June 3, 2008

Tuesday's Time Waster - Giving Advice

Being a psychologist is somewhat of a passion. As a result, I end up in long winded (and unpaid) advice giving, feedback providing, and rant receiving mode on a semi-regular basis. This is okay with me as long as it doesn't get in the way of my being paid for my actual contracted work. Alright, the truth is, I'm a sucker for helping out my friends.

It all started in 6th grade on Kim H.'s garage rooftop. My 3 or 4 other gal pals were lamenting the state of their love lives and other critical life experiences so important to 12 year olds and, not having a love life, I was in the role of concerned friend and wise objective counsel. And it was AWESOME! I listened, asked thought provoking questions (such as "How did he look at you?" and "Did he really kiss her?") and dispensed life changing advice. This was followed less than a year later by concurrent life changing experiences of discovering among my dad's books "One Little Boy" which was a history of a sex abuse case and determining that, if what you do in lawyering is anything like what you do in Debate Club, I didn't want to be a lawyer anymore.

Now-a-days, I find myself listening to my friends issues and playing counselor all over again. I get paid at least $50 an hour for consultation services for my contracted work, but here I am basically pro-bono for my friends. Of course, being practical (and unpaid) I tend to want to dispense solutions quickly and move on. Also, it gets a bit murky when you end up in the middle between friends or friends and partners. I must say, couples therapists have a hard job to do and I don't want the $150 plus an hour to listen to this stuff, day in and day out! Anyway, a friend is struggling with what looks, to the casual observer, to be a midlife crisis. Without getting into detail, as her girlfriend chewed on my ear over the last couple days, it became obvious that my friend seems to be attempting to function while depressed. My friend's girlfriend is alternating between anger, frustration and concern. Icky mess, now that I have a bigger picture. Extricating myself from this now would be the wise thing. Especially, since said friend's girlfriend feels the need to come over with her Visa Card and swipe it through my butt crack...um...no thanks. But I do take paypal!


Jdancer8 said...

I love the advice you give to me...and am thankful that you've let me "put it on my tab" hehe. However I understand your frustration when your placed in the middle between two friends. Since I've relocated I find myself not being the advice giver....I think it might just be because I've grown up and focus more on my issues then helping everyone else....does that make me selfish?

Syd said...

Thankfully, I don't live with that pressure because nobody wants my advice. I'm totally fine with that too.

Swiping a Visa through your butt crack made me laugh.

Anonymous said...

My family especially, asks for my professional advice and then completely ignores it because it isn't what they want to hear. I finally learned to stop playing that game.

TheWeyrd1 said...

J...not giving advice anymore to concentrate on your own issues is fine...and good...but doesn't mean you more grownup now...just not a sucker...lol

syd...my total aim was to make you laugh

Citizen...yeah, I'm cool with the limited version of help. And I don't care if they don't take my advice if they ask for it...I just don't want to know if they didn't take it.

yenbar said...

Very few people ask for my advice so I don't find myself in that predicament very often.Maybe I just give really sucky advice..lol.
Just curious ..does your butt crack take Master Card and American Express also?

TheWeyrd1 said...

No...Yen...it doesn't. Nor does it take Discover Card...but as I mentioned, I do take Paypal...and Paypal takes Visa and MC. Just in case you have a need for this service...heh.

RED MOJO said...

Nice visual, (rolls eyes).