There’s nothing more terrifying than feeling helpless in a helpless situation. Fortunately, that’s what friends and family (or psychologists) are for. Sometimes it can seem impossible to cope with the obstacles that life throws in our way, so we seek comfort and advice from others. The thing is, it’s always easier to give advice rather than to take it. You never know until you’re in that situation, and even then, it still may not be quite the same. Here’s why it’s always easier to give advice rather than take it.
- We’re not putting ourselves in the other person’s shoes. Have you ever noticed that when someone comes to you with news, you automatically relate it back to your own life? We often neglect to put ourselves in another person’s shoes whenever someone comes to us for advice because it’s difficult to not think of yourself in that situation. Instead of thinking about how YOU would deal with it, try to see it from their perspective. Their circumstances may be much different than yours, and they’re a completely different person.
- We’ve already experienced a similar situation before. Just because we’ve experienced something similar before doesn’t make it any easier for the person who’s currently dealing with it. Our brain tends to block out terrible memories as a defense mechanism. We try not to remember how bad things were when they were actually happening; all that matters is that we got through it. The next time someone comes to you for advice, try to understand that this is something that they’re still going through.
- It’s not our problem. Everyone has their own problems that they have to deal with, so it can be frustrating to give advice to others when we’re concentrating on ourselves. Just remember that all people really need sometimes is a shoulder to cry on and for someone to hear us out. Just because it’s not our problem doesn’t mean that it’s not important
- It’s easier said than done. It’s been said that actions speak louder than words. Well, it’s true in this case. No matter what you say to try to comfort someone, it may never be enough. You can give someone the same advice over and over again, and they still won’t do anything about it. In the end, it is the choices we make that really matter.
- It’s not as big of a deal to us. Something that may seem tiny and insignificant to us could be a ginormous problem that keeps someone else awake at night. We all have different priorities and they may be in different orders for certain people. Regardless, we should know that we are all affected by things differently and we all have different reactions to situations.
- Everyone has a different level of tolerance. Some of us are a lot stronger than others. Some of us are a lot more sensitive than others. Some of us are better at handling crises than others. Recognize that everyone has different levels of tolerance for pain. What may take someone only a week to recover from may take another person several months.
- Third party objective. During any debate or argument, it is often essential to have a mediator – Someone who is able to see both parties’ sides and understand where they are each coming from. However, when a friend or family member is seeking help, we often cannot see the side of the other person or know all of the details. We do our best as a third party bystander, but we can never truly know what’s going on behind the curtains.