The Good Advice You Just Can’t Take

[Editor’s Note: This post has been in the works for weeks. I kept trying to write it, but another blogger kept finding her way into my blog and interrupting my thoughts. While this post tackles a serious issue for myself and my intruder, it’s fairly light-hearted at times, too. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as we enjoyed writing it.]

I have a gift. I am able to see multiple points of view as they pertain to almost any situation. Because of this gift I’m normally able to dispense very good advise to my friends and family. I’m not banging my own drum, either. Many people have complimented me on this, enough so that I believe it.

I like helping people. I like to listen to their problems. I don’t like that they have problems, but a life without problems as is common as unicorn sighting. (What’s that? Unicorns don’t exist? Well, then. I think I’ve made my point.) Letting people share their burden with me makes me feel good because I know I’m helping them. Offering them advice with their problems makes me feel even better because I feel productive when I do so. I’m a problem solver. I cannot stand an unsolved equation. I have to know what the value of that damned variable is!

Where I excel at analyzing situations others find themselves in, and thus dispensing advice, I am severely lacking in that ability when it comes to myself. I can’t analyze my own problems properly and almost always choose the wrong course of action when presented a decision.

See I give all this great advice, but when the tables are turned and that same advice is given to me by other friends I’m unable to follow that advice. I have yet to figure out why this is. It sounds brilliant when the words come from my mouth, but it sounds impossible when the words come from the mouth of another.

*butts in* TD – I have almost that exact same problem.

I find myself analysing situations in a second, and offering support, advice and encouragement to friends which I KNOW is sound and good and helpful, yet when it comes to my own life and my own self, I cannot for the life of me seem to take it on board.

I know that my friends appreciate my advice (some of them have even gone so far as to call me ‘wise’, which is a huge honour) but I don’t really feel like I deserve such an accolade, in part for the reason that I’m so lousy at living by the words I speak (with genuine care and compassion) to others.

Hey, could we use this to our advantage and give each other the advice we never take for ourselves, and then maybe some of it would sink in and take effect? Whaddyathink?


We could try to give each other advice we totally suck at taking, but how would it be any different than someone else giving us that advice? What could we do differently to inspire each other to finally take that humongous leap? What incentive would there be to ignore what our hearts desire and to override our emotions with logic?

This is where I get lost in taking advice, Lizzi. Even when someone gives me sound advice (that I find I often give to other people) I can’t force my heart to accept it. Somehow, my heart has found a way to always override my brain. It’s like it has a backdoor password to override all of my brain’s programming. My heart is a virus and my mind is McAfee. McAfee is suppose to neutralize the virus, but it fails and my mind ends up with the blue screen of death.

So what do you think? How do we get there from here? How do we make this important change? And how did you find your way into my blog post?

I snuck in. There’s a secret doorway in back, and I found out the keycode from Mandi…she’s a damn good stalker that one.


The thing I would question is whether or not we’re really using our hearts to override the advice, or whether there’s some kind of problem in the way – a challenge or distraction we’re not yet prepared or able to combat, in order to give our hearts what they really, deep-down desire.

For instance…a lot of the advice I’m absolutely worst at taking from anyone (and often seem to be prolific at GIVING) is to do with worth, deserving, value. Even those words make me a little uncomfortable, because no matter how much my friends and family tell me that they see and experience a wonderful, giving, generous, kind, supportive, encouraging person when they’re with me, I can’t see her. I see myself as lacking, less-than, unimportant, a pretender – someone who is trying very much to matter, and just doesn’t, because she’s ultimately not worth it. Not worthwhile.

And when someone challenges that, it can be intensely uncomfortable, because deep down in my heart, the thing I desire most is to feel secure in the idea that I matter and am worthwhile, and that I am a valuable person. I’d most like to feel that about myself, but I’d also like to feel confident in that status in other people’s eyes, though I am very dismissive when they say so.

Sorry, this is rambly – does it make sense yet? I think your heart isn’t the virus – I think we got stuck with a couple of Trojan Horses and they’re causing a very fundamental redirect…is it fear of success? Or something else? Or have we just been seduced by our own inadequacy, and wear it like a tattered cloak?

I’m gonna have to have a talk with that Mandi. I don’t mind her stalking me, but she need not be giving out the keycode I gave her to. . .never mind.

Back on topic.

I see myself much the same way you see yourself. Where outsiders looking in say they see a kind, compassionate, and caring man all I can see is someone making mistake after mistake despite those around him telling him he should have followed a different path. I see my errors. I see sins I should have known better than to commit. I see the unpredictability of my depression and the haphazard hurricane of emotions it puts me through on its arbitrary whim. I won’t even describe to you what I see when I look in the mirror.

I know it’s my heart overriding my mind because often times my mind is like “this isn’t a good idea” but my heart is all “STFU this is gonna feel GREAT!” And for some reason my heart wins that argument time and again. For instance, just a few months ago I tried to make my relationship with Baby C’s mother work for the umpteenth time. Not one person endorsed this idea. Reactions ran the gamut from “I hope you know what you’re doing” to “What the hell are you thinking?” My mind as like, “This thing has failed more times than Miley Cyrus has twerked in her lifetime” but my heart was like, “She said she’s changed! This is gonna be great! She wouldn’t lie about all this AGAIN, would she? Hell no! Let’s do this!”

So, you see, my heart IS a virus. . . or some sort of malware. It seems it’s only goal is to break itself into tiny shards as often as possible so I have to piece it back together again. It’s like a sick mashup of Humpty Dumpty and the movie Groundhog Day. Humpty Dumpty stars as my heart in this feature film. He falls, breaks, and get’s put back together again. Then we start all over again. Like a broken record, only each time my heart is weaker than it was before.

One of us is tired of this, the other is not.

I have to disagree – I still think your heart’s in the right place, even if it doesn’t accept the reality of the situation – after all, what could be better, or more perfect than the sweet little family unit you *could* be, if only all the ‘if only’s would somehow sort themselves out and become realities? *sigh*

Deep down, you’re aiming for the right things – a stable, secure relationship and the ‘perfect’ family unit for Baby C to grow up within. Your repeated efforts on that score are, if not excusable, certainly explainable.

Perhaps that’s what I need to remember, too, for my own sake. My feelings are explainable – I’ve spent my life hearing and buying into crap about myself, especially in my most formative years. But you and I should BOTH KNOW BETTER.

So is this the way forward, TD? We tell ourselves “This is a pattern of behaviour/thinking which is absolutely explainable…but which is still unhealthy…therefore I am going to CHOOSE not to engage in it. Because I’m worth more than that”?

Although then we get into the “Am I *really* worth more than that?” and I think that’s a question we can’t trust ourselves to answer…perhaps at this point we turn to other people we trust…what say you?

As you were saying that, I was thinking perhaps we could be that means for each other…and then you pretty much went and said what I was thinking. Perhaps we could be that barometer for each other when we are doubting, unsure, or lost in our lives. After all, we’re both very adept at analyzing a situation and determining what course of action should be taken, except as it applies to ourselves.

Maybe through this venture we can learn to see in ourselves what others see in us. The good things which elude our vision. Perhaps someday when someone says, “OMG! You’re amazing!” we’ll be able to agree. In a totally modest way, of course. Perhaps we’ll find confidence in ourselves we’ve never had before. Perhaps, if we hold each other accountable somehow. Like, if you give me advice in something I have to accept it because I’m an idiot when it comes to myself. And perhaps vice versa. For instance, if you give me advice I fail to accept I have to give you my address so you can glitterbomb me.

And let’s be honest, if you weren’t all the things you doubt you are, I would never confide in you and would have kicked you right out of my post the minute you barged into it.

Well, I like that we think the same, and I reckon we could do a great job of supporting one another in this. Accountability sounds like a good idea, and perhaps gradually as we drip-feed the positives and demonstrate to each other (and ourselves) that we’re capable of better, we’ll learn more and more that we don’t need to FEEL worthwhile/sufficient/able to BE it. And here I am – still in your post – as evidence! Thank you 🙂

(Now…how to get around my desire to make you fail so I can glitterbomb you…)

Thank you, Lizzi, for writing with me. Collaborating with you is always a joy. If you aren’t following Lizzi then I’m upset with you. Get yourself over to Considerings pronto, and click on the follow button.

About Twindaddy (366 Articles)
Sometimes funny. Sometimes serious. Always genuine.

77 Comments on The Good Advice You Just Can’t Take

  1. Helena Hann-Basquiat // July 25, 2014 at 11:28 am // Reply

    Well, seeing as the two of you are always there for me to rant to and sometimes cry to…. I think that you both are awesome.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Very cool indeed

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Lizzy is great. 😉 . As for the rest of it, some things a hundret people can tell you and you will never believe them. Some things you just need to figure out and have that “A-Ha” moment. And then your heart will also understand it and believe it. (I have the same problem)

    Hugs to you both. You are both awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I relate a lot to this post. I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older (and maybe wiser) it becomes easier to take my own advice. That advice helped me get out of a bad marriage so things can definitely change. I’ve missed reading your posts….but I’m making a point to get back into the full swing of things!! Hope you are doing well.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love both you and Lizzi’s posts, so the fact that you have teamed up is doubly great! Advice is always subjective and always much easier to give out that to take. I think you have always been a caring soul and extremely supportive – thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. TD, your heart is not malware. As programmers say, it’s a feature, not a bug. Theoretically, we ourselves should be the best experts on what we should do, that’s why we’re inclined to block even the best advice from someone else, because that someone else nearly always knows less about our situation than we do. In practice, howewer, this feature doesn’t work as advertised.


  7. Like you I have done things which I shouldn’t have done. If I had been someone else than me at that moment, I would have given very good advice. Like ‘don’t do that’. But at those moments, I knew it was bad and yet I couldn’t stop myself, just because I wanted to feel like it was a good for a while.
    Much to my regret afterwards, always.

    Comparing your heart to a virus is a good description! But your heart indeed is in the right place though 🙂


  8. You have some great stuff going on today, TD and Lizzi. Your post strikes a chord in me, too. If only practicing self-compassion was easier than it sounds.
    Loved this collaboration…you guys rock!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I also suck at taking advice… however, I rock at giving it…


  10. I’m sorry, you lost me when you said unicorns don’t exist. I had to go cry for a good 15 minutes (Don’t tell the BLC)….


  11. Lizzi sounds amazing. I guess I’ll follow her or something. *wink*

    This is exactly why therapists have that saying, “do as I say, not as I do”. It’s much easier to dole out advice than it is to take it.

    You are both stellar humans. Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yep, that’s a problem many of us have – an inability to see the good in ourselves. Although I’d rather be like that than think I’m the best.


  13. *laughs* I may have been on vacation, but I haven’t stopped stalking you. *looks around* Well done, you two. I was a little confused for a bit, but that’s only because i’m in a car with two kids whose youtube videos aren’t loading quickly enough, so I kept losing my place and finding myself inside Lizzi’s head and then TD’s and then I saw my name, so I just started over again.

    Alright, about all of the gibber gabber not gonna listen to advice bullshit. Listen, you is smart. You is beautiful. You is important. You have a purpose. You may not know what it is. I probably do (I know things), but you’re valuable, and you better start believing it. What would we have done without you…just this week?

    Lizzi is a rock star. I love her more than a little. I’m glad you two got together. A positive plus a positive is always a positive. See what I did there? Gave you a math problem that you can easily solve. You’re welcome.

    I’m all over the place. I’ll stop now.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. TD, Lizzi, this is wonderful. You two should write together more often.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This really hit hime Twin! I too have spent the majority of my life with a non-deserving label hanging over my head. The first step to removing it is acknowledging that it doesn’t belong. Be patient and chip away a little at a time. Great post!


  16. You are both awesome! I think you should glitter bomb each other when you DO follow each other’s advice : ) This is great post – something I’m familiar with personally – and will likely encourage others to seek out an accountability buddy. Great job by both!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Somewhere, somehow you have to get to the point where you KNOW you’re too good to be treated this way. You don’t have to be a braggard or anything to think this way, you just have to acknowledge that you deserve better than the bottom of the barrel.


  18. Yeah, I’m sure you do.


  19. So apparently a pingback only just popped up for approval now, and I came over and saw lots of lovely comments. Which is really nice. Perhaps we should write together again soon 🙂


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