Saturday, 20 March 2010

How to Not Give Advise

I have a dear friend who is on the brink of a life changing situation. The problem was that she wants things to change but was afraid to take the next step. She wants to take the next step now, but I cautioned her to be careful and not let her emotions to get the better of her. Its not as if I didn't want her to move forward and be happy, because I can see how miserable she is. Its beginning to affect her at work. I just felt that it was unfair that she didn't receive her dues. I want her to be happy.

How to not give advise? I mean I did not want to be imposing my opinions on her. There is a very, very fine line when your advise can be poisonous to your friend. Just keep your opinions to yourself, lest you influence your friend to take actions that doesn't come from her heart. They might regret making the decision that wasn't theirs to begin with. They might even blame you for that decision in the future, especially if it backfires. But if it doesn't backfire, they would always wonder if they make it because they want to or because you push it to them.

As a friend, you must always be objective about your friend's problems. Approach it from a different angle than what they present to you. See it outside the box, because you are the observer. The point is for you to be objective about it, because you friend will be emotional. Try to suggest a structured approach, see the pros or cons of the situation, give some recommendations but never impose it on them, try to help your friend find a solution, then closure. Be there for your friend when she needs you. Even if you don't give any advise, just be her listener.

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