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JET Love

Why You Should Be Your Own Team

A lot of people, especially those close to you, will gladly share their opinions on what you need to do to improve your relationship (status). Ultimately, it’s just the two of you in the mix who will be affected. So it’s very important to know when to listen to outside suggestions and to simply be your own team. 

Granted, by reading this post, I’m giving you suggestions about your relationship. But trust me it will help. Just because some people have good intentions doesn’t mean that you should take their advice. Most of us are simply going off of our own experiences, where needs were or were not met. What should be taken into account is whether or not the individual giving the advice had the same needs as you did while in a similar situation. Does a person have to be in a relationship or a similar situation to give you sound advice? No, but they should be level-headed, stable and objective.

Does The Person Giving The Advice Care About Me?

You should never ask for or accept advice from someone whose motives you have to question. That’s like asking for your enemy to pray for you. Relationships are very sensitive topics that require as much support as possible. Allow your intuition to lead you to people who actually care about you and your success in life as a whole. The ones who are invested in you are to be trusted.

Do I Feel Like They Understand My Needs?

Ask yourself whether that friend, family member or therapist is actually understanding what you are expressing and the issue at hand. Listening is key. Understanding is even more important. Be careful of those who are simply shifting their opinions on your situation without fully grasping the issue.

Would My Partner Be Okay With Me Seeking Advice From Them?

One of the worse things that you can do is talk to someone about your relationship that you know your partner would not approve of. It doesn’t matter if you tell them, you should always aim to respect your mate’s wishes regardless of their knowledge. Talking to exes or people who have interests in you that go beyond friendship is a no no. Seeking advice or help from someone whom he/she does not particularly get along with is just as bad, and will cause more trouble than the problem you’re discussing in the long-run.

Does What They’re Saying Make Sense?

This may seem like a VERY common sense question to ask yourself, but you’d be amazed at how often people make decisions that they do not believe in. Sometimes, it’s just best not to listen to people no matter how much they love and care for us. They may mean well, but if what they are saying makes absolutely no sense, then it’s useless to take their advice. It doesn’t matter if they get offended. At the end of the day you are the one in the relationship and will ultimately be affected. No, you don’t have to shut them out of your life, just know when to not do as they say.

Remember That You Are A Team

Knowing when to seek outside advice (professional and/or personal) can make or break a relationship. Some problems just cannot be solved between the two of you no matter how hard you try to reach a resolution. Bringing in a third party shows more courage and commitment than dysfunction. If you intelligently decide who and when to allow help to aid you, your relationship can gladly benefit from it.

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When do you feel it’s best to seek outside advice in a relationship? Email us at digitalpitches@ebony.com or simply comment in the section below!

Shantell E. Jamison is a Chicago-based writer, radio personality, and cultural critic. She’s also JET Magazine’s Digital Content Editor. She’s been featured on WBEZ 91.5FM, “The Monique Caradine Show,” Vocalo 91.1FM, KDKA Newsradio 1020AM, WBGX 1570AM, WYCA 102.3FM, Chicago Now, The Grio, The Black Youth Project, The Gate Newspaper and “Launching Chicago with Lenny McAllister.” Her debut book, “Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self” is available now at Amazon.com.