Complimentary advice

The power of a good compliment, or a generous dose of advice – both can be transformative. So why can’t all compliments be created equal? And, why do some advice-givers just piss us off?

  1. It’s about them, not you. Some people just don’t understand how to put themselves in another person’s shoes. So instead of trying to understand you, they think to tie in their personal story of overcoming an obstacle. Usually, these types of people won’t care if this advice falls on deaf ears – because it’s only benefiting their ego anyway.
    • Big bonus point: We all have different motivations. A strong dose of advice is backed with some empathic research.
  2. Giving the backhand. A good compliment has the power to dissolve self-doubt. A backhanded compliment is given to include an agenda. It never works. Example – after a few weeks of healthy eating, someone saying: “You look great – but don’t slow down now you’re just starting to see results”. Yup, that’s a nice-but-not way of saying “you’re not there yet”. Basically, if there is a “but” coming in your compliment, don’t even bother saying it. It isn’t a compliment.
  3. Assuming makes an ass out of you and me. The average person experiences between 35-48 thoughts a minute. 80% of those thoughts are negative (according to Google-based semi-factual belief). So, people who think to advise someone on something they’ve already been ruminating over, need to make sure it is a) positive and b) not redundant. When a person is down on their luck is usually a key time for predator-types to swoop in for self-serving purposes.
  4. Time is of the essence. To those people who swoop in after another individual’s downfall, and think that their commentary is the right move… Save it.  Not everyone’s rock bottoms are the perfect time to try and motivate a comeback story. The best thing a person can do is offer a hug and genuinely believe that this individual is trying the best they can. If you’re an advice-giver who struggles with self-restraint, try and consider if your end goal is to trigger a reaction.

Like I said, all compliments are not created equally. Take some time to analyze praise when it’s received. Find some correlating qualities that make for a feel-good statement.

If you consider these points – I promise your advice won’t fall on deaf ears,

S

 

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