Giving advice the way it can be received36 comments
Did you ever give advice from your heart and–to your total bafflement–upset the very person you were trying to help?
In today’s short video, I am going to tell you why you ought only to give advice if someone asks you three times.
And tell you what to do when they don’t ask for your pearls of wisdom. (instead of spontaneously combust.)
Now it is your turn. What do you think about advice?
Here are what some other bloggers feel about giving advice…and getting it!
Tiffany Staropoli of Loving Cancer
I only ever want to receive unsolicited advice from my therapist. That’s it. Free advice isn’t free. It should come from a person who is paid to listen to your story and offer some insight into how you might alter your behaviors in the future. And the best therapists don’t just blurt out what you should or should not do. The best therapists seem to coax these revelations out of you.
If you are anyone else in my life (friend, husband, mentor, co-worker, acquaintance), I would prefer that you wait until I ask for your advice. Otherwise, I may not even hear you. Or I may not be ready to hear you. Or I may just get mad/angry/hurt/resentful.
Knowing this about myself, it is HILARIOUS that I find it extremely difficult to NOT give advice. I love fixing people. I love figuring out their problems for them and telling them how to live their lives.
I remember talking with a friend once who was going through a divorce. She was in a lot of pain. And the pain in my opinion was being perpetuated by many of the decisions she was making. So I told her point blank what she should and should not do. It was clear as day to me. But did she take my advice? No. Did she even hear the words I was saying that day? I have no idea.
She was not ready to hear anything at that point. She simply wanted someone to listen. She never once asked for my opinion, yet I gave it. And what came of this? I got annoyed and resentful and frustrated when my words were not heeded. I made it all about me.
Now when I yearn to give unsolicited advice I recognize where it comes from. It comes from a place of fear. It comes from a place of insecurity. It comes from my ego wanting to be the hero, the fixer, the savior.
So I have learned to very gently bite my tongue.
Tiffany, I couldn’t have said this better myself! Such great wisdom that I hadn’t included!
Personally, I am open to advice when I feel completely stuck on something. If the walls have closed in & I have no answers then advice is welcomed.
Having said that, I don’t enjoy being told what to do. So the “advice” needs to be in the form of an introduction of fresh ideas, practical suggestions and the like. [This is the approach I use with my clients & have found it to work extremely well].
I had a situation a few months back that I simply couldn’t solve. I was confident that I had the knowledge & skill to get through this problem but kept running into a dead end. It WAS frustrating me.
I rang a trusted friend and ran the story past him. He listened carefully and made 2 simple, key observations. Voila! the doors began to open. I was on the verge of the “answer” however really just needed a fresh viewpoint to get me look at my problem a different way, it worked!. And in my opinion, that’s a very positive aspect of receiving advice, getting a fresh view of things…
David, great point! When we are open to it, advice can be just the ticket to what will help us! Advice is awesome and has a place for sure! So glad you added this perspective and let people know we are NOT saying advice is always bad! Sometimes it can save your life!
Here is what to do instead of giving advice.
1. Listen until your loved one is all the way through telling you what they want to tell you.
2. Ask questions to clarify the content and help them know you want to listen, and that you care deeply.
3. Validate their feelings.
4. Give hugs and cuddles.
5. Notice the skills that they are putting forth and tell them that you see them.
You are probably thinking that I am not following my own advice by advising you about advice. Oops.
Now over to you. Do you like advice? Has someone with good intentions ever made you feel bad when they gave you advice? What do you think?
Jodi Aman / /