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Advice, Just some thoughts. - a world of possibility
Advice, Just some thoughts.
First Randomness:
1) HAPPY TURKEY DAY! I hope you all are well
2) YAY! Friends are home!
3) Funny how the song is sooo appropriate. Didn't even realize I was listening to it, LOL.

So as to advice. I don't like giving advice. I would rather ask questions and let people decide for themselves, which is why I am dissappointed in myself lately. I must try harder! :)

Here is my reasoning . .

What are the qualifactions that someone wants help? A better way to put it is, what leads you to think they want help? Even then, what makes you positive they are receptive? Even if they are receptive who's to say you know any better than they?

This is kinda long, but it gave me something to think about the other day. This is from a book called Good Intentions by Duke Robinson. It's long, but it made me think a lot. I thought I'd share the knowledge. :)~

Page 178-180


When you give bad advice you may suffer backlash. Tell your parents to get their car fixed at your repair place, and if the mechanics botch up the job or rip them off, your parents end up teed off not only at them but also at you. Giving advice risks betrayal of your best intentions and can come back to haunt you. It is, therefore, not very smart. But a mistake for other important reasons.


No matter how sincere or proper or appropriate our advice may be, it demeans those to whom we gie it. By telling people what to do, we imply they don't have the brains or heart or muscle to solve their problems or straighten out their lives, and we do. Rather than showing them respect and building their sense of self-worth and confidence, giving them advice tears them down and harms both them and our relationships.

That was the quote read at the meeting for my brother's school, I've decided to continue typing up some of it. See if something sounds familiar, I laugh at myself sometimes, actually often. LOL


We may know exactly that others need to do to solve their problems, but they need us to let them decide what to do. This is because they need to develop their ability to take care of themselves. Again, even good advice is not helpful, for whenever you give it and encourage people to take it, and they do, you rob them of both the exercise they need to hone their decision-making skills and the satisfaction they gain by making the correct choice on their own.


We give the single impression that we give advice to help others. But again, when we peel the layers off our motives, we often find we have more subtle, complex, and less noble interests: We may do it so our friends will admire us. We may want them to be in debt to us, be dependent on us, or even feel inferior to us. Or we simply may enjoy managing their affairs. All of us, of course, have mixed and ulterior motives-none of us is pure or perfect. But when we give advice while implying that we do it only for their good, while also serving our own unnanounced, self-serving ends, we engage in a duplicity that undermines our best efforts to create relationships that have integrity.

Page 182-193


I said earlier that giving advice is never helpful. Never? Well, hardly ever. There are two kinds of extraordinary situations when it may be fitting. The first is in the workplace, when your subordinates (does anyone else not like this word~sorry to intterupt) don't know what to do and a deadline is approaching. At such times it may be appropriate for you simply to say Do this or Do that. Even then, in order to encourage their developement and deepen your working relationship with them, you will do well to relate in ways that enable them to discover their own answers or directions as much as possible, rather then have you point them out. . . . . . .
Second, there are emergencies. For example, if you see a trucj bearing down on people, with no hesitation whatsoever , you can scream your advice "Watch out! Jump! Get out of the way!" Push them to the sidewalk, if need be. ( LOL, sorry I found that part amusing. . . .
When people you care about face problems, or are confused or lost, at a most basic level they need expressions of your love rather than your advice. They need to be sure you will never demean them or treat them as objects to manipulate-they need to feel treated as equals. When you stop giving advice you allow for meeting these needs. You also eliminate the risk, hypocrisy, disrespect, and control that are inherent in it. But you must replace it with a respectful, effective, and satisfying way to treat them as the equals they are, and serve them in ways that are genuine.


If you have accepted your acceptance, youmay find it fairly easy to stop controlling those around you by offering advice. If you haven't made this decision you'll tend to give advice almost every chance you get. . . . .
Let's assume you do not want to continue giving advice, but you still want to serve people who are important to you when they're in need. Here are 5 steps you can take.


The key to serving others will be your willingnessand ability to back off from trying to resolve what besets them. This is not a matter of turning your back on your friends or refusing to listen to them. It is not asking youto create emotional distance from them as persons, to be partially present to them or not present at all when they need you the most. It simply asks you not to assume responsibility for their lives.
To detach is to affirm that the primary responsibility for meeting others' need belong to them, not to you. It means that you see yourself and them as separate and equal selves, and realize that you can be helpful only when you honor this separateness by refusing to take on their problems. Your detachment clearly tells them you respect both them and their present need to make their own decisions and live with the consequences. It says you care anough about them to do nothing to prevent them from experiencing the full effect of their own behavior.
. . .


Here again, I'm talking empathy, not sympathy. When people have problems you will be tempted as a nice person to sympathize with them, to stand above them, as it were, and think, if not say something like, Oh ou poor things. But patronizing pity does not serve them well. People need you, rather, to share a sense of their predicament and their feelings. They need you to stand with them in their weakness, uncertainty, and sense of defeat. They need to know you care. So you can use your imagination to discern how you would feel in their shoes and identify it for them:

I can't imagine anyting more frustrating
than not knowing where to turn.
If it were my first time, I wouldn't know what to
do either.
I don't blame you for being confused.
It's not easy to be a parent today.

It is important to understand that how we make people feel about themselves impacts how they feel about us and goes a long way to determine the quality of their relationship with us.


At times, people with problems bog down becaus they're short-sighted and haven't thought enough about their choices. If they're stalled and frustrated, you might ask casucally, "You've considered other options?" If they say yes, and list them, and they omit one that might be helpful, you can follow with "What about such-and-such? Might that work?"
If they say yes, then you've been of good service. If they say no, or they aren't sure, at least you've enabled them to expand their awareness that there might be other possibilities. If they still seem unsure of what to do you can encourage them to narrow their list to the possibilities that are most prmoising. Then you might ask "Which of the solutions seems best to you?". Notice that you ask these questions from detachment; you have let go. You don't solve their problem, make their decisions, or control them; rather, you stand as a supposrt alongside them as they make thier way through a dilemna.
If they identify their solution and seem ready to make an informed, sensible choice, you've helped them a great deal. If, however, they cannot rate one choice as better than the others, or don't see how they might implement the option that feels best to them, there's abother step to take.


When options do not need to be sorted out, you may want to take this step as soon as you've detached and offered empathy. It involves supplying names, addresses, phone numvers, costs, times, procedures, directions, opinions, new findings or insights, your own testimony or someone else's, or any other relevant data. Sometimes it simply will be a matter of telling people what you have experienced and what you think you know.
At first hearing giving advice and providing information may sound like one and the same. In reality, they're worlds apart: Giving advice coerces and demeans; offering information shows respect and creates understanding.
Note the difference;
Advice: You ought to buy an American car
Information: We've had good fortune with American cars.
Advice: Why don't go to that clinic for smokers?
Information: A friend says the non-smoking clinic helped him.

Giving advice creates a burden of debt. When you offer information, people not only feel no burden, they immediately feel it's absence. If you can see this distinction and cement this in your mind, you make it easier for yourself to stop giving advice. And one way to do this is to put yourself in the other person's shoes, as if you're the one on the recieving end of these examples.
When you give others information, you do not demean them, you impose no obligation on them, and you do not risk a backlash of resentment as a result of misleading them. Rather, you ennoble both them and your relationships because you help liberate them to solve their own problems.

. . . . When you take them [ the previous steps], it's possible that you'll help others solve their problems. It's also possible you won't. Their predicaments may be so complex they can't make up their minds and rise above them in healthy ways. They may be stalled by too many shades of gray and mixed feelings. If so, there's one more thing you can do.


Once they've had time to identify viable options, you can ask, "So, now, which option are you going to choose?". If they say they don't know, you can encourage them to decide by asking "When do you think you'll choose one?".
By thoughtful, tender nudging you do not force them either to act or to select the option you prefer. You merely imply that not to choose is a choice, and that at some point they must act or take the consequences of delay. This form of prompting respects their freedom. Your only purpose is not to control them, but to spur them over the hum toward solving their own problems.
It may be, if the choice is emotionally loaded [hence my theory of "objectivity" so as emotion is not a question], that in spite of your nudging they'll still be unable to act. They may be afraid of what you'll think if they make a bad decision. If you sense this, tell them, "No matter what you decide, I want you to know it'll be all right with me". Of course, if some of their solutions appear foolish or harmful, you serve them well to tell them: "I'm of the opinion you risk a great deal if you choose that option". Your opinion may be helpful information. [Hmmm, isn't that last one like advice? I'm kinda debating in my head about that. Don't they have to learn for themselves? I mean, asking if they think it might be harmful would be better in my opinon. But he wrote the book, not I]

. . .


So these five steos offer a satisfying and effective way for you to help others:

1.Practice detachment in a respectful way by letting go of them.
2.Express empathy with their problems and feelings.
3.Ask questions that get them to expand and narrow promising options
4.Provide useful information, including testimony
5.Give them gentle nudges toward making a decision.


If others still don't know when or whether they'll address their problems, you can do one more thing. You can empathize with their inability to decide and with their corresponding frustration:

I imagine it would be terrible not to see a way out of this.
It must be tough not knowing what to do or when you'll make a decision
I'm sure it is hard to live with this problem and your indecision.

These last expressions of empathymay liberate them to resolve their quandries. They may come to realize that while you are willing to stand with them, you aren't going to make their problems go away. With your support, they may decide tot ake a stab at their best option. If they don't, you may have to eave it at that. In spite of all you've done to treat them as adults and be supportive, they may not solve their problems. In the end, they may not have any satisfying solutions available to them.
Do you have any consolation in such dead-end cases? Yes. You didn't patronize, decieve, or try to control those who were involved. neither did you generate resentment in them that would have made matters worse. These count for something. Moreover, although they didn't solve their problems, your relationships with them are more liberating and fulfilling.

Yep, finally finished. I think I've added another book to my list, LOL.

Actually two.

Bridget Jone's Diary
Good Intentions by Duke Robinson

I'm gonna SO love Puerto Rico, I'll be able to catch up on all my reading. As a friend of mine pointed out to me, it's sad, I've got to go all the way to Puerto Rico to lay on a beach to be able to read. LOL. Yep. I could do it at a beach here, if it were warm.

Well even if it weren't.

OK, must sleep. I hope I've given possible enlightenment to someone besides just myself. And I still need one more reply on my story.

meez :)~

Current Mood: excited excited
Current Music: Adam Sandler - Thanksgiving Song

5 comments or Leave a comment
schwack From: schwack Date: November 22nd, 2001 02:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm tired :)
moowazz From: moowazz Date: November 22nd, 2001 11:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Sweet dreams.]

musus From: musus Date: November 22nd, 2001 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)


No no no...please don't be disappointed in yourself. ((thinks to himself)) -> "crap...I hate it when this happens." Ok, first...the advice/help was requested. Although I totally understand why you feel the way you do, please don't feel bad...really. I think we, as humans, should always strive to improve areas of ourselves that we think need improvement, but I don't think you have anything to be disappointed about in yourself, or in what you've said/done recently. You are a wonderful, sweet, (charming--gay guy trapped in a woman's body--say what?), adorable woman, and that's what I think, period. ((crosses arms like a chief))
moowazz From: moowazz Date: November 22nd, 2001 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Advice

LOL. wa wa wa (she makes "indian sounds" with hand going to and from he mouth while she says . . .) wa wa wa

musus From: musus Date: November 22nd, 2001 04:54 pm (UTC) (Link)


Blasted! I forgot to say which part of Duke's book I liked best...sleep deprivation, what? ;)

"People need you, rather, to share a sense of their predicament and their feelings. They need you to stand with them in their weakness, uncertainty, and sense of defeat. They need to know you care."

I think that's very well put. Just thought I'd share my favorite part. :)
5 comments or Leave a comment