How to Give Good Advice
by Chris Delacruz and JT Tan
When we have problems, it’s so difficult to solve it ourselves. Sometimes, it is easier to help others with their problems. Giving advice to ourselves is much more difficult than giving advice to our friends or family members. We have learned some really good strategies on giving advice to others.
First, listen. Yeah, just shut up and listen. Do not talk. Just listen. Let the person who has a problem tell you everything first. Instead of giving feedback right away, just nod your head to let your friend know that you understand their situation. Sometimes, our friends just need someone who to be there for them, someone who will not judge, someone who tries to understand first.
Second, be patient. Don’t think that you can solve problems right away. Some problems do take time to be fixed. Some wounds just need time to heal. If you’re looking for a quick fix to some problems, then you’re on the wrong track when giving advice. Sometimes, the advice we give won’t take effect right away. Sometimes, our friends won’t even take the words of wisdom immediately. They become stubborn, and they continue to repeat the mistakes. Just be patient, and don’t give up on your friend.
Finally, ask your friend what solutions they have in mind. Sometimes, your friend may already have the solution. It’s better if you ask them for options. You might be surprised that they already know the answer to their own problems. They just have a hard time implementing it. And if they come up with no solutions, then you can offer your own solutions. Just don’t insist on it. Don’t force your friends to take it.
When we have problems, we want someone to help us. We want to hear our friends’ opinion or advice. It’s much better if we are prepared to give advice as well so that we don’t antagonize or make matters worse. Next time a friend or family member needs advice, just listen, be patient, and ask your friend for their own solutions. And if a friend doesn’t solve his problem right away, just remember, it is not your fault. You can lead the horse to the water, but you can’t force ’em to drink.