It seems like most people are great at knowing what other people should be doing with their lives.
In reality, this is not the case.
Everyone is different. Nobody has the same experience as anyone else. And the “medicine” that worked for you, based on your unique experiences, may not be the solution for someone else.
Thus,trying to apply your experiences and perspectives on living doesn’t always benefit other people.
This is particularly relevant in the context of giving advice. So many of us are quick to give out advice, often unsolicited, that we base on our experience.
There’s a few problems with this, one of which being that your advice isn’t always wanted by someone else.
I made a mistake this week by giving advice to one of my best friends when she didn’t ask for it.
It came from a genuine place in my heart. I was trying to help her avoid a painful experience I went through in my life.
But there was a huge problem with this situation: she hadn’t asked for my opinion.
I realized later on that not only had my advice-giving hadn’t helped. In fact, it had hurt.
And so I vowed to be more careful going forward with how I give advice. Some of the learnings are:
1) Don’t give advice when someone doesn’t ask for it.
2) When you notice yourself wanting to give advice, pause and observe your thoughts. Analyze what’s driving your desire to advise. Most importantly, question if giving advice is the best thing you can do for the other person.
3) Lastly, if you do want to give unsolicited advice, express why you’re feeling the urge to do so. If people understand that it’s coming from a place of heartfelt love or concern, they’ll probably be more open to hearing your thoughts. Especially if they know you’re just trying to help them be happy :)
Have a great day!