How to Start Learning From Your Friends

Start listening to your friend’s advice, wouldn’t you want them to do the same?

Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

Friends are people in your lives who genuinely understand you for you, they don’t overly judge you, they are there when you need them to be. Do you ever think about how your friends feel when you give them advice? You may feel like you’re doing the right thing but they may feel like you’re giving advice to yourself.

In order for us to truly learn from our friends, we have to stop being selfish when listening to their answers. Your friends are there to give you a different perspective on life and provide you with life lessons that they have learned from their mistakes.

Often times we expect our friends to be something like a licensed therapist. We expect them to give us perfect advice and feel sorry for us when we’re down. Your friends are there to keep it real with you no matter how a situation unfolds. Talking to your friends about an argument you had with someone else can be comforting.

As your friend, they will initially take your side and see why you were right rather than wrong. Eventually, they will give you their perspective on the situation and give you some advice that you don’t want to hear. We often make this mistake and fail to realize that our friends are giving us the answers to our problems.

If the answer they give doesn’t involve you being right then you want nothing to do with it. Change your attitude in situations like these if you really want to learn from your friends. Something inside of us makes us believe that we’re always more right than our companions. This stops us from letting our friends help us and makes many conversations that you have with your friends pointless.

The next time you are speaking with a friend, ask yourself if you’re really listening to them. Even when facing a problem, don’t make the whole situation about yourself but make it about your friend as well. When listening, you two are both learning from each other and gaining wisdom for your future.

Meditating On Any Advice They Give You

Thinking about what your friends tell you for an extensive amount of time will show you that your friends are just speaking nonsense. Knowing yourself includes knowing how you respond and interact with people as well. Stop ignoring any comment that your friends make about your life. Instead, be open to listening and listen closely.

You will never be disappointed when taking the time to listen to your friend's advice. It’s not easy for them to really talk bout their own experiences and it can be hard to give a person like yourself advice. If you think of yourself as stubborn then it is time for you to start listening to your friends.

An easy way to meditate on this advice is by reminding yourself of it throughout the day. For instance, if you’re having trouble with a coworker at work think back to what your friend told you before you clocked in. This will help you to realize some of the mistakes that you’ve made just to show dominance.

You’ll also learn that you can’t really judge a group of words based on only listening or reading them, this takes many more days of practice to get that advice memorized.

Once you start thinking about it more and more, determine what was good and bad about the advice they gave. The good advice is what you usually agree with, this advice helps you to stick to what you know is right and what you need to do in order to become one with yourself again.

The advice that you consider to be bad should be seen as something that is helpful. Not taking bad advice will give you an option to become more understanding of your friend or ignore them until another problem comes into your life.

Observe How They Respond to Tough Situations

Your friends will deal with situations differently than you. This doesn’t mean that they are wrong but that they have a different view of the situation in front of them. Humans learn from each other through action, when we're younger we learn how to pour juice into a cup by watching our parents do it for a certain amount of time.

Once we see how our friends deal with stressful times, we see learn that we’re capable of doing the same. Find something that you truly admire about your friend, make that trait something that you want to put into your life. Observe how well your friend displays that trait and if there is anything that they do differently than what you do.

Don’t beat yourself up over those differences, instead, look at this as an opportunity to improve. When you express to your friends that you’re trying to learn from them, they will be more open to show you how they do something.

Don’t be scared of embarrassment, what is there to be embarrassed about? After all, they are your friends, right? What did you already know about your friend that you liked? If it’s something that you’ve observed from them for a long time then you’re already familiar with it and you'll have an easier time trying to put it into your life.

You will gain more of your friend’s respect when you confess that you want to learn from them, the easiest people to learn from are your friends so why make the situation harder than it needs to be when you decide to bottle up your emotions. Learning from your friends starts with being honest with yourself and your friend, don’t hold in the truth for too long, or else you will have a harder time getting it out in the future.

Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

Implementing Their Advice Into Your Life

This is probably the hardest part of the whole process, this part takes time and patience. You will never be 100 percent like your friend and you shouldn’t strive to be. You will have an easier time implementing their advice into your life once you’re not ashamed of who you are.

Be comfortable with the fact that your not perfect and that you’re still making mistakes. The reason why your friends give you such good advice is that they are in rhythm with who they are as humans.

So, as soon as you can, try using their advice in the real world. You’ve spent enough time thinking about if it was advice or not so now it’s up to you to use it. It will feel uncomfortable when trying to use it but you must push through and pretend like your friend is there helping you do it.

They gave you these words of wisdom so that you can carry them on with you wherever you are in life. Once you’ve done the action, give it some time to take its turn. Don’t expect an immediate reaction from what you just did, depending on if the advice was with help in a relationship or help with yourself, it’s important to not wait for instant results. Just like everything else in life, it takes time.

At some point in your life, you’re going to want to take your friend's advice. It’s an option that you will always have but you should be skilled in knowing what advice helps and what advice doesn’t. I’ll leave you with a quote from Stephen R. Covey that says

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

A young adult who’s writing is geared towards self-improvement and self care. “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”

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