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April 23, 2007

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Ahh... the taboo word "advice." As a Therapist, clients often come to me asking for it. I am very resistant to give it to them - why? I once read that when you give another advice, it implies that they are not capable of finding the answers for themselves. Maybe that is why many people get defensive when advice is offered. I've found it more helpful to ask questions to get the other person to "think" about their situation and come up with their own answers. People then feel empowered and capable. They also can't come back and blame me if my advice stunk!
I thought I would share one of my favorite handouts I like to give clients intitled "Please Listen." Author Unknown.

When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, you have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn't feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.
Listen! All I ask is that you listen. Don't talk or do - just hear me.

And just for the record, your advice/ suggestions/ feedback have been very helpful Jamie! Give yourself a break.

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