Who’s opinion are you usually seeking when asking for advice? As a female myself, this is not to degrade my own gender, but to rather give an insight on my personal experience with receiving successful advice and opinions, some that have helped strengthen my strategic and logical thinking today. It’s important to understand who we are asking for opinions, because often times, many people have a personal bias and this will cloud their ability to answer with clarity and truth. So here is why I typically ask my close male friends for advice…
For starters, a lot of my close friends happen to be guys (or men, however you want to put it). This has been the case since I’ve grown up, especially starting in middle school (shoutout to Devon). I’ve always found girls, especially the ones in girl groups (which is pretty common) very problematic for me. I was never a group thinker, it was embedded in me at a young age to just want to think for myself and do what I feel is right, not what the group thinks. I suppose Kanye West may know a thing or two about individual thinking.
I have grown to understand what makes a good decision maker. It is individuals who are able to think with clarity, strategy, rationality, and long-term. The logic side of our brain, which is also known as our left-hemisphere. As some of us may know, it is more common for men to be those logical thinkers, whereas women are more prone to be emotional thinkers. There is really no right or wrong trait about this, it’s just simply how our genetics work (at least now).
As a female, when I ask other female friends for advice or opinions, I will typically receive a biased answer. While it can usually hold true for many people in general, I noticed over time that it’s difficult to ask my female girlfriends for an opinion on a decision I am considering, without receiving a biased response and letting their personal bias cloud their judgement.
On the other hand, I have a few people that I tend to think of when I am struggling with a decision or approach to a solution. Majority of these few tend to be my best male friends and they often force me to think thoroughly with their opposite, more logical approach (shoutout to my best friend Patrick for teaching me to look at the bigger picture and simplify problems). Often times too, if I ask my male friends their opinion of an occurrence, they will usually give the standard outside opinion, allowing myself to evaluate if I am personally biased on the situation or not. This has played an important role for me in my decision making, as I always seek to make decisions rationally and evaluate the perspectives from both sides of the truth. In other words, if I disagree on something with another individual and want an opinion from another, I look to ask for the opinion from someone who would more likely give the standard opinion, rather than the bias of either side. The standard is what I consider the “norm” of what most people would agree on, with no personal connection to the situation. And if I find that a majority agree with this norm, including the individual I disagree with, then I evaluate where my perspective lays and whether I need to change my way of thinking on the situation. This is a skill that I find very important, because it allows us to be open in being wrong or disagreed with. There is nothing we can learn from by asking people with the same opinion as us. It only makes us more closed off to other truths and perspectives.
Nonetheless, I have always found better success in discussing thoughts and resolution approaches with male friends because they tend to challenge my thought process. And simplify the issue at hand. Consider this the next time you are looking for advice and choose someone that will force you to think critically outside of your comfort zone.