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Giving advice: What's more helpful?

Posted by on Dec. 12, 2014 at 2:03 PM
Max
  • 15 Replies

It seems like there are two schools of thought when it comes to giving advice in this group.  (really CM and life in general I guess)

A. The person needs to be told the truth about how she can improve her situation even if that means pointing out the person's flaws. The only way to improve the situation is for the troubled individual to do her part to fix it. 

or

B. Give support and comfort the person. Give her sympathy and avoid saying anything that may be perceived as hurtful even if that means avoiding suggestions about how the person is contributing to their own problems. 

How do you respond when members ask for advice?

I think the way we reply has a lot to do with how we would want to be responded to. I know when I post about a problem I really would like suggestions for solutions, even if that means I have to admit to myself that I am the source of the problem. 



by on Dec. 12, 2014 at 2:03 PM
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Replies (1-10):
steelcrazy
by Emerald Member on Dec. 12, 2014 at 3:01 PM

I want the truth, no matter how much it may hurt, I really just want to be told the truth.

wakymom
by Ruby Member on Dec. 12, 2014 at 5:15 PM

 I try to find that happy medium: "I know that is frustrating/annoying/etc, but . . ."

Ideally, I'd like any advice I ask for to be phrased similarly.

 

 

 

coolmommy2x
by Platinum Member on Dec. 12, 2014 at 5:17 PM
A little bit of both I think. I like to be honest but also offer sympathy when needed. Maybe just find softer words to use.
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GwenMB
by Gwen on Dec. 12, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Exactly this.  It's not an either/or thing - we can give sympathy while offering meaningful advice.  I'm far more likely to listen to someone who is sympathetic & kind.

Probably 5 years ago, 2 women at church saw my boys do something they shouldn't have done (play in front of the band equipment w/o touching the instruments) that I didn't know was a problem.  One lady used a scolding tone when telling me the boys shouldn't play there, the other used a kind tone.  I later approached the lady with the kind tone to find out more about the issue (and once I understood the issue I was able to keep the boys away from the area of concern).  I would never have felt comfortable approaching the lady who used the scolding tone & may not have cared nearly as much about doing what she said.

Being kind goes a long way toward people being able & willing to hear you (and potentially comply, depending on the situation).

Quoting wakymom:

 I try to find that happy medium: "I know that is frustrating/annoying/etc, but . . ."

Ideally, I'd like any advice I ask for to be phrased similarly.

 

 

 


Jinx-Troublex3
by Platinum Member on Dec. 12, 2014 at 5:44 PM
As many know, I am straightforward to the point of blunt.

I can not stand when people sugar coat things. I want the facts put in front.of me so I can make a plan of attack amd then impliment it.

There is definitely a time qnd place for sympathy and softness and I do put that out at timee. For me it depends on how the perwon comes across in their post.

The more snotty and whiney you are, the more blunt I will be.

If you come across as sincere and REALLY wanting help and having made an effort, I will be quite gentle.
ljmom24
by Gold Member on Dec. 12, 2014 at 5:45 PM
Little bit of both probably more towards the second mainly because it's drilled into us at work. It's never there fault even if it you can't actually say that. Trust me Id rather be blunt sometimes but I like my job so guess I'm kind of trained now to put that positive spin on things. Or aknowlodging someone's feelins even if I think they are totally wrong.
M4LG5
by on Dec. 12, 2014 at 5:50 PM
1 mom liked this

 My responses depends on what they are asking for.  If it sounds like a vent..I'm more inclined to be supportive if it feels appropriate.  If it sounds like she is asking for advice....then i will tell the truth.  I do try to not to use harsh words to help but more sympathetic as in....have you tried ____? 

lizfnf
by Silver Member on Dec. 12, 2014 at 6:20 PM
I'm all for the truth. But I've noticed that some women seem to anger respond before reading an entire post. Also, there's constructive criticism and then there's being a douche. Some people go right for the douche.
mom2jessnky
by Platinum Member on Dec. 13, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Only one of those options is giving advice, the other is comforting/coddling.

If I ask for advice I want advice, not to be told I'm pretty. So I assume when people ask for advice they actually want that. If they just want to be told they're pretty they need to put that in their OP so I know how to respond.

mjande4
by Platinum Member on Dec. 13, 2014 at 9:23 AM

I don't sugar coat things. I firmly believe that too many women come here under the "disguise" of wanting advice, but what they REALLY wanted was verification for their shortcomings. I am well known throughout my community and work for being direct and truthful. I am in several elected positions for this reason. I'm not afraid to tell people what they don't want to hear.

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