I am beginning to understand just how much people really don't need my advice unless they ask for it. This is a hard lesson to learn for me as this advice-giving pattern seems to be ingrained in my being. Especially being a mom, I often find myself full of too much advice for my boys, who are 12 and 9. I have to take a pause and remind myself that they really don't need someone telling them what to do. What a realization!
Giving advice to someone can discount their story and worse, make it seem as though my story is more relevant than theirs. It can also open the door for disconnection and can be a sign that you aren't really listening to the other. In the case of my sons, when advice was given, the one on the receiving end felt hurt and judged as if what he said (or thought, or made, or did) somehow wasn't good enough.
So what am I to do when I feel the urge to give unsolicited advice to my kids?
I find when I can remember to come from this accepting place, things go a whole lot better. The receiving person usually feels heard and accepted instead of judged and rejected. More importantly they are given more space to figure out their next steps themselves.
This, to me, is a big gateway to connection.