Everyone has, at some point or another, taken bad advice. Maybe they took their own or someone else’s, but they took advice that did not add value to their lives. A little thing called ‘optimism bias’ gives people a sense of hopefulness things will work out, even when things don’t look so good. When people offer advice, they are often seen as an expert, so people willingly listen with confidence to them, even if they are wrong. There comes a point when you have to learn how to accept good advice, know what it is, and see that it can be both healthy and healing.
It is hard to find good advice these days. Some people are well-meaning but seem to dole out advice left and right without thinking about what it is doing. The advice can move a person forward in recovery and bring clarity to their lives. Often, people live in a situation where they are stuck and will do anything to hear some good, sound words of advice that help them. A good solution depends on the situation and circumstances but, overall, good solutions come from heeding advice that works and leaving the rest behind.
A crucial way to know if advice is going to be helpful is to look around. Advice is everywhere: in magazines, newspapers, online. A quick scan makes people feel like they are a failure if they are not organized, have the newest clothes, or the best furniture in the latest shade that’s on-trend. True, healthy, advice comes with discernment about what is going to work for an individual in their circumstances. It will take into account personal identity, history, circumstances, and decisions. It is okay to ask for advice, but there are some principles to help avoid getting dragged down. This means:
- Seeking advice from sober friends and those who are healthy
- Know thyself: even if advice informs your thinking, it should help you become better, not try to totally change who you are
- Limit people from whom you accept advice unsolicited: too many opinions can confuse you, not bring clarity
- Find trusted people: anyone who walks with you in recovery will know your situation and keep your interests at heart when sharing their thoughts and perspective
- Give yourself time: there is only so much a person can do at once. Take a deep breath, breathe, and trust your gut when it comes to advice
When it comes to figuring things out with the right advice, it helps to remember not all advice is good advice. Sometimes it helps to have faith in yourself (and a few trusted friends) who will help you navigate recovery with discernment and a healthy perspective.
Oceanfront helps people find who they are with the help of trusted resources and proven strategies that work to help your individual situation. If you are struggling with addiction, our recovery program will help you get started on the journey. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295