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Could you give better advice?
What if you gave advice they loved
Hi, Kelly Eden here from Medium.
This week I had a gentle reminder about giving too much advice.
As much for me as anyone else, I wrote this:
Here’s a taster:
People don’t take advice for a number of reasons.
I should know, I was someone who refused good advice because of how and when it was delivered.
Effective advice is powerful, but most gets ignored. If you understand why, you can help people the way they need it.
A few years ago I was having lunch with a large group of friends and acquaintances.
One of them was Vicky.
I’d known her for a while but we only spoke at events like this.
She was a lovely person, though definitely in the acquaintance category.
We were chatting and I briefly mentioned a health problem my husband was having that week. It was an ongoing issue and caused a lot of stress in our marriage, but mostly I was just concerned for him.
“It’s okay. It’s just been a bad week. I’m exhausted,” I said.
I’d barely explained the situation when Vicky’s relaxed expression flipped to intense concern.
She took me by the shoulders and lowered her voice.
“I’ve gone through the exact same thing with my husband. It never gets better. Leave.”
She looked at me as if she was waiting for a thank you or an decisive action of some kind.
Was she expecting me to follow her advice right this second?
“Um, I…” I looked around for someone else to talk to.
I barely knew this woman and leaving my marriage wasn’t anywhere near where I was at. I looked across at Vicky’s husband, still very much married to her.
What? I should leave but you haven’t?
Her advice wasn’t just badly timed, it was confusing.