14 June 2011

Are you an advice junkie?

Advice must be one of the few things everyone asks for, but no one really wants. Think twice before dishing it out.

Advice must be one of the few things everyone asks for, but no one really wants. What people basically want is someone to listen, not someone to tell them what to do. Especially if they're complaining about a partner.

In short, think twice before dishing out advice. Firstly people don't really want it, and secondly, if they try it and it doesn't work, it somehow becomes your problem.

  • Don’t take responsibility for your friends’ problems. Be there for them, but don’t feel compelled to take over.
  • Don’t spend hours telling them about your experiences that were just like that. No two people can ever have exactly the same feelings or experience. Your friend wants to talk about her problem, not listen to yours.
  • Avoid crying with them. They need you to be strong and together to contain their problems. If you cry, they feel they have to hold back, because you are not coping.
  • Don’t be judgemental in giving your values or ideas. Try not to create guilt by passing on your own ideas on religion, sex, drug taking, alcohol, and politics.
  • Avoid appearing shocked, as this will stop your friends confiding in you.
  • Make sure that whatever your friends tell you is treated with confidentiality.

  • You can reflect their feelings as they talk to you (e.g. I can see this makes you very frustrated).
  • You could ask open-ended questions (You say you felt uncomfortable when your mother visited last week?).
  • You could also challenge incorrect perceptions or behaviours (You say there is nothing you can do about your drinking problem?)
  • You can summarise what they have said and ask if you have heard them correctly


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