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Receiving Advice

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by Natalie Caine, M.A.

Receiving Advice
Photo courtesy Natalie Caine

Stages of life affect advice.  A joy of being beyond 40 is you lived life and still know you have a long future ahead.  In speaking with women and men, as well as young adults, mostly we want to speak, not be interrupted, and not feel the listener has robot answers. 

You want opinions about your thoughts and questions.  You don't want to be hammered or told the trite by someone just repeating what you said.

"What do you think about this idea and what do you think about that one?"   “Well, what I did in that situation was.....and that might not be what you would do."   “I say, let it go.  You did the best you could and now say goodbye to that person."  " I want you to go beyond saying the words, I AM SORRY.  I don't believe you anymore since I have heard that a billion times. 

I want to be inspired with a new plan."  " Keep the job you have and see it as a part of your life, not all of your life.  Go do something fun."  "Would you like me to call you tomorrow to follow up?"   "I would love for you to come by and meet my friend." “I don't know what to say about what you should do.  I am still here for you. What do you need today?"

The above are examples of advice.  You have expectations that need a checkup for fantasy verses reality.  Different parts of you, like the inner adolescent, react to people. 

You remember how you acted when you were an adolescent and someone gave you advice.  You remember your needs and thoughts were different then, more black and white and demanding, like a tantrum at times. 

Check in with yourself and see who needs what.  Is the adult getting the final check or is the younger self running the room?   You might benefit from hearing both inner voices.  "You always want it your way and I don't get anything."  ”I want you to....   I need to experience something different.  I have lost faith in your words and that brings me down."

You will find the words that work for you.  Check in first to explore who you are and who that person is standing in front of you.  Pause when given advice and say, “I need to think about it.  I will call you tomorrow."

Model how you want to be spoken to and what advice opens you verses closes you.  Feelings are feelings and they may not always be your best leader.  You know what I mean.  Wounds sit in our heart and the eyes come from that place at times. 
How do you offer advice and how do you like to receive opinions?  What motivates you to shift?  When you are feeling angry and vulnerable, or in need of self-care?  

You will make mistakes and you will be forgiven.  Is a motivation to grow, learn, and get beyond your habits?  Some days it is and others it isn't.  I will never forget years ago when a woman in one of my support groups asked me, "HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN IT IS TIME TO LEAVE?"  My advice was, “WHEN THE PAIN IS MORE THAN THE GAIN." 

Is that true for you?

Take good care,

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Thanks Natalie for bring up this important relationship issue. As a guy, my challenge has always been not to jump right in to problem-solving mode. It is so easy to do, that when I catch myself, my tongue is sore for days. My solution, which works when I think ahead, is to ask powerful questions. Tough to do some times, but the other person certain appreciates being treated with respect that they know what is best for me.  Bernie

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by on June 07, 2012 02:29PM
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