Uh oh! Looks like someone got some dubious advice from a close friend – and that unlucky recipient is you! Yes, Felicia from yoga just said, “What do you have to lose?” without actually considering all the things you could lose.
Your conversation started off like any other: a discussion about the best yoga videos that quickly transitioned into tearful confessions about your respective hopes and dreams. You revealed that even if your boss didn’t want to give you a promotion, she could at least praise your accomplishments once in a while.
While you would have been fine if Felicia had just said something like “that really sucks, dude,” she took a bolder stance.
“You are a boss bitch and you deserve to be treated as such,” she said. “You need to demand better treatment, a promotion, dental, and if not, tell them they can go fuck themselves.”
You hesitated, saying you weren’t sure asking for a bunch of things at once was the best strategy, considering you really liked your job and had only worked there for six months. That’s when Felicia asked the magic question: “What do you have to lose?”
At first, you felt bolstered by her words. “Yeah, what do I have to lose?!” you thought while composing an email to your boss with the subject line “The Way I’m Treated.”
It was only when you were about to press “send” that you started to consider what you could conceivably lose. And, as it turned out, there were a lot of things! Your job, for one. Your friendly relationship with your boss. A loss of the goodwill you’ve been building up to ask for the entire month of August off.
But why would Felicia have given you such terrible advice, and so confidently, too? Is it possible that she wasn’t thinking about your position at all, but instead was trying to convince you to act on her behalf in an incredibly low-risk situation for her? Was she just projecting the fact that she had very little to lose?
So you decided against sending the email, but at least you learned something: it’s starting to seem possible that just because someone gives you authoritative-sounding advice doesn’t mean they know or care about your life at all.
Or maybe she’s right, and you’re a pushover.