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Posted October 24, Reviewed by Abigail Fagan.
Making that hard decision myself really forced me to grow, I told them. And we knew you had to choose that pain for yourself. As fellow Psychology Today blogger Thomas Plante points out in a funny and insightful blog postgiving advice can be fraught with peril. Some people react rebelliously and do the very thing you advised against. Others get defensive and attack you, leading to the bewildered reply, "I was only trying to help! Why the negative reactions? Plante points out that many people view advice as an infringement on their personal freedom or an attack on their competence.
Your withdrawal could be interpreted as cold and distancing, or, worse, uncaring. That accomplishment will make you both feel better.
That's the upside. With one exception, the nine tips below will enable you to help a friend without giving direct advice about action to be taken. The goal is to respect their right of self-determination and to strengthen their sense of self:. What might work with one friend might not work with another.
Use your good judgment. Ideally, your advice will strengthen your friend and give them more confidence in their own judgment in the future. And if you feel like you are getting in too deep, remember that ultimately it's your friend's job to solve their own problems, not you. If you do feel overwhelmed, consider recommending professional help. Sometimes I find my own advice—or non-advice—almost impossible to follow.
In fact, right at this moment, I can feel my halo slipping down my head. I have broken every one of these guidelines, just in the past year. Meg Selig is the author of Changepower! Like her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.
Meg Selig Changepower. About the Author. Read Next. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist.
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The Best Way To Give Advice To Someone.