People don’t want advice. They either desire to vent or desire to affirm the decision they already planned to make regardless. The worst thing you can ever try to do is to advise someone on what to do or how to live. Few people will listen and adopt it anyway.
The reason is simple. If they do accept your advice, in their minds, they are not only wrong, but you are somehow better or smarter than they are. And to make matters worse, they are now indebted to you for the aid.
People don’t want to be wrong. They just want to know that others are worse, and then they don’t have to change.
So, either you can share your own similar, but worse mistakes from the past, or simply be an ear to their indecision and drama. After all, misery not only loves company, but accommodation.
Ironically, if we truly want to be a help to our friends and family we must ensure they never actually come to us for help in the first place. But instead, they quietly watch and are inspired to emulate our righteous actions from a far without us ever knowing their true impact.
And in the end, not only they, but their egos, can take the credit for saving or changing their own lives.
Eric Christopher Webb © 2016
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The WordsByWebb blog distributes a weekly quotation and reflection every Tuesday from National Black Authors Tour bestselling author and multi-talented writer Eric Christopher Webb (E.WEBB?!) to inspire, motivate and encourage personal development of its readers. The blog also regularly shares news, updates, new poetry and excerpts of the writer’s latest work. Webb, a spoken word artist, former Washington News Correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and nationally-syndicated Soul Searching columnist, has also been featured in movies, music videos, commercials and literary documentaries on HBO, BET Weekend’s Evening of Spoken Word, BET’s Rap City, Video Jukebox, The Party Machine, The Learning Channel, Voice of America and XM Radio. He is the author of five books, including "The Garvey Protocol: Inspired By True Events," a 2013 Phillis Wheatley Book Award Finalist for First Fiction and the National Black Authors Tour bestseller, "Love Letters, Death Threats & Suicide Notes." He has also contributed to numerous anthologies, journals and magazines.
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