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How Loving Advice Turns Into a Weapon That Kills Relationships

How Loving Advice Turns Into a Weapon That Kills Relationships

“Don’t be upset.” “You shouldn’t worry so much.”

All of these statements are seemingly harmless and are meant to be helpful. But unfortunately, they are not either of those things. In fact, these statements could be construed as dismissive or insensitive. When your partner is already experiencing a period of doubt, the lack of support from you could lead them to even question your feelings for them.

Sharing a problem is sharing a piece of mind

When a person gets more intimate with someone, they are more willing to share their inner thoughts with them. They won’t just share how they feel with anyone because it’s only this “someone” that they can trust.

So when your partner is sharing their issues with you, they are making themselves vulnerable. When they share things like “I’ve had a tough day at work, my boss kept assigning me tasks even though I already had a lot on my plate,” or “I tried to help our neighbor out for her housework because she’s sick, and now I’m just exhausted,”  they’re not looking for a solution. They just want to vent to someone who will listen and try to understand.

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    Wanting to fix a problem is natural

    Instinctively, when someone shares with you about their bad day, it’s human nature to want to help out, especially someone that you hold near and dear. By offering help and support, you are by no means intending to be offensive.

    You may say things like “you shouldn’t worry so much,” or “from now on I will handle it,” or “but you shouldn’t feel that way, you should just…”

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      But sadness doesn’t need to be fixed

      This sort of problem does not require a solution on your part. They’re not asking you for one. And saying things like, “don’t worry about it,” is rude and dismissive. This is offering unsolicited advice when your opinion was never asked for to begin with.

      Your well intended advice could make them feel belittled, which will make them feel even worse because they are not receiving the support they need. This misleads them to think that you don’t care about their feelings, and you don’t try to understand them.

      Think about your partners issues like metaphorical houseplant. Plants need to be watered. But they don’t need water all of the time. Trying to be helpful because you think you know what it needs, you over-water the plant. You think you’re doing a good thing, but the plant doesn’t actually need more water.

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        The disclosure of their problem was not an invitation for you to try to solve them. It needs to be expressed and processed.

        Sometimes plants need water, but at other times they just need some sun. Sometimes people need advice, but at other times all that they really need is for you to listen and show that you are trying to understand. So instead of “over-watering your plant”, place it under the sun to give it the nourishment it needs.

          Purge the urge, be the rock

          When you are someone’s rock, you offer support simply just by being there. The rock doesn’t offer advice. The rock offers a place to rest until they are strong enough to continue on.

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          If there is no invitation to give advice, don’t. Chances are your partner doesn’t actually want it. If they did, they would have asked for it. Especially if your “helpful” advice entails what they should or shouldn’t do, how they should or shouldn’t feel.

          Sometimes things that you say with good intentions can be received negatively, ultimately making things worse. There are a few things that you can do to demonstrate active listening and to just simply be there for your partner.

          • Give reassurance through body language. Just listen. Keep eye contact and nod reassuringly as they are stating their points. This shows that you are intently listening, which is all that they really want.
          • Validate their feelings. Instead of saying, “I know exactly how you feel, it’s hard.” Say, “I can never understand how you feel, but I can see that it’s very hard for you.” This way you are validating their feelings without being belittling or condescending.
          • Show your consideration. Process everything that they have said to you and reiterate it in a way that shows understanding. Instead of saying, “you are under a lot of stress,” say,” you have a lot on your plate. The last thing you need it even more. I can see how this is very stressful for you.”

          Lend an ear. Listen. Let them process through their issues by talking through it. Just simply letting it out might make them feel better.

          More by this author

          Anna Chui

          Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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          Last Updated on July 23, 2019

          3 Keys to Success in Life (That Will Change You in 2019)

          3 Keys to Success in Life (That Will Change You in 2019)

          Do you want to program your mind and hack your body to stay in a positive state, a state of action taking throughout the day? I suggest you read on.

          We will look at 3 keys to success that successful people are doing that you can model to program your mind to be in the state of succeeding from the moment upon waking, and make decisions throughout the day that will lead you towards your desires.

          The Biggest Obstacle to Success: Going on Autopilot

          One of the biggest pitfalls in the modern society is to fall into the trap of going on autopilot, to be walking dead and do what everyone else are doing. Most of us are too busy reacting and responding to the environment and what’s happening around us.

          While we should act and take charge of our own world and our own reality. We forget to stay focused and we forget about our goals.

          Learn to be conscious. Being more conscious in your day-to-day decisions will lead you to take the appropriate actions to reach your goals.

          Have a purpose with life, act according to your values, and don’t let people tell you what to do or how things should be.

          When you start to make more conscious decisions, you will start to think about if this is going to take you closer to your goals or drift you further away.

          Why are you doing what you’re doing right now? Why are you reading this? Nothing else to do? Or are you reading this site so you might pick up a thing or two to consciously incorporate in your life to improve yourself that will move you in the direction you want?

          What are your goals? Be healthy? Lose weight? Be fit? Get the dream job? Have the dream house? Live the dream life? Make a certain amount of money? Start a family?

          If you truly want to pursue these goals and actually see them come true, you need to start taking actions consciously.

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          3 Keys to Success in Life (That You Can Start Doing Now)

          There are 3 things we have to consciously start doing:

            Now I’ll show you how you can achieve each of them in details.

            1. Write down Your Goals

            The first thing you do in the morning will determine what your day is going to be like. Program your mind to be in a powerful state from the moment upon waking, and you are guaranteed to have a productive and great day.

            How you can do this is by writing your goals down, every morning. Then, once you’ve done that, circle the most important goal,  the goal that in the long-term will have the most impact on your life.

            Now ask yourself this question: “What actions can I make today that will change everything and take me closer to this goal?

            Write down all the actions you can think of, circle the two most important ones and start doing them. Don’t stop until it’s done.

            This is an extremely powerful method of getting in the right state first thing in the morning. Instead of wandering around half-dead and spending 30 minutes to wake up, you are hacking your mind to be productive.

            Another powerful reason for writing down your goals is that by reading them it makes us feel good, write them as if they’re already accomplished. You’re already there.

            Re-reading and re-writing them every morning will ensure you to be in a resourceful state where you act based on your goals. You will make conscious decisions throughout the day that will support your goals and take you closer to them.

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            Goals that are not written down are merely wishes. Learn how to set great goals here: How to Set SMART Goal to Make Lasting Changes in Life

            The power of writing goals as if you’re already there takes us to point number 2.

            2. Create a Powerful Belief System

            Ask any successful person what their number one rule for succeeding is. They all have this in common:

            They believe in themselves and what they’re doing, and they are not afraid to say it.

            If you don’t believe in yourself, why would anyone else?

            When people ask you about your goals in life, don’t be afraid to say it out loud. If you have high goals, they might laugh and look at you funny. But if you’re insecure about your goals, you will make insecure decisions that will lead you nowhere.

            Go against the grain, stand out. After all, how many people in the world today are actually living the dream? Now, how many of these people will respond something in the likes of “I don’t know” if you ask what their goals are?

            Be determined and believe in yourself. People will respect you for having the guts for going after what you truly desire.

            I once heard a story about a guy that worked in a video store. Every day he would bring two magazines to work, one was an entrepreneur magazine and the other was a magazine loaded with expensive and fast-riding cars. His boss would ask him why he was bringing these magazines to work every day and his answer was: “I’m picking out the car I’m going to buy.”

            The response from the boss was like most average minds saying he was killing himself thinking like that, he would never ever get that car and would just end up disappointed when it never happened.

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            Turned out, the guy later quit the job at the video store and followed his dream. Some years later he return to the video store to return a video, and he did so in the car he picked out from the magazine.

            The same people were working in the store as the day he used to work there. Now can you imagine the looks on their faces when he turned up in the car they said he never ever would get?

            Priceless. And it all started by creating a powerful belief system.

            The first step to living and achieving your dream is to believe it and imagine it. When you believe in your mind that you’ve already achieved your goals, you will develop a sense of certainty. That certainty will lead to action steps, when you know what the outcome is going to be it’s much easier to pick out the actions that are necessary to get there.

            You are certain you will live in the body you want.

            You are certain you will live in the dream house with the dream family.

            You are certain you will have the job you want, and earn the money you believe you’re worth.

            By constantly repeating in your mind the images of yourself succeeding, you create neural pathways in the brain. Your mind can’t tell the difference between what you vividly imagine and the reality.

            Go out and day dream. Go out and believe, imagine already living your dreams and goals. With enough repetition, you become certain that this is the only outcome and you work backwards to find ways for making it happen.

            The next step in personal success that will lead to life success and happiness is to..

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            3. Invest in Yourself

            A wise man was once asked what the best possible investment someone could make. His answer was short, sweet and simple: “Invest In Yourself.”

            The man’s name is Warren Buffett. He is known as the world’s greatest investor. According to Forbes, he has a net worth of $53.5 Billion.

            Hiring a personal coach, getting a membership at a gym, buying healthy foods, books and education are not expenses. They are investments: investments in yourself.

            Some things you can do today to invest in yourself are:

            • Go to the gym and train. Physical training releases endorphins and makes you feel great. It increases productivity and energy levels. By investing time in the gym, you’ll be better able to handle daily tasks and what life throws at you. Forty-five to fifty minutes is all you need, it’s actually the best time to shoot for in a workout.
            • Eat good food. When you go to the grocery store after work, ask yourself: “What foods will nourish my mind and body to feel and perform better?” You are setting yourself up for greatness and consciously making yourself aware of what foods will empower you, therefore make better decisions.
            • Start reading books. Everyone buys books, but very few actually reads them cover to cover.
            • Stop reading books and start studying them. Few read the books they buy, but even fewer remembers what they read. Stop reading books and start studying books.
            • Study at least one hour a day. “One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field within three years. Within five years you’ll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do.” – Brian Tracy
            • Take notes. Never leave home without a pen and a piece of paper. The best ideas often comes in the least appropriate times, write them down. Don’t trust your mind to remember them—it won’t. Writing it down right away will also allow your mind to store and come up with more ideas. Nowadays, you can use plenty of notes-taking apps like Evernote.
            • Learn a new skill. Learn something new every day, a new skill or a new word. One new skill every day equals 365 new skills a year. Now imagine where you could be a year from now if you start doing it today?
            • Do something for yourself. Yes, hard work is a major factor for succeeding, but at least once per month do something fun, something outrageous and spontaneous that makes you feel alive. Have fun and enjoy yourself.

            The Crucial Rule to Follow

            The last piece of advice and rule to follow: Keep on, keeping on.

            Sometimes, things get hard and the road seems too long. You just have to keep on, keeping on.

            Revisit your goals and start imagining, all of the sudden you’ve changed your state and you’re on the right track again. The track that will take you to greatness.

            Use these 3 keys to create your destiny and achieve what you want in life.

            Go get it.

            More About Achieving Success

            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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