Advice & Intuition

As I was washing dishes a moment ago, I reflected on a few conversations I’ve had with a good friend recently – or rather I reflected on the direction some of those conversations took. Norman’s had a rough time over the last few years, so we ended up talking a fair amount about the meaning of life1.

The trouble and beauty of it is that Norman and I have fairly different views on most issues2. When we met, well over 15 years ago, we weren’t as dissimilar as we are now. I remember that for long periods of time, our conversations often consisted of one person saying something and the other nodding in agreement. It seems that for whatever reason, both of us have changed.

The good thing is that whenever we discuss something now, we can enrich each other’s perspective by presenting our own, differing one. The bad thing is that sometimes those differing perspectives prevent you from coming to a satisfying conclusion in your conversation. One tricky situation, where that can happen, is when you are asked to give advice on sensitive matters.

Advice is a weird thing. For one thing, it’s never very much appreciated. Of course, people asking you for advice want and need different input, so they’re likely to listen even to your most outrageous ideas. On the other hand, nobody hardly ever ends up doing what you suggested.

That’s very understandable, and quite often a good thing. What works for one person, after all, does not necessarily have to work for anyone else. It becomes frustrating, however, when close friends cannot resolve a problem they’re having for months or years, and refuse to take the way out your suggestion offers. The difficulty here is that you might know that your suggestion would work with just the same amount of conviction that they know it won’t work. They might even have tried it and failed, and still it seems obvious to you that it’s the best way to go.

  1. Not so much the site linked to than the meaning we find in our respective lives []
  2. I’m sure he’d disagree with that, for example []
  • dat nörmsche

    Interessanterweise beginne ich es zunehmend angenehm, wenn kein Konsenz gefunden wird, selbst bei engsten Freunden nicht. Notwendig und unverzichtbar ist der Konsenz natürlich in zwischenmenschlichen Dingen, also bei den zumeist nonverbal geregelten Grundfesten der Beziehung. Alles, was darüber hinausgeht – so dieses funktioniert -, empfinde ich mittlerweile sogar als befriedigender im Nicht-Konsenz. Im Moment geht diese Haltung soweit, daß mich Leute eklatant zu nerven beginnen, die Differenz nicht ertragen können und auf Teufel komm raus irgend eine Ãœbereinstimmung oder ein Recht behalten erzeugen wollen. Selbst bei Geschichten wie Kindheitserinnerungen etcpp. Ich habe, seit ich mich von den Quellen meines Rechtfertigungsdranges distanziert habe, zunehmend gemerkt, daß meine natürliche Haltung offensichtlich das eines dynamischen Realtätsprinzips ist und ich lediglich gereizt reagiere, wenn man mir eine Realität aufzudrängen versucht, aus welchen Gründen auch immer.
    Könnte das die “Veränderung” sein?