What should you advise to friends ?

A close friend after many rounds of spirited conversation asked for an advice. I am now old enough to realize that I, for that matter a lot of us, do not deserve to be asked for an advice. But turning down a request, that too from a close friend is a very impolite behavior. Add to it the series of dark sweet rum that had further mellowed me down so I tabled my offer that I would be very thoughtful and would try to do as best as I can, after I dutifully and patiently listen to his case.
Not that he needed me to do all this, to really put his case but it often helps.

As I began to listen to his calm rendition of the problem statement, I could see myself talking through him, for a moment it seemed as if the Satan is asking me this question through him and I need to solve it (or resolve it) myself. I pinched myself to check whether I had more Rum than necessary. May be, I am going with some kind of visualization disorder but it was not as bad. After surveying, discreetly, I fell back on my drama skills to ensure that I am signed-in. I didn’t need to read and listen this question too well because it was as much true to my situation as him. It could have been a reverse case as well where the narrator becomes the protagonist. He carried on, ensuring that he gives me enough context, which I never needed, ensuring that he doesn’t hurry up, which I never needed, ensuring that he throws enough pauses so that I can assimilate, which I never needed. My mind started to work out the response and I completely tuned out.

By the time he finished, I had meticulously thought of a brilliant response, almost akin to a standing ovation piece. With growing confidence, I was in no hurry to let my secret beans out, I knew before hand that I have got something in my arsenal which can not be challenged. So with a great display of serene and insightful state, I quietly continued to finish more Rum while my over active mind was iteratively going through the response and was refining it with each round. I had done almost 5 rehearsals before I got a chance to put my performance and boy what a performance it was.

With great articulation, in a single stroke of mastery, I spit out words of wisdom one after the another. After winning him by a brilliant demonstration of philosophical garbage, I paraphrased the fundamental value of life and how one needs to get out of situation like these by focusing on basic things around relationships and so on. In no time, I concluded my great gyan and we were out of the mess.

The truth is that whatever I said is what I believe ideally one can do (including myself) but those were not at all practical day-to-day suggestions that could really make a real difference (w/ or w/o the dark sweet drink). If it was so easy, I would have solved it (or resolved it) myself.

I still think that my response makes a lot of sense but I have not been able to live them myself. Instead, Should you just tell your friends that , dude I am in the same boat.

Cheers !!

One Reply to “What should you advise to friends ?”

  1. Hi Nandan,

    I can understand why your friend asked you for an advice. You give very practicial and effective advice. It has helped me many time. As about whether you should admit that you are in the same boat, I think that you should. I think this is the first time I’ve given you any advice. Not that you asked me for it! 🙂

    Anyways, tuning out when someone is talking is one thing that I am myself struggling with. So I am in the same boat. 🙂

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