You want to be a good friend. You want to help your friends when they are in need. You want to give them good advice. But how can you really give good advice to your friends?
Like everything in life, there are steps you need to take when you are giving advice. If you don’t follow these steps, if you just open your mouth and allow the words to flow as they may, you can end up giving your friend the wrong advice and causing a bad situation to get worse. For this reason, we all need to take some caution when giving advice and consider some tips such as:
Tip number one:
Listen. Really listen to what your friend is saying and allow your friend to talk. Sometimes when we just sit back and begin talking about a situation we can find the solution ourselves. When this happens, no advice has to be given. We don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing and we still are helping our friends.
Tip number two:
Think about the situation. A lot of times situations will solve themselves and all it takes is time. For example, if your friend has a new haircut and it looks too short, what is the point in agreeing with her when she cries about it? It is hair. It will grow back with time.
Tip number three:
Don’t reverse your friend’s problem back onto yourself. Although, it sometimes is helpful to share thoughts about your past to your friends, now is not the time. Your friend is upset about his/her problems. She doesn’t want to hear about yours. On the same note, generally no two situations are ever exactly alike or are the people in the situations.
Tip number four:
Be nice as you are giving advice. Sure, sometimes we just want to shake our friends and make them see the light (example would be when they are dating someone we think isn’t good enough for them). Yet, we cannot do this.
What we have to do is be kind and show some tact when we give our advice.
On a side note, remember if this advice is relationship related, definitely watch what you say. Your friend may be angry with his/her mate now, but tomorrow they may kiss and make up. If you say something insulting, your friend will remember and may not like it tomorrow.
Tip number five:
If you can’t help your friend, say so. Don’t be shy about it.
If you think your friend may need professional help (a doctor or a therapist), say so.
Tip number six:
Finally, if your friend hasn’t really asked advice about a situation, don’t offer up your opinion. Sometimes being to friendly about giving your advice can be a sure way to ruin a relationship or a friendship.