Thursday, April 5, 2012
When Steve Harvey gave us "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man", I would often hear people say things like: "What advice could he give me! He's been divorced twice!" or "He cheated on his wife! I'm not hearing what he has to say!" Or how about this one; "What makes him such an expert on relationships?". However, long before Mr. Harvey began administering love advice, people have been making such proclamations about anyone who attempted to dish out what they felt was helpful info regarding relationships. If you were single or divorced, people would often deem you unfit to give advice on how to make relationships work.
Ok, so a person's been divorced! Hell, a person's been divorced multiple times. I'm guessing it's the half empty side of the glass that tells you they can't advise you on what to do huh? Well how about the half full side of the glass that may be telling you they can advise you on what NOT to do? Because clearly they've gotten that part down. As a matter of fact, if your still not convinced on taking advice from a divorced person, you can even go a step further and spin it this way: Instead of asking them what they did to make their marriage/relationship last as long as it did, ask them what they did that caused things to end. I think you'd be hard-pressed to walk away without having learned something useful. Hell, going back to my initial Steve Harvey reference, for all those who talk about how he divorced twice, he's also married three times! So he may actually be learning from each experience. He may have learned from some "what-not-to-do's" and developed some useful "what-to-do's" *IJS*.
Now on to the never-been-married single folk out there. Better yet, since I fit into that category, lets talk about me. So I've never been married. That automatically disqualifies me from giving meaningful marriage advice? I don't know shit about marriage? Well I've never been to the Amazon, but I know you shouldn't fuck with an anaconda. I've never been to India, but I know a Bengal tiger will rip into that ass. You see where I'm going with this? You don't have to necessarily experience something to know something about it. Now of course having experience in something you're going to discuss is usually a plus, but not having "experience" doesn't always keep you from "getting the job". Giving advice is what started me blogging in the first place! People felt the gems I was dropping were thought-provoking at the very least. There was plenty of opportunity for people to tell me I didn't know what I was talking about, or what I thought didn't matter b/c I was not in their situation.
Here's one thing to consider before you shut down someone who's not in your situation. Sometimes that can actually be a GOOD thing! They may be able to help you see a situation from a different angle. Their judgement is not likely to be clouded by the same thing that's clouding yours. It's the person on "the outside looking in" who can warn you that someone just "snuck into your home". Catch my drift?
There's many a person with a divorced/single parent (maybe even some of you reading this) who've had no problem taking relationship advice from said parent, even though that parent fits the initial criteria. Why are they viewed any different others in their situation? Simply because "kids" want to believe mother/father knows best! If their marital/relationship status doesn't matter, then why should somebody else's? After all, sound advice is sound advice yea?
At the end of the day, whoever you choose to take (or not take) advice from is up to you. After all, you are an adult. I'm just saying don't automatically rule out a person simply because they don't fit some conjured up description of where sound advice comes from. So even if you think a person won't know shit, just remember "You could learn a lot from a dummy".
But hey, what do I know?