Support or unsolicited advice?

Have you ever watched someone else's behaviour and had the thought that they should or shouldn't be doing something? Have you ever thought that someone would be happier in a different relationship? That their job is unfulfilling? That they have an unhealthy lifestyle? This is a common reaction, especially if the person you are concerned about is a close friend or family member and you want to see them happy. The truth is that we can only truly know what is best for ourselves and even that can be a challenge at times.

Having an opinion on the way someone behaves can otherwise be known as a judgement. When we are judgemental of others we lose our compassion for the human experience. We all do what we can, given our perhaps limited perspective at that time.

I find it helpful to ask myself the following question; what is it that I am thinking about this person that someone I admire would not be? It is not that this person would not notice or see the behaviour of others, they would. However, it would be seen as an innocent reaction to what a person believes about the world in that moment. If we choose to give unsolicited advice, we become wrong even if we are right. Decide what the compassionate thought would be, for example, I trust that my friend will find her way, everything happens for us not to us, people's behaviour is what it is until it is different. You may find that it is less important to give advice and more important to support someone in finding their own way.

If you really want to help someone, be the presence of the alternative. If you think that someone would be happier if they ate less junk food and exercised more, demonstrate a healthy lifestyle. If you believe that someone would be happier leaving or staying in a relationship, make positive and honest decisions in your relationships. Attempting to control the outcome of someone else's life distracts us from our own. Furthermore you create a stressful state within yourself which is unlikely to produce a helpful insight or presence for the other person. If it is part of who you are, to love what is, then people will feel better when they are with you anyway, even if they don't consciously understand why.

Next time you feel the need to give someone advice, ask first whether they would be interested in hearing what you have to say. Or otherwise notice the advice come up and jot it down on paper, you may find the advice was just as much for you, as it was for them.

Author's Bio: 

Lucy Pemberton-Platt is a Personal Wellness and Weight Loss Coach, Licensed Trainer and Writer. To find out more about Lucy, her workshops and writing visit