People Don’t Always Want Your Advice!
Yes, this can be consituted as “advice”! Now read and keep an open mind.
Frequently, throughout our encounters with family and friends, the subject of troubles that they are experiencing would undoubtedly come up. Inevitably, in our efforts to be helpful, we frequently respond by offering suggestions on how to resolve the problem.
The following are some of the reasons why this is not commonly recommended:
We make the assumption that we know what the problem is and neglect to be a good listener, this limits the amount of information about the situation and the other person’s perspective.
Many of us fail to express empathy for the plight of the other person.
We are given ‘credit’ for providing the advice since the guidance is likely to be based on something that the adviser has done or something that others have done that has been effective. When someone does not succeed, or if they have tried it previously but failed, the inference is that it was not because the advise was bad, but rather because the person has not implemented it properly. The advisee is likely to feel foolish and inept as a result of this.
When we provide counsel, it can appear that we are speaking ‘down’ to the other person because we have assumed the position of ‘expert.’ We’re so anxious to chat and demonstrate our knowledge and ‘wisdom’ that we fail to interact with the other person on a ‘equal’ level with ourselves.
In the process of becoming an expert, we may forget that the other person has information that we may benefit from as well.
We are sending the message that we believe the individual will be unable to figure out the answer on his or her own. In this case, the other person feels disempowered.
We are dismissive of the person’s efforts, which we believe are insufficient. As a result, rather than assisting the individual in self-evaluation, we take on the role of evaluator of their actions.
Another option is to listen intently, avoiding offering any level of advice, UNLESS that advice is explicitely asked for. Instead, asking questions during conversation is more beneficial since it encourages the other person to think through the challenges that they are experiencing.