It happens, a friend is in a pickle or a bad situation and you want to give them your two cents. You want to be helpful, provide guidance, give them support with helpful suggestions. This is all great and advice is a valuable resource in our lives but remember it is your advice and their life.
Just because you give advice doesn’t mean somebody needs to take it. They can listen, take it in and still come up with their own answers. This is not an attack on you so don’t take it personally (so many do) and also if they don’t take your advice and things get worse don’t say “I told you so”. Nobody likes “I told you so” person.
Just start again, listen, be patient and offer (often the same) guidance.
People need to find their own way, we all have different paths to follow and what works for you might not work for the person in the pickle.
The best thing you can do is actually not give advice and just listen. People usually know what they should do, what the right thing is but need to come around to it in their own time. So instead of immediately jumping in and telling them what they should do, take a step back and ask them what they think they should do.
If you give advice and somebody says “I didn’t ask for your advice”, this usually means you’ve said something they didn’t want to hear. Back off, drop it and don’t push it. Let them live their own lives. Just offer support and change the subject.
People make mistakes. Everyday. Sometimes in order to get to where we want to be, we take the long road. It’s easy to see what somebody else should or shouldn’t do but sometimes when you are living through something, you can’t see the situation objectively. This is where gentle prodding can help. To try to get somebody to stand back and look at a situation.
The other big problem is bad decisions often include short term gain. Such as being able to avoid a problem or shove it under the rug. To put on blinders or use a band-aid to fix something short term. Advice often has the big picture in mind. Until somebody wants to see the big picture, they won’t take the advice.
Here is the hard one to take. Sometimes advice is crap and what works for one person doesn’t work for another. Maybe the person giving advice can’t see the whole picture or is making assumptions. If somebody is fighting your advice take a step back, ask questions, listen to them and see if you’re missing a piece of the puzzle.
At the end of the day it is up to the other person whether they listen to and use your advice.
Whether they do take your advice or not a friend will still be there to lend support.
If you are in a pickle or have a question or just want some good advice send an email to BEAR ADVICE.
Other advice from The Bear Blame Game, Searching For Men.