Confession: I really like giving advice. I’m a healer and I hate to see people suffer. I just want to help! I also love researching and have a headful of (what I think are amazing) tidbits to share. 😆
Why do you think I became a coach? Because I wanted people to listen to my advice! 🤣 Thankfully I discovered that a coach’s job is not really to spout off advice, but I still need to be mindful about biting the old tongue or it all just comes out!
Anyways, just telling you up front, this post is for me just as much as it is for you. 🙈 How about you? Do you often find people coming to you for advice? Do you get aggravated when they don’t take it? #beenthere 😂
No matter how timely or well meaning, advice isn’t always appreciated or well received. So here are a few things we can all think about the next time we are about to open our mouths or type out a reply on Facebook. Our friends might be glad we did. 😉
#1 Are you thinking of this person as capable?
Let’s be honest, we all do dumb stuff. We all do things we know we shouldn’t. There are so many reasons for this (see my posts on Emotional Patterns if you’re curious.) Just because we make mistakes, sometimes over and over, do we want people talking down to us? Of course not!
We are all trying our best. But still, sometimes people’s best leaves us shaking our heads and rolling our eyes. (Hopefully not where they can see us.) 😜 Even though our initial reaction may be annoyance and frustration, we can’t help anyone when we come at them with that mindset. 🤐
Before you even think about giving advice, reframe how you are looking at the person. We are not here to rescue anyone with our wisdom, no matter how much cool stuff we know. 😉 People have to rescue themselves, and they can.
Sometimes people need someone else to see them as strong, smart, and capable before they can see it in themselves. Be the one to hold up that mirror for people. When they see themselves that way, they will act accordingly.Sometimes people need someone else to see them as strong, smart, and capable before they can see it in themselves. Be the one to hold up that mirror for people. When they see themselves that way, they will act accordingly. Click To Tweet
#2 Are you looking at things through the same lens?
A lady I used to work with would always say “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins.” I don’t even know how it came up so often, maybe it was just for the benefit of my judgmental 20 year old self? 😳 😆
What I understand now better than I did then, is that each person has their own view of the world, based on their personality and life experiences. If we aren’t looking at things through the same lens that they are, we can talk until we’re blue in the face and still come away feeling like “they just don’t get it”.
The problem is, we didn’t take the time to get them.
When you want to help someone, you have to first see where they are coming from. Which brings us to the next point…
#3 Have you really listened?
To be able to see the world through someone else’s lens, we have to listen and ask questions. Yes, hello Captain Obvious, but many times we just don’t do this. 🤦♀️
We hear a few sentences about the other person’s problem or situation and immediately our brain fills in the blanks with our own life experiences. Next, we draw conclusions based on our view instead of theirs, and spill out a bunch of advice that leaves the other person feeling misunderstood.
Instead of listening to reply, practice listening to understand. Practice asking thoughtful questions. Of course we don’t want to pry, but asking appropriate questions shows that we really do care. And just knowing that someone cares does so much good for our souls.
#4 Are they really asking for advice?
The truth is, people are smart. Usually we already know what to do, even if we don’t always do it. The last thing we need is someone telling us what we already know, right?
Often, when people reach out for what seems like “advice”, what they really want is to vent, just to be heard. So, make sure you are clear on what they are asking for before opening mouth and inserting foot. 😉
If they don’t really want advice, keep hanging out with them at Point 3 and just being a friend. Being listened to and held in high esteem can work wonders.
#5 Do you have permission?
Sometimes we see people making decisions that are really bad and we just have to say something, like, intervention style. 🙅 Seriously, these occasions should be few and far between. If we are always feeling the need to swoop in and rescue people from their own stupidity, we need to take a closer look at what we are attracting into our lives. 😬 We’ll leave that topic for another post!
In the meantime, if you must say something, go through points 1, 2, and 3 first. Next, treat the person with respect by asking permission to share something. Telling them how you learned this nugget of information, and how it helped you, is a gentle way to impart knowledge without attacking their choices.
By viewing others as capable, trying to see things through their lens, listening to understand, and asking questions and permission, we can improve our relationships and really be a blessing to others. I hope these points are helpful to you!
P.S. Do you love the irony of me giving advice about not giving advice? 🤣 Like I said, I wrote it because I needed the reminders myself! Were there any points that resonated with you? Leave a comment and let me know.
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