Before giving advice to someone you care about…ask yourself if you’ve really listened to them.

Then ask yourself if you’re been listening to the right things.

Sometimes people are asking for help about a different subject than it sounds like. Ask questions. Important questions, not thoughtless ones. They don’t have to answer you and you should let them know that, but being able to work through it with this kind of guidance is an important life skill. If they do answer your questions and have this conversation…don’t judge them. Don’t give opinions yet. It’s not about you, not at this moment. Wait. Listen.

When you stop talking it’s amazing, even without experience in the subject, what you can hear. What you can learn.

When they need your help focus on being more of a support guideline than a teaching one. You’re there to ask questions that get to the heart of the issue that’s bothering them so they can feel better and live healthy and slowly make the changes they need to make. You know them, you know what’s important to them right? You know what makes them passionate and happy and you want them to get there right? Sometimes (more often for some of us than others) there’s so much upset going on all at once that it becomes a writhing mass of confusion and ache that is really damn difficult to understand. Try to imagine perceiving so much negative feedback from life that it’s hard to focus on just four or five or six problems anymore.

When someone’s so desperate for survival, so desperate to find the light again you’ve got to support them in getting there their way. There are cracks in them so personal that no one will ever be able to 100% relate to.

You want to help them? You need to support them instead of trying to shape them. Help them listen to themselves when they’ve lost their inner voice to the over powering nature of what they’re going through. To me this is what true love looks like. Someone who accepts me as I am and just holds my hand when I’m timid about moving forward. There is a time and a place for your experience and opinions to come into the picture, just don’t let the importance of what you think will help overpower their own faltering steps. It’s already hard enough to walk forward without having to navigate how everyone thinks it should be done.

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