Sa­man­tha Army­tage

be­lieves when it comes to ad­vice, it’s bet­ter to give than to re­ceive.

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Stellar - - Contents - SA­MAN­THA ARMY­TAGE

It’s a truth uni­ver­sally ac­knowl­edged that most of us are bet­ter at giv­ing than re­ceiv­ing ad­vice. And I know this from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s AL­WAYS eas­ier to sort out other peo­ple’s lives than it is your own. Now don’t get me wrong – there have been times when I’ve re­ceived great ad­vice. Most often, I took it from those whose lives I ad­mire.

But while age and ex­pe­ri­ence should mean you trust your in­stinct, be­come un­emo­tional about a prob­lem and then wisely char­ter your own course, there’s still some­thing com­fort­ing about the com­mu­nal.

Lib­er­ally pour­ing out your prob­lems to your mates while they lib­er­ally pour the chardy, or scrolling through the avalanche of em­pow­er­ing memes on In­sta­gram, is al­ways a good place to start.

And the ad­vice flows thick and fast. “Be strong,” they tell you. “Slay like Bey­oncé.” “There are plenty more fish in the sea.” “Just do it.” (Al­ways live your life by sports-shoes slo­gans. They’re bossy.)

And you soak it in be­cause, as my dar­ling grand­mother al­ways ad­vised, a prob­lem shared is a prob­lem halved. And these memes and mates do mean well. Good friends want you to be happy (watch the friends who are hap­pi­est when you’re not – but that’s a topic for an­other col­umn). They are com­fort­able and gen­er­ous in their ad­vice, but are they qual­i­fied to dish it out? Did you re­ally ask for it? And, most im­por­tantly, will you ever use it? Why is it the friends who can barely drive a car all of a sud­den morph into Oprah-meets-kingSolomon when your chips are down? And you know most of it’s BS, be­cause when the stiletto is on the other foot, and you’re the one dish­ing it out, even you don’t be­lieve the stuff you’re say­ing. As a mate once re­marked to me while I was sob­bing over a break-up, “Take my ad­vice, I don’t use it.” Now, that’s more like it. Why don’t your al­lies ever start a sen­tence with: “That guy was a loser, you missed a bul­let…” and fin­ish it with “… and while that isn’t true, take some com­fort in it.” Why do your par­ents tell you they only want you to be happy and do your best, then when you have a great time in Year 12, and you al­most fail the HSC, they’re dis­ap­pointed?

Why don’t doc­tors ever tell you that breath­ing into a pa­per bag to stop a panic at­tack works a lot bet­ter when there’s a bot­tle of wine in there?

As I told my brother af­ter he crashed his mo­tor­bike through the barbed wire fence 25 years ago: “Bones heal. Chicks dig scars and Aus­tralia has some re­ally good doc­tors.” Let’s face it, we’re al­ways telling oth­ers how to live.

The thing is you can tell peo­ple what to do, but af­ter that you can only sit back and watch every­thing you pre­dicted hap­pen. So, un­so­licited or not, the road to hell is paved with good in­ten­tions.

Never for­get the quick­est way to lose a friend is by giv­ing them ad­vice they don’t want to hear. Per­haps the best ad­vice is to stop giv­ing ad­vice. Just nod and hug, and drink the chardy. Ig­no­rance truly is bliss some­times.

Maybe, if you want to add some­thing as­tound­ing to the con­ver­sa­tion, fol­low my dad. His go-to ad­vice is: “She’ll be right.” And you know what? She prob­a­bly will. Sa­man­tha co-hosts Sun­rise, 5.30am week­days, on the Seven Net­work.

“As a mate once re­marked to me while I was sob­bing over a break-up, ‘Take my ad­vice, I don’t use it’”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.