I haven’t written in a while because I strangely ran out of things to say. Reading over my posts, I feel like I’m complaining a lot more than inspiring people to push through their tough times, as I originally set out to do… but that got me thinking a lot about complaining, and reading people, and how/when to give advice.
My philosophy on giving advice is to only give it when it’s asked for. In my experience, people like to vent and complain a lot, but they usually don’t want advice.
Have you ever gotten into a fight with a loved one because they were giving unwanted advice? That happens to me and my mom all the time, I feel like we fight almost every single time we speak. These days we’re never on the same page, and I often call her when I have no one else to turn to and I just need to talk through a decision, but she always has to throw her opinion in the mix which I usually don’t agree with and it usually leads to an argument.
Chalk that up to “she’s your mother and you need to listen to her” if you want, but I think there’s something to be said about just listening to people who are going through something. You can objectively talk through the pros and cons of each side of the decision with them without interjecting what you think they should do. The best way to do this is to ask them a lot of questions. How would you feel if…? Have you considered…? Why does the idea of … make you feel…?
Many times they will come out and ask, “what do you think I should do?” at which point it’s totally fair game to tell them, but I would just wait until those words are said.
Remember, depressed people aren’t going to look at life the same way that you do. Maybe you think their problem is stupid and easily fixable, but it’s a big deal to them, so let them talk about it.