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Being there when you're needed

Updated on January 14, 2011

You have friends, I have friends, we all do. I love my friends like we are family so when it comes to giving them advice I'm vocal about what I think. I have my own moral compass and my own specific things that I like and don't like, just like you, just like anyone. I feel like it's my duty to give advice that directs my friends to stay headed true North on my moral compass. I know what is right and if they are headed in the wrong direction, as their friend, I must point them to the right path.

That's ok. I think we all should give our friends our advice. But the key is when giving advice it has to be just that. It has to be advice. Whenever you give your opinion doesn't always mean you gave advice. If your advice sounds anything like an order you can forget wearing the guise of a caring friend. Giving an order just turned you into the headstrong commander. It could be good advice but if your delivery is too harsh then it's likely you will have pushed away your listener. If you want to give advice you need to have a good delivery.


Good advice has a few common sentence starters...

I think...

It might be a good idea if...

Maybe you should...

If it was me I would...


Do you see how those don't give the impression that the person you're talking to must do anything. They all sound kind of like suggestions which oddly enough is what advice is, a suggestion! Of course those aren't the only sentence starters you could ever use but it's a start.

Of course there are some harsh sentence starters as well that you many not even realize you are using.

You need to...

You have to...

The only way is to...


Those all have the air of urgency. There is a time and place for urgency and necessity but giving advice often isn't one of them. Even in situations where you have strong feelings about the topic you should remember that your friends are your friends, not your kids (even kids often have negative reactions to certain ways of giving your opinion, just ask a teenager).

Though the tips I gave you above are pretty good there is something else you have to prepare yourself for...The person you are giving advice may not want to hear it. That is where the title comes in. If your friend doesn't take your advice you just need to let it go but be there when they need you again. There will be many a time when the advice you gave was the best idea but your friend didn't think so. If there is a situation where you can clearly see that your advice would have worked you shouldn't point that out. "I told you so" makes people not want to ask your opinion for another time. All you have to do when something goes wrong is be there. Don't sulk because they didn't take your advice and don't be there with a smirk because it's obvious that you were right, just be there. Your friends will appreciate it.


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