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Winter retreat in the Netherlands 30.11.-3.12!
Bernie, Tuulia, and Pete of Honesty Europe sitting outside in the forest on chairs

Should you give advice? Why I propose that you never give advice.

Do you have a hard time not advising people close to you?

Are you one of those people who want to ”save others” and have a good idea how to tackle each problem?

By purpose I made the second question provocative!

I guess I gave out what I think about getting advice I did not ask or wish for ?

My mom liked giving advice. I know in my head that she means well. In my body I notice tightness and restlessness when I get advice from her. Some years back me and my brother took my mom on an 8 day trip to Barcelona, that was the one place she wanted to see, mainly the Gaudi architecture.

During the trip – which I organized and paid for – we got quite a bit of advice and my brother and I made a request to have an advice free afternoon. She could not manage that.

Well, my point is not to badmouth my mother but rather point out how ingrained advice giving is in many of us (I hear my grand mom giving a lot of advice so my mom had a good teacher!).

And to reveal that I also have a tendency to give advice.

I hate it and words of advice come out of my mouth many times before I even notice it. Especially with Pete and with my son, ”because of course our kids need our advice”.

Bullshit. Kids are smart and it’s good to learn and find out for yourself. And my ”kid” is already 19.


Do you feel pretty pissed off when you get an advice instead of the other listening to you?

I asked people what they want to read in our upcoming newsletter and this was one of them: ”What makes “advice” so not useful in most circumstances – from a Radical Honesty perspective?”

One another thing about advice giving is to check if you are actually giving it for your sake or for their sake.

Many times advice giving is for us. We want the other to get over their struggles, quandary or challenge. Or we don’t want to witness a loved one feeling sad or angry.

As you most likely well know: most of us don’t want unsolicited advice.

We want to be seen and heard.

Most times we can handle our emotions and get over them eventually. Feeling sad, angry or confused won’t kill us.

Figuring things out ourselves can be very empowering.

Getting advice when we didn’t ask for it can feel patronizing. I tend to make myself feel stupid when I get advice I don’t want to and when I actually already know the best approach.

So how can we avoid giving advice when it comes so ”naturally” for us?

I try to ask ”do you want my opinion or advice” – and wait for the answer. If they don’t want it I can keep it to myself and my ”need” to advice is already most likely less as I can access more the distinction is this for me or for them.

And by the way I purposely had in the headline the word ”never”. I did it to be more provocative, to get you interested in reading the text to make the point simple rather than using the wording ”hardly ever” or ”very seldom”.

I don’t much like the use of the word ”never” (or always), it seems too absolute and black and white. Life tends not to be like that. We tend to be dynamic and change our wishes and

We also tend to get over things when we allow ourselves to be for a moment in a place of ”I am so mad that I will never forgive you” to move into a place ”I want to forgive you” and ”I think I will forgive you”.

I do like using the word never in an ironic way when it’s clear to me and other than I don’t actually mean never and want to exaggerate.

Tuulia & Pete

P.S. Did you already see these upcoming opportunities to practice online (and in person)?

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