the phone and join you in your shenanigans or encourage you when you need it. This is the person you go to when you need to vent. When you want to let it all out with no filter. The person that doesn’t have to be there with you or even know all the details about the situation. The who, what, and where of things. That one friend that just hears it in your voice and senses something is wrong. This is the person that is going to give you advice based on what they know about you and how they have seen you react in past circumstances. Sometimes they don't even give you advice, they just listen and give you the confidence that you need to handle it and figure things out on your own. Personally, I go to my best friend when I question my own self. She is the next person to know me the best and will not judge me despite of all the fuckery I got myself into. I know that if I go to her with a topic and if it is spoken about between us I can rest assured that it won’t come up again unless I mention it, and it won’t be used against me in the future. My best friend and I live different lives but I come to her with everything and anything. What I get back? Positivity, hope, affirmations, and a reminder that I got this no matter what.
I have a rolodex of “other friends.” I have my “single mom friends”, my “party friends”, my “career friends”, my “married friends”, and my “soul friends,” who I share the same vibes with. They are not held less or more than my best friend because honestly I probably talk to them more but they are friends for specific reasons. This is where you should put up some boundaries. What I tell my best friend is not the same thing I tell all my other friends. Why? Because they can be bias and we haven’t shared enough real experiences for them to know me the way my best friend does. These are the ones that will give you advice based on their experiences and based on the specific bond you share.
I used to run to my single friends when I had some dating issues. This is ok if you want to stay single. Single friends might want you to stay single so you can party with them, be available when they want to do stuff, and might not want you to get hitched and they get left behind. When I have dating issues I've learned to ask myself what I want out of the advice. When it comes to who I am dating and relationships if I want them to work out I have learned to go to my married friends who guide me to better decision making when dealing with a significant other. In addition to dating advice, I love going to my married friends because you get two for the price of one. You have your friend and the husband giving you input. This is your intel to the guy’s point of view. Get you some married friends! Third wheel occasionally, and offer babysitting services. They are worth it and so much more. This couple should be your #goals and with their help you can attain a great relationship and learn what they already learned in their journey.
What about when I am going through issues with my baby girl and parenting? If she doesn’t want to poop. She is sick. She is being a badass. I call my single mom friends. They understand the pressure of dealing with this and will ease my nerves and make me feel as though I am not alone when I lose control. Single mom friends, will share with you pointers and ways to deal with your children. Also, after it all, you can set a play date, grab a bottle of wine, and vent on how you haven’t slept in days and how your kid’s last tantrum almost made you cry in front of Target. In addition to single mom friends, my go to for parenting advice is my mom. Now here is the thing. My mom was a single mom of 3. If she had been married or wasn’t the mom she was maybe I wouldn’t run to her but because she shared similar stress with my brother’s and I, she seems to always knows what to say to make me feel better. I think my mom was an exceptional mom but hearing her stories of all the times she almost lost it with us makes me feel at ease to know it is normal and you can still be a great mom despite the issues.
Another advice, be careful what you go to family for. I always tread carefully going to my mom or brothers on advice for dating or friends. Why? Because they love me and will always be bias and hold grudges even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They will always take things personal and say “whoever hurt you, hurt me” so if you mend things after, your family probably won’t get over things as easily.
As for the days when I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, tripped and spilled my coffee on my way to work, I don’t know how to explain my mood swings, and I feel fat, “ring, ring, soul sister, Is that you!?”. the older you get the more sensitive you become to peoples energy and you tend to gravitate toward the ones you feel more in tuned with. The kind of people that no matter the distance their story resembles yours. I have two of these soul mates, twin flames, amazing women. I can call them and we are in the same wave lengths. We either have gone through the same thing or we are feeling the same funky vibes. We vent to each other. We vent to each other. There's a lot of "girl me too" and "like are we crazy?" Then we laugh it off.. But it feels good to know there is always someone there that understands how you feel. That with very little words you can share your feelings and it feels like a weight is being lifted off your shoulders.
What about some don’ts? Who not to go to? Well here is my take. If I am in a negative place I don’t go to a negative person. I go to someone that is sensitive enough to understand what I am going through. Someone that will radiate positive energy and hope. If I am going through a relationship issue, I do not go to a negative person, I do not go to a positive person, I go to a neutral person that will see the issue for what it is. Anything work related, I like to go to past coworkers whom I have built friendships with because they understand my stress and workload. Friends in different industries might not understand what I am complaining about.
Besides this guide of who to go to, my biggest advice is to try handling things yourself FIRST. Write down the problem. Write the feelings you are going through. Give yourself time to figure things out. I do this now more often than ever and find that my "venting sessions" are turned into "funny stories." I look back at instances where I would have ran to some friends for advice and instead I solved them myself. Then make fun of myself for stressing over little things. But for when things are too much… use the above as guidance so that you are not knocking on everyone’s door for advice.