When someone says they have an outside perspective and can, therefore, see things you cannot because you are “inside” or “too involved,” this is not always true.
To have an outside perspective, one must be able to see everything from a greater height. This person may claim they can see the whole picture, but they cannot possibly for the only one capable is you. Only you have been there through it all and so have all the facts, stories, feelings, and emotions that built the picture.
This person, as good as their intentions may be, has listened to you tell only a short piece of a story. Or, they have observed you describe a small part of your life. Their perspective is not, “outside,” but narrow, and free of all the other things that may or may not impact one’s judgment of whatever is at the forefront of thought at this moment. Because it is without all the information, their perspective can be misleading.
Does this narrow perspective allow them to see things you cannot? Maybe. Do they see things differently? Yes. Does this mean they can cast better judgment than you and arrive at a better conclusion? No. They have far less information than you. Only you can make the right decision. You must remember this when it comes to heeding advice on your areas of responsibility. For in those areas, when things go wrong, the buck stops with you.
You have to decide whether or not your source of advice has enough information for their alternative perspective to be of value. A better approach is to try to see things as they do. Then you’ll possess both the information and the perspective.
The person who in fact, has a narrow perspective is advising you based on a handful of information. Unlike a military commander who positions themselves on high ground so they can see the entire battlefield and observe how the pieces move, and the battle develops; gathering as much information as possible to make the right decisions at the correct times. It’s as though your advisor sees a sword fight between two individuals and bases the entire battle strategy on its development.
One final thought to throw a spanner in the works. What if you don’t have all the information?