I know I am writing a "how to never give advice" on a website giving advice, but here are my tips on how NOT to give advice and why I think giving advice is BAD.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you read this:
1. Giving advice makes you sound like you know better and they are stupid
2. Giving advice sounds like you want to control their life, instead of help them figure it out
3. Sometimes the advice you give doesn't improve their life but just makes it worse
Instead of giving advice, you should just ignore. My kids, when they are bad they instantly get put in timeout for however old they are (2 years old, 2 min etc). I then talk with them later and tell them it is okay to be angry, but it is not okay to scream and throw things and hit people. Each time they do something bad, they just get thrown in bed. Why does this work? Because if you just keep giving them attention and NOT ignoring them, then they just think they are getting on your nerves.
I have a sister like this. She has gotten a lot of advice from people about how to live her life. She doesn't care about it. What does she care about? Oh, that she is getting a lot of attention and that people are talking about her! The next time she starts talking about how "bad" she is... I just try to say "oh, okay, let's talk about something else please. How was your son's birthday party?" You don't have to give them advice. They already are getting what they want, they just want attention.
Instead of giving advice, just live your life as an example. My husband has this problem and I ask him questions about why they said what they said. For example, his coworker doesn't make much money and just decided to buy a house he clearly can't afford. My husband tells him that he is making a huge mistake and he should have started with a starter home. Are they happy? Do they save a lot? Do they have another source of income?
You don't know that. You should just be happy for them because they sound really happy and then if you want, you can tell them about your happiness. We bought a small starter home that is perfect for our family and we don't have any financial problems. We follow Dave Ramsey's advice. It's working for us. We're happy too. The END. And if later their way of life doesn't work, they can say "oh this guy talked about DAVE RAMSEY...and he sounded really happy"
Instead of giving straight up advice, make it a CHOICE that he is RESPONSIBLE FOR. This helps people decide for themselves and figure out for themselves what kind of life they would want to live.
I am going to give a really serious situation as an example. Let's say a guy married an alcoholic girl, and whenever she got drunk she would try to kill him with a knife. The guy needs to tell the girl that when she is not drunk he will stay with her, but if she is drunk he will leave to his parent's house for a week. If she does it again, it will be for a month and so on. She needs too see that if she drinks, her husband leaves her. If he is important to her, she WANTS to and CHOOSES to stay with him. During this whole time, he does not advise her to just quit drinking already!
Instead of giving advice, you should just set boundaries. If you have had a person abuse you, mentally, verbally, physically or whatever... you don't need to give them advice. You need to get away and never be near them again. Trust has been broken. Plus, it makes it even worse that they do it again and again to others and they don't feel bad about it because they feel that the people they abuse "deserve" it. These people are lost in their thoughts, and until no one really supports their strange way of thinking they will continue.
Instead of giving advice, you should empathize. That must be really hard on you. It sounds like you are going through such a hard time. It would make me sad too if someone always took advantage of me. I had a period of time when I felt that way too, it was horrible and I know what you mean.
Empathizing is not only connecting, relating, understanding and comforting to the other person but it also helps them know that their feelings are valuable and they are important. This makes them feel like, they are LOVED. Some times love can do so much to a person's self esteem and self esteem helps a person be strong. Strong people figure out that they can get through things.
Instead of giving advice, you can try to understand the situation and ask them what they think the problem is and the possible solutions.
This. Right. Here. This is what you WANT, and what they WANT. People don't want you to tell them to do things like they are a ROBOT. They want to learn to be proactive people who have FULL CONTROL of their lives. They want to feel capable of thinking on their own and figuring out what it is that they WANT in life. It is not good to just lead a horse to water, but to have the horse figure out that he needs water and ask questions until he learns to find that water and drink it on his own.
He will be so happy he did it on his own.
Plus if you do it all the time for them (give advice on everything) they might become crippled and always think that someone is supposed to give them the advice and always save them.
Do you always want to rescue someone and be there for them whenever the face the smallest life challenge? This is a question for me, as I am a mom.
So what do you think? What other things can help you NOT give advice, and NOT make their problem your problem, and actually help them to figure it out?