By Kelsey on February 27, 2013 5

Stubbornness & Why I Need to Be Better at Taking Advice

I stink at taking advice. I really do!  It goes in one ear and out the other. I always jump to the conclusion that the person who is giving me the advice doesn’t really know me or the whole story.

I don’t listen to anyone. I like to figure things out on my own and do them when they’re my  idea. (Eric knows this.) I anticipate that I know what things will be like in the future, but then when they’re not, I ask, why didn’t anyone tell me??? But maybe they did, and I just didn’t listen…

I’m stubborn. (Like my mom. ;) And I’m afraid I’ve passed it on to Rooney!)

Case in Point

We had a friend over a while ago. I asked him how his day was. He said it was discouraging. I listened to him, asked a question and then offered this:

“You have to have days like that. They teach you something.”

And I kind of surprised myself. Because that same exact day, I had cried not once but TWICE about missing Rooney (this was back before I got my new job). I kept telling Eric that I just wanted to see her more or stay at home with her.

Well, as I so matter-of-factly said to our friend, I have to have days like that. Because they help me realize what I really want, and if it goes on long enough or if the intensity of the emotion is high enough, I just might take a leap of faith and change my circumstances. (And I eventually did!) I was learning that Roo means more to me than any career.

Why do we give advice so much better than we take it?

I really am trying to change this. When someone tells me what they believe to be a universal truth, I ask more why questions to get to the heart of what they are really saying, and then think through how I can apply it to my own life.

Because other people are smart and there are plenty of people I can learn from.

P.S. This may seem to contradict what Eric wrote earlier this week. I think there is a difference from taking advice from strangers and taking advice from those who God has put in our lives to help us discern things. Here’s to hoping I can tell the difference.


I love my husband, my kids and the Internet.

  1. Great and timely post! I also need to work on suspending my excuses and really listening to all the smart people in my life.
    It seems easy to clearly see a situation when one is not embroiled in it. Someone can give me sound, wonderful advice, but if I am not in a place to hear it, I’ll just make up excuses to justify maintaining the status quo.
    I just wrote about getting fed up with all the weight I’ve gained; a million people could have told me (as I would have told anyone I saw with a similar diet), “you eat too much sugar” and until *I* really couldn’t take it anymore, I just kept saying “BUT I exercise SO much and eat SO many greens, I DESERVE it.”

    • Oh, sugar. I’m the same way. Every time I get sick I’m like…”Oh yea! I eat sugar a ton at night!” I, too, tell myself that I deserve it because I eat just veggies for breakfast and lunch.

  2. You are not alone! I struggle with the same thing. So grateful for a patient husband!

  3. Someone gave me very similar advice last week. I was near tears with a really terrible day relationally, when I saw my good friend. I asked him, why, why was life piling up and becoming so terrible all today? He said to me, “Because God is trying to teach you something.” And it is so true. I realize that it can be so excruciatingly hard, but sometimes God needs to do crazy hard things to get our attention.

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