Family, friends, and colleagues tend to give advice or suggestions to the people that they care about. However, most offer advice based on what they would do if they were in that person’s situation. The problem is they are not that person. What is good for them may not be good for the person they are giving the advice to. The advisee has his own life path, values, and dreams that are likely quite different from the adviser.
So if you want to give clear advice, first consider whom the person is that you are giving the advice to. What is important to him? What is the trajectory of his life path? What is right for him? What does he want?
In order to do this, you have to put your own values, beliefs, and personality aside for a moment and consider the person you are advising. It is asking, “Who is this person?” And, “What is he wanting or needing to experience in this situation?” Then you can offer information, ideas, and resources that act as suggestions to get him to where he wants or needs to be.
So say your friend is in a relationship that you do not feel is good for her. Many people would advise her to break up with that person. But perhaps she has more to learn in that relationship or is not ready to let it go. So if you truly understand and accept where she is, you can advise her on the next thing she needs to experience in order to find what she is looking for in a relationship.
And she may even find it with the person she is with. And that may make absolutely no sense to you.
But it is her life. You would never go out with a person like. But you are not her.
About the Author
I, Michael Hoffman, am a licensed psychotherapist, teacher, and author with 25 years experience in counseling and teaching experiential workshops. I have maintained this blog since 2009, and my second book Natural Way of Being will published in 2019.
I offer in-person and video-conferencing counseling, intensive workshops, and online courses to allow participants to directly experience their natural way of being and the life they would have for themselves.