Theta, I'm not sure what your friend's going through, but just to give a bit of an insight into how illogical my mind can be when things are not going well ...
I have some really unhelpful quirk of my personality that means I can't deal with advice from people a lot of the time. I overthink everything to begin with. If something sucks and I tell someone and they tell me what to do, 99% of the time, their advice is nothing new. For example, at the moment, I'm pretty sure I have depression. Everyone around me is telling me to get a job. I already know I need to get a job. I want to get a job. I know it would help me, take off the stress of looming financial ruin, give me a reason to get out of the house and be active and make me feel like I can function in the world again. This is good advice, but it's not new to me. It's hardly an obscure idea. Hearing it from others just makes me feel more pressure and makes the whole thing seem harder and I end up completely freezing up and feeling like I can't do anything. I can't even bear the thought of even looking at my CV right at the moment, let alone tinker around with it, translate it into German, and then the next time I see these friends and they ask how the job hunt's going and there is no rational thing that I can say to explain why I have done nothing. I know it's only coming from a place of concern and genuine willingness to be a good friend, but I just can't deal with it, so I avoid the topic, avoid the friends, or I pretend that everything's OK around them from then on. All I want is to feel close to people without any judgement and I know that, in time, I'll find the strength to do what I need to do. I just need space.
On the occasions where the advice is something I hadn't thought of, something really helpful that I'm grateful for, it's still easy to feel external pressure. I know it shouldn't matter, but I really feel choked by it. I need to let the idea sit in my head for a while till it connects with the part of me that really wants to do it. Years ago, when I was younger, deeply depressed and still living with my family (which was not good for me), some friends of mine asked me to move in with them. All I felt was "I can't. I can't. I can't." They knew me well. They let it drop. I had to get the "I can't" out of my system. A few weeks later, I suddenly felt like I could do it and I called them and asked if it would still be OK if I moved in with them. It was. It was their idea and they had planted it, but I needed time and space to even consider it as a real possibility.
I know this is not logical. It's not rational. People can do anything they put their minds to and all that blah blah blah motivational posters on walls and you can do it. *high five* The logical part of me that knows this is still in there, shaking his head at the rest of me, but the emotional part of me has a switch that can completely shut me down and make it hard to leave the house or face other human beings. I know I need to eat and sometimes just feeding myself seems like too much of a responsibility. I know that when I get like this, it means I'm sick, but all I really need from people is to just be there, laugh with me about stupid things, listen to me if I need it, be nice to me and not focus on the fact that I really suck at life at the moment. I know that and I don't need it pointed out. I feel like that's all really demanding and needy of me, but actually - it's not.
I obviously don't know the situation with your friend. I know it's really hard to watch a friend going through a tough time, especially when the answer is right there in front of them and you don't understand why they're not fixing their situation. It can be frustrating. The natural urge is to help them - point out the things they should be doing, follow up with them to see if they're doing it and ask why they're not if they're not, but it might not be helping. If someone wants advice, they can ask for it. (Even better if you make that clear, that you're there and they can ask for it if they want but don't have to.) Saying that "everyone hates the way you give advice" is a bit harsh, and I'm sorry you heard that. It must hurt to hear that when all you're trying to do is help, but I have a feeling your friend is just trying to push the advice away - not because it's bad or because he doesn't appreciate your willingness to help but because he just can't handle hearing any advice.
Potentially, I'm projecting and none of this fits your friend at all, but it's a possibility so I thought I'd share.
EDIT: Removed "people" from "how illogical people my mind can be" ...
Glossing Abbreviations: COMP = comparative, C = , ACS / ICS = , GDV = , SPEC / NSPC = specific / non-specific
Last edited by Imralu on Mon May 18, 2015 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.