Yesterday was a heavy day for me and it ended with a headache that persisted throughout the night and into the morning. It's nothing I can't handle and I've had far more troubling days, but it left me feeling drained and in need of some space and time to think. Fortunately I have it however, also last night, a friend of mine called and needed some advice. In truth I think it was more about needing a sounding-board, someone to bounce her thoughts off, so she suggested breakfast. I decided it was exactly what I needed to draw a line beneath my own situation for a time and provide the gap or detachment from it.
We went to a small place neither of us had been before and ordered up.
I had poached eggs on rye bread slathered with smashed avocado with feta cheese, mushrooms and garnished with dukkha and a pile of weeds on top - See above and the below image after I pulled it apart. My friend ordered up a toasted ham and cheese sandwich served with eggs benedict and a pile of weeds also - See the second image below. Of course, there was coffee; there's always coffee.
The food was great, I mean really great. The combination of flavours seemed to explode in my mouth, the dukkha adding an element to eggs on smashed avocado toast I'd not experienced before, but it was for other reasons we'd convened, so we got down to it.
My friend, let's call her April since in only a few days we'll be in the month of April, secured a new role with the government five months ago. I was her main reference so was interviewed over the phone for an hour on her behalf; I was happy that she'd secured the job. It requires low-level security clearance though as it's a quasi-military government department and it's that which is causing the issues; five months later and she's still not cleared.
She currently works at a financial institution so is earning, however the government called her yesterday saying that they'd like to start her soon and irrespective of the security clearance. It sounded like a good idea. The problem is, they also told her that should her security clearance not come through, she'd be terminated with immediate effect. That would leave her unexpectedly jobless and with a mortgage and other financial commitments that might not be a great situation.
Her question was, G-dog, what do you think I should do?
When asked this question, my response is always, what are your options, basically to get the person to think about and list them out. She listed them and I followed up with, what do you think you will do? To this, she responded with a course of action and we began to discuss it, the pro's and con's, and as we did I could see her moving towards a decision.
Of course, she asked me a few times, but what would you do, however I'm always reluctant to offer my opinion in situations like this because my personal situation may differ from the person asking me and the decision I would take may be skewed and unsuitable because of it. I also like people to come to their own decisions, albeit with my input, as they are more likely to own their decision and be comfortable with it.
She came to a decision eventually and I could see her relax as it settled on her.
Interestingly, she thanked me for my advice and said that I'm always such a great listener; I didn't really give any advice though, I merely helped her logic through the options and she ended up circling back to the option she'd already determined was the best. I was happy to help though and felt good about guiding her through the process...and I got to eat some scrumptious food too!
Advice can be a double-edged sword and should be approached with caution by those giving it and those receiving it.
Unsolicited advice, that is, advice given when a person has not asked for it, is one of my pet hates. I have received so much great advice over the years and some terrible advice as well; some was asked for and some unsolicited. Either way, I've learned that advice must be weighed and measured, not blindly taken on-board or discarded. It's there to help, by and large, however sometimes it's of no help whatsoever and can be totally irrelevant or even destructive. The receiver needs to understand how the advice may apply to them and make independent decisions, in my opinion at least.
These days I rarely give advice in situations like above preferring to prompt the person to think things through for themselves. I believe it to have more value than simply saying, you should do this, or you should do that. Reasoning it out gives the person ownership and responsibility for the decision; right or wrong, they have themselves to blame or thank for taking the decision in the first place.
Have you been in a position to offer advice or have you received it? What was the situation and how did it work out? Feel free to comment below and tell me about it.
Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default; tomorrow isn't promised so be humble and kind - galenkp
[All original and proudly AI free.]
Any images in this post are my own.
I have always found myself in situations where I have to give advice and I admit I use the technique you used on your friend too. Instead of talking endlessly after they've said their piece, I listen intently and then ask them questions about what they think about it and how they can work it out.
I feel that's always the best way to advise by listening. Let people make decisions themselves because deep down, they know what to do. They just need someone to hear them before they take any steps.
I found my taste bud swirling around at the image of the foods shown and saying it was sumptuously made added more delight to it.
Perfect, a great way to do it.
Doing this allows them to feel good about decisions that work out and means that they're accountable for decisions that do not. They have no one to blame and, as we all know, blame is negative and unproductive.
It was tasty indeed. I'll be going back to that café for certain!
Yes, it is. That's why one has to be very cautious when dealing with humans especially when it deals with decision-making. Whatever they intend to do will make a "show" in their plans.
Oh, gosh, now I wish I could zoom myself out there too😂😂. I love good food.
The danger in giving advice to friends (or others) is that if it doesn't work out that person could lay blame and that could end badly for the friendship. Of course, there's a time and place for it, situations where giving advice is very warranted. One needs to approach it with caution.
Yeah, one needs to. Humans can be scary and loving too.
I think giving advice is not always good, it all depends on the person you are talking to.
I would say that I have a somewhat large social circle, and not all my friends want to hear a possible "solution" when it comes to telling their problems, I have had friends even reproach me when I apparently don't say the "right advice" or just tell them that I would do something totally different than what they originally had planned.
I guess life is slowly teaching me that it's not always good to give advice. Just as I have given them, I have also received them, and even I myself have felt somewhat "attacked" when someone tries to give me advice because sometimes there is advice that goes against your principles and things that you have been doing maybe for years, and to see how a friend can give you "advice" saying that what you are doing is completely wrong. I don't know, at least I would rather not have known that.
and no, it's not that I've been doing anything excessively wrong, we were just chatting about arguing with strangers on social networks like twitter or facebook xd
btw, nice food pics :)
Exactly the point of my post I guess, advice-giving can be a touchy thing.
That's bonkers, but probably quite human. I think people are a little lazy and want answers fed to them. It happens with the media (news services) which, in my opinion, is little more than propaganda fed to the masses. People want things to be easy, and often like the thought of passing the blame off to someone else, which is easily done if someone has handed them advice.
Unsolicited advice can be quite damaging, I agree. Facebook and other such "social medias" are renowned for it; thankfully (by design) I don't have any social media, other than Hive.
Thanks for your comment, I appreciate it.
Well, in my opinion, what you have done is much better than advice; accompanying a person in the reasoning to do, leading him to think about the pros and cons of a situation is not a trivial matter.
I think it's a bit like the story of the poor man to be given a fish or taught to fish.
However, I agree with you on the subject of advice, especially the unsolicited ones; I always prefer to refrain from advising; yes, I listen and if I can encourage the interlocutor to reason, I try but then I stop there, the choices are up to him and he has the task of pondering the situation.
We all have opinions on things and (for men) we tend to be problem solvers, and quick to do so. Sometimes women just want us to listen, and not come up with solutions, as they already know what they want to do, they just want to say it out loud for confirmation. That's sort of what happened yesterday, she knew the answer. I listened, deflected it back, she reasoned it out and said, yep, that's what I'm going to do.
You're such a good listener G-dog, and you have great advice, is what she said after. Lol...I gave zero advice.
Heh heh in the end you managed to give advice without giving advice... it's a kind of super power in my opinion!💪
Here's some unsolicited advice for you:
It's Friday and the weekend is here! (Almost) 😁
Eh heh I'm almost ready, I'm working on it... the finishing touches and it's published!😉
And anyway this is a very useful advice, but I thought like you!😁
They say, great minds think alike.
Eh eh You are certainly a great mind, I have a long way to go but with your words you flatter me, I thank you.
That food looks pretty yum!! Even the bushes, looks like an elk might be hiding in there, be careful!
Advice is a tricky situation especially in that situation. I personally would would have done the same especially when it comes to someone's employment situation. Helping them weight the pros and cons is about as best as you can do for her.
I have seen where a similar scenario didn't go to well and even experienced something similar where I took a job that the position wasn't officially approved yet and lost it a month later when the company headquarters didn't see the need for it like the actual branch did in the end. I did get a few weeks pay settlement to make up for the bad experience while I looked for a new job but I still couldn't go back to my old job since I had been replaced. It did push me to pursue higher and am in the job I am now so it all worked out well in the end but it was still an uncomfortable and worrisome moment in time.
I found no elk hiding in the forest they put on the top of my food, but I wouldn't have been surprised if I did!
Women handle advice a bit differently to men (mostly) so that was a factor for me also. Men can be more straightforward so delivering an opinion can work; not always though. There's situations in which, if someone stepped me through the process I did with April yesterday, I'd probably be a little annoyed. I tend to do that in my head anyway, it's how I reason things out. Sometimes a direct answer is required and if I ask someone that's what I want, because I value their direct opinion. That doesn't happen often though. Very rarely in fact.
Mostly, delivering advice like that is fraught with danger and I rarely do it.
That job situation, the same sort of thing as April's, must have felt pretty shit for you. To be dropped like that and with no chance to go back to the other role. It happens though which is why April was uncertain. Yours worked out though, and I think her's will also, even if it means she's back out on the job market.
I found no elk hiding in the forest they put on the top of my food Well that's too bad. You know what they say about an elk in the bush!! It makes a good steak. I'm shameless I know, I love all these critters but wouldn't think twice about putting them in my stomach!
Seeking major advice from others is dicey on the best of days, since nobody but me is in my head and understand my needs the way I do therefore I should probably figure it out myself. You are right, men and women take advice differently, as a woman overall I think we need to become more sure of ourselves and you may have actually given her the steps to get there and that will also be useful in the future in other situations.
Oh I was crushed, it was def a harsh welcome to the real world and my realization to rely on my own self moment. My initial intuition said it was a bad idea but I wasn't sure why but everyone around me was telling not to pass it up since it was it was a good opportunity. The same for my current job, my surroundings tried to talk me off the ledge but it clearly was a better choice to ignore everyone's advice and just go for it. so many ways this shit can work out. Life's wild surprises.
I've never tasted elk, maybe I'll have to EMA one to death and sear it up on a fire then give it a try. Of course, there's no elk down here in Australialand.
I've learned the hard way about giving and taking advice over the course of my life; I did it wrong in the past, I'll admit because I'm a guy who knows how to display ownership, but I learned from it and now I think I do it pretty well, most of the time. In the case of my friend yesterday, that's certainly the case.
This is a thing of course, sometimes they're good ones and sometimes not. Either way, it's life.
There is no learning life lessons quite like the hard way, they tend to stick to the back of our heads real good!
An EMA match is in order then!! It's delicious in a port or balsamic reduction. You can put a bush on top too if you want to keep it comfortable in it's natural environment. 😂
Advice is one of those things people ask for, but rarely want. What they usually need is an excellent sounding board. I like how you turn it back on them, allowing them to decide for themselves. Ultimately, I think that is the only decision a person will be happy with. Taking ownership, as you put it - I think it empowers you.
I am not offended by unsolicited advice, but, people should not be offended if I don't take it.
That looks like a delicious breakfast and I am a fan of avocados!
I understand that some people just think they're helping with advice. I guess it's in the delivery of it. I know people that hand it down like Moses delivering the Ten Commandments, or people who don't listen first then proceed to spew the advice out. I think people do it to feel important, seem intelligent or just because they feel like their opinion is the only one that counts.
I believe it's always best to help lead people towards their own outcomes and to allow them to retain the responsibility for decisions and ramifications.
Sadly, I am the only person in my household who likes avocado. BLT sandwiches go right over the top with avocado on them. Mmm.
You sound a lot like my late father in law in how you approach things, which I think is one of the reasons I like chatting with you so. When I was a youngster my parents had no time for me at all. Want to go throw a ball around? No, too busy. Help me with my homework? No, too busy. Etc.
Conversely, I remember my father in law putting absolutely everything aside when I needed advice. The first time it happened I was really quite unnerved; I think I was expecting to be brushed off I almost forgot what I had to ask of him. Then I realised that is who he is, and I like to think I learned a lot from him and grew a lot in the process.
I don't mind a BKT now and then, but avacado? You're always taking things to the next level! I'm on it!
Thanks for your kind words. I always like to make myself available for people (where possible) as I know it's often difficult to put things into perspective when standing too close to the situation. An ear to listen and a few words to help bring clarity can go a long way. It's sad you didn't have that from your parents, but nice that your father in law offered it.
Most of the time we always know what to do we just need someone to listen us make us think more clear.
Some nice looking food you ate there :)
Exactly, a little confirmation that we're on the right track with our thoughts can go a long way towards providing the confidence to act.
The food was great, too many weeds piled on top, but once moved to the side, the good stuff was revealed. 😁
You were interviewed an hour on her behalf?? That must have been a hell of a job you referred her for.
Very smart. I do the same, rarely saying what I think but rather trying to ask questions to get them to think. You wrote later that advice can be a double-edged sword. That called to mind a line from Fellowship:
"Advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill."
Hope things work out for your friend.
Jobs that require clearance can be like this. You'll be amazed at the questions they asked, really invasive ones. (Not about me, about my friend). It's commonplace and I've done it before. I can't say the job here, that should give you an idea.
Advice can. Be destructive to a friendship, I've seen it happen, and so it's something I try not to give. That's not to say I don't, but one must pick the mark and situation carefully I think. That quote you wrote says it all perfectly.
Let me give an instance. A friend came to me to tell me about something. I gave her the best idea I could ever give to a friend. Most times, the advice we get may be bitter but helpful which is the truth.
She insulted me badly and I felt bad. This is why it is good to know the kind of people that you will give advice to
I think it's best to keep the advice to oneself and help guide the person to their own outcomes instead.
I am asked for advice often, and getting them to address pros and cons is where I start too. I take it a step further, and write down what they tell me. I have been known to add some points that escaped the first cut.
If it's a life changing decision, I give them the list to read and pray over; and edit for a second meeting. Usually they have made their decision by this time, and I ask them to defend their position. This tends to strengthen their final decision, and bring them peace!
Now for some unsolicited advice for you, take the herbal fever few; and it will stop your headaches before they move to migraines!
Be blessed and keep posting....
That's a good strategy, it keeps them accountable for the decision and therefore the result.
As for the headache, I took Panadol and it's gone. I'm as good as
It does work better with buy in! They also keep to it because they understand why.
I'm glad it's gone! I have helped dozens on suffers with feverfew. The last hospital she was in, I was treating 7 of 10 nurses with herbals!
It sounds like you had a heavy day and a persistent headache, but it's great that you were able to take some time for yourself and have breakfast with your friend. It's also admirable how you helped your friend work through her decision-making process without giving direct advice, allowing her to come to her own conclusion. I agree that advice should be approached with caution, as it can be a double-edged sword. It's important to weigh and measure advice, and ultimately make independent decisions. However, we are all different and some actions have totally different outcomes from another party. No matter what I think we can all agree that this food looks delicious!
Yep, that's what I said, because that's what happened.
Thanks for paraphrasing my post and putting it in this comment.
The bad side of "counseling" is that it can be addictive to some. I had a friend who I helped a lot, mainly also only through listening and questioning as you did. But all the "problems" and negativity never drained out. One day I realized that the only thing that drained out was my energy. I made some boundaries to our meetings and somehow our paths went in different ways. It was only a few years later, I realized there are so-called energy vampires and probably she was the one. Maybe that was all the help she needed from me.
Individual's situations definitely make a big difference in an answer if each is faced with the same question.
Lots of times though, it is still beneficial to be able to talk it out with someone you trust. I can't tell you how many of my own questions I've answered myself just by being able to say them out loud.
It was nice that she trusts you and that you could be there when she needed it.
Talking it out is exactly what yesterday was about and she worked her way towards her ultimate decision because of it. She has now handed her 30 days notice of resignation and is moving forward. I'd say that's a good result.
Sounds like she's taking that leap of faith. Sometimes ya just gotta !
I think it's a good idea, and it's calculated rather than off the cuff. It's unlikely her clearance will come back as unacceptable so I think it's s fairly safe bet. Of course, they can always terminate her at a whim just by saying not cleared so they get a chance to check her out in an on-the-job situation with little risk as she'll not be operating on anything of a confidential or sensitive nature until her clearance comes through.
Totally agree, and like you the unsolicited advise wrecks my head. It's a bit like those who are offended on behalf of someone else, when that someone else is not even offended!
Good on you for being the sounding board for "April" it sounds like you really helped her out by just listening. That is a talent many are not in possession of and many people are just waiting for their opportunity to talk again..
The food looks mighty tasty too 🤤
Oh yeah, those offended for someone else who isn't offended people are nutbags. I ran into one a couple weeks ago...I should have punched him in the face. Lol.
I'm please to say April resigned from her current role and is keen to see out her one month and get started on the next. She sounds very energised and enthusiastic about it. I'm glad I was able to help out in some small way.
I just realized that you were storytelling about the whole situation between you and your friend but all we see are photos of the food you had for breakfast, and I think that's quite clever and creative.
I tried to make it interesting so rather than just tell about the advice-giving added in a different element.
These dishes looks so delicious 😋
They tasted delicious too.
This food is totally awesome. I like this food. I always enjoy your blog.
It was good food indeed, thanks for your comment.
Most welcome. Keep it up.
I really like your concluding part, allowing people to see things for themselves, gives them a sense of responsibility and ownership for the decision.
Thanks, I appreciate you saying so.