More often than not, people give their advice unsolicited.
I think it’s within human nature that we want to help those around us, especially those we love, which explains our ability to empathize and act on it. Sometimes I think, “But the world is SO harsh, cold, and messed up; who doesn’t want a safe area to rest in, and if I can help ease the burden, why not?”
My approach comes from personal experience, I’ve been on both sides: the person who is giving the unsolicited advice and the person receiving it. The conclusion I have come to is that people actually do not want advice. They do not want to be redirected. At least not when it’s forced.
One of the core building blocks of great and successful people is that they at times have failed and have faced hell. I know what you’re going to say.. ” but they don’t have to go through so much! I can save them from some of hurt, the hurt they will encounter. Not all of it but if I can spare them some pain…”
But it’s not your job to save them. It’s your job as a friend, partner,parent, guardian, whatever the nature of the relationship is to be there for them. Being there does not mean that if your person is an alcoholic and they ask for money to buy some booze that you give it to them; that’s enabling, a whole different story. What I am talking about is that they know that there is an open door where they are accepted as they are, and that you are not trying to change them in order for you to accept them. Once that is established you’ll find that in the smallest desire of redirection or help they will know that you are on their side.
One of the hardest things in life is to watch someone you love struggle.
But sometimes we need to struggle, we need to go through those things in order to be able to come out the other end having a block to our foundation of life. To say that “I made it!” “I’ve overcome this thing!” I do not think it is necessarily about accomplishing something alone, but it is in the sense of accomplishment itself.
Constantly providing unsolicited advice sends the message that “I don’t trust that you can do this” and most likely causes your person to resent you, which is the opposite of what you were trying to do in the first place.
I know that there are a lot of missing pieces that are not addressed, but I think this is a corner stone. That doesn’t mean that I am able to do this… I think far from it, I have a constant war in my head on what i should and shouldn’t do. I am trying my best to turn it from a theory in my mind to actions.
I’m on my way!