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And advice is often manipulative.
My friend was having a party and couldn't decide whether to fill house with flowers. A third friend launched into a whole complicated monologue about cost of flowers, work involved arranging them, and so on.
The party giver's cat wandered in. I said I wouldn't pet it because I am allergic to long haired cats. The advice giver immediately sympathised.
'Oh, I am allergic to so many things, I have to avoid cats, dust mites, pollen... you name it!'
She reddened and suddenly went very quiet. Her 'advice' was based on fact that large number of pollen-laden flowers would have spoiled party for her!
An honest response would have been: 'flowers would make it hard for me to come to your party...'
I don't give advice to psychotherapy clients. We often need a range of options to process. I just support them in coming up with options, that's all.
Expert opinion is valuable - but giver needs to detach from outcome.
Practical advice is different: if water is pouring out of a burst pipe you need person who knows location of stopcock!
But if someone asks for more abstract 'advice' I'll first ask what they think they should do, and if they're stuck, I'll say, 'well, you might want to look at... etc'
That leaves it open. Because hey, if it all goes wrong I don't want responsibility of having made decision for them!
======================================= Rhiannon Hill is author of "10 Stupid Things That Can Screw Up Your Life" Get no-bull self-help book that tells it like it is... http://www.bookshaker.com/product_info.php?products_id=102 =======================================
Rhiannon Hill is the author of "10 Stupid Things That Can Screw Up Your Life" Get the no-bull self-help book that tells it like it is... http://www.bookshaker.com/product_info.php?products_id=102 =======================================