Advice giving comes to me about as easy as breathing. That does not make it a good thing necessarily because it is my inclination to give it whether someone asks for my thoughts or not. Feeling I can almost always see what others should do does not make my opinion accurate or the best for someone. It was a bit of a shock to learn that giving advice not asked for is a codependent behavior and a form of trying to control others. When someone asks my counsel and I respond with recommendations, that’s truly trying to help, assuming I don’t try to push them toward my guidance (that’s controlling). For a person with issues of codependency the line between giving advice and trying to control is a faint one easily missed if I am not cognizant of my tendency. Often the best use of my advice is to use it on myself!
The true secret of giving advice is,
after you have honestly given it,
to be perfectly indifferent
whether it is taken or not,
and never persist
in trying to set people right.
Hannah Whitall Smith
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