Has it been another week? It seems like there’s no time for anything anymore. It’s been a nice week though, looking around at people getting offers for university places, getting interviews, and generally being less stressed about UCAS than me. However, Christmas will soon be upon us, so the time for frantic shopping has begun – for any American readers, happy just-after-Thanksgiving! Right, let’s get started. This week I’ve been given a problem by someone called Amber.

The problem

A friend of mine likes me a lot, platonically, but he’s very over protective, especially when it comes to giving advice. I like going to him when I have issues because I know he cares, only he gets so angry it’s quite scary – angry at the other person, angry for me, and then proceeds to tell me I don’t need people like that in my life, which is just his way of showing he cares as he can’t help any other way.

But it’s like, that’s not quite what I need and I don’t want him to tell me what to do. I don’t want to be shouted at or whatever if I don’t want to take his advice and I don’t know how to put that across without hurting his feelings. He can’t seem to understand that, sure, people might hurt my feelings sometimes, but it doesn’t mean that I want them to be out of my life!

At some point I’ll just stop telling him stuff because he will just be like “well I told you that so-and-so wasn’t any good for you.” And it’s like, yeah, maybe, but surely that’s my decision to make and he shouldn’t push me towards it?

My response

First of all, thank you for sharing your problem with us. I’m glad to hear from you, and hopefully I’ll prove useful!

I think you’re right. People do get angry for other people when they care – I know I certainly behave like that sometimes – but it shouldn’t get to the point where you find it scary. It can be hard to have that one friend who’s overbearingly protective; it can be tiring when you’re told over and over again that this person and that person shouldn’t be in your life, they’ll only hurt you, etc. The thing is, only you can, and should, make that decision.

I think perhaps if you sit down with this person and have a chat with them about how you feel, they’ll understand. From what I can tell, this person clearly loves you a lot, albeit platonically. People who feel like that usually understand when you’re unhappy or uncomfortable, and are usually quite good at being understanding. There isn’t really an easier way of expressing your concern than telling the person. Hopefully, he’ll be thankful that you’re being honest. If not, and his feelings do get hurt, he’ll come around eventually. Good friends always come back and that’s a phrase that I live by.

You shouldn’t feel like you ought to stop confiding in this friend, and I hope you don’t feel that way. I mean, everyone likes to say “I told you so” and sometimes it gets really, really annoying, but sometimes you should just take it with a pinch of salt. They shouldn’t be telling you to get rid of people from your life if those people hurt your feelings. You’re right there, that does have to be your decision, otherwise you’ll always regret it. You have to be able to make your own mistakes, and learn from them, because, as heartbreaking as it can be, your experiences are the ones that shape you.

Remember, you don’t have to always take advice if you don’t feel it’s the right thing to do. People aren’t usually too offended if you don’t, and even if they are they’ll quickly get over it. I hope you manage to fix this problem, and take what I’ve said into consideration. It’s a tricky situation, and I’d like to hear how it pans out. I hope this helps!

So, that wraps up this week’s column – thank you for reading. If you have a problem like Amber’s, or any problem at all you need help with, feel free to contact me. You can reach me through my blog, Twitter or right here in the comments. I’ll try and help in whatever way I can. See you next week!