“Stop asking for advice when what you really want is support.” – Amanda E. White
I’m in the process of reading the seven habits and habit five is about seeking to understand first and then be understood. This is something I’d like to think I’m good at, we all have our flaws obviously. I’ve tried to get in the habit of creating a safe space for others as well as asking whether someone wants support or advice.
Here are some ways you can ask for support and not advice
- Will you listen to me while I vent?
- I need someone to listen to me right now. I don’t need advice.
- Will you remind me that everything is going to be okay?
- Can you please reassure me that I’m not going crazy?
- Can you tell me ____
- Will you provide me with support around this?
- I’m stressed out and I need to get this off my chest. No need to give advice.
- Can you remind me that I’m capable of doing this?
- All I need you to do is listen right now
Here are some ways you can give support and not advice
- I understand why you feel that way
- What do you need from me right now?
- That sounds really difficult
- You’re going through a lot right now
- I support you
- It makes sense that you’re feeling these emotions
- If there anything I can do to support you?
- I’m sorry that you’re going through this
- That’s understandable
- I love you
- Can I help you out in any way?
As you can see, these responses and prompts aren’t surrounding advice, but listening and support. Two things that are essential to humans. Sometimes someone just wants you to listen, it’s important to know what you need or what the person you’re talking to is needing.