One Addict Needs Another, Or: Why You Should Be Wary Of Advice

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 3.618% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

One guy alone is an addict. He’s toking up, drinking up, shooting up by himself, and that’s not good.
He needs a friend.
Because if two people are toking up, drinking up, shooting up, then suddenly it’s social! You’re not there because of the drug; this is a convivial event, where you’re enjoying each other’s company and surely your buddy would tell you if you were getting out of line with your habit.
Your presence justifies their needs.
So a lot of the times, an addict will be very aggressive in getting people to try whatever the hell it is they’re hooked on – not because they necessarily think you’ll enjoy it, but because if you do buy into the thing they’re pushing then it makes their lives easier. You become proof they’re not that bad. After all, someone else is doing it with them!
“Giving advice” can be a kind of drug.
You’ll see people pitching these horrifically broken philosophies, ones that are cruel and dysfunctional and seething with drama underneath the shiny surface – and they’re pitching these philosophies hard, because every person they can get on their side is one more person they can hold up as evidence.
Like the drug-pushers, they’re not overly concerned if you’re happy – they’re enlisting you to justify their life choices, and it’d be nice if you were happy, but their main goal is trotting you out to show, “LOOK, MY WAY WORKS.”
Which is why you have to be careful, taking advice. Some people give advice not to help you, but to rationalize the fallout from their bad decisions.
Some advice is good, natch. But if someone’s informing you of yet another One True Way where if you just follow their advice and never deviate from it you’ll become a flawless and wonderful person just like them, look closer.
Chances are, you’ll find some sad schmuck desperately trying to amass an army to look like a bold leader.

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