Thursday, May 24, 2012
I don't ask for advice or give it for the most part. I may suggest something like what to wear or a good place to eat, but advice is what you get when you have a serious issue to contend with. My father taught me that advice from the outside is pointless ... decisions need to come from within yourself or they won't work. We always went to our father for advice anyway because he knew so much about so many things. But, the answer was always "well, lets talk about this". He would discuss the issues, pointing out different points of views, listen to us discuss our points of view, suggest possible results of different approaches, but he never said "this is what you should do". He never solved our problems for us and the result was that we learned to solve our own problems. We made our own decisions and win or lose, we lived with the results. I am sure secretly when he saw us taking a wrong turn he wanted to reach out and say "no, no, not that way!", but he didn't and I am greatful. We owned our pride in our successes and the disappointment in our failures. I am sure I am a better person for it and hopefully my children feel the same way, as that is the way I raised them.
Now, of course, there are exceptions to this rule :). As a nurse I often had to give advice or point out solutions (nothing personal guys, but men are the worst at accepting lifestyle changes). Hopefully I tempered my "suggestions" by leaving the decision up the them, or giving them choices so they could feel like they had made the decision. That kind of conversations is an art ... many times a life saving art, which I feel is well worth the infraction of my rule of not giving advice. My bottom line though is, if you need advice, don't come to me ... if you want to discuss something, I am all ears as, in the end, it is listening to yourself talk that often leads you to the right answer.