Early in college a friend of mine came over and said, “I don’t like your shirt.” I didn’t care that she felt that way because she and I didn’t have the same style, but I wondered why she felt the need to say that to me. Sometimes we share our opinions with others without them asking, and without considering whether what we’re sharing is thoughtful, kind, or even necessary.
We don’t have to tell people how we think they should be living their lives. When I go shopping, I don’t like everything in the store. That being said, I don’t leave the store thinking, “They’ll never sell any of this stuff!” Just because I didn’t like it, doesn’t mean no one will. I’m sure someone else will buy the things I wasn’t interested in because we’re all different. Our way is not always the best way. We are all out here practicing, doing the best we can.
So, before you offer feedback, consider who you’re speaking to, and the relationship you have with that person.
When someone is interested in receiving advice from you they:
Tell you they appreciate it
Ask you for advice on a number of occasions
Share how they applied the advice you gave them
On the other hand, these behaviors would indicate that someone is not interested in or receptive to your advice:
The person has told you they don’t want your advice
There is no engagement when you offer advice, instead you are met with silence
When you offer advice there is no adherence to what you have shared
We need to take the time to think about whether what we’re about to share is actually of value, and not just us imposing what we would do on someone else. This is not to say we can’t ever give anyone advice, but we have to discern when it is appropriate. There are some relationships where there is a reciprocal giving and receiving of advice, where that is welcomed and appreciated, but that is not every relationship.
Who do you go to for advice? What makes you receptive to advice from these people?
How do you handle unsolicited advice?
When do you feel the need to offer advice even when it hasn’t been requested?
The Psychology of Imposter Syndrome & How to Actually Overcome It, by Carissa Begonia on Mind Body Green.
6 Little Ways to Nurture Your Relationship in 2022, From Marriage Therapists, by Kelly Gonsalves on Mind Body Green.
The Eyes of Tammy Faye. I love biopics and this is a really good one about the rise and fall of the televangelist empire that Tammy Faye and her husband built. I didn’t grow up knowing who Tammy Faye was but after watching this movie I went down a whole rabbit hole trying to learn more about her. You can watch the movie on HBO.
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