Finally Had It!
Dear Shamwow Shaman:
How do you support people who just won’t listen to your advice, even after asking for it! I have a friend and I just can’t go there anymore with her ongoing sagas because she listens, and then may or may not, take my advice. And sometimes when she does take my advice, she doesn’t take it exactly, and then likes to point out to me what went wrong with what I suggested. Aaarrrrgggghhhhh! I love her to death but need to get off this Dear Abby treadmill with her. She’s fun and funny and we have so much in common but this whole advice thing seriously saps my energy and is putting our relationship in jeopardy. Any suggestions?
Finally Had It Friend
Dear Finally Had It:
Well, well, well (…and isn’t that a deep subject)! Also, like the advice thing, it’s a big dark hole you can fall into.
The best way to save your gas for your own tank, while still practicing compassion, is to flip the table on your friend, and ask her a Q. Ask her what SHE thinks SHE should do. Whatever she says, from “I don’t know” to “I’m thinking I should do this”, assure her that you believe SHE knows what’s best for her. And you trust that SHE’s going to be able to figure it out, whatever it is. Tell her you believe, and then give her a big hug and whisper to her that you’ll be there for her, whatever SHE decides to do.
That way instead of just always feeling her pain, you can start celebrating her progress! No matter what. If she doesn’t do anything, you can tell her, “Good. You must have decided you’re not ready. Well done.” Then you can go celebrate how awesome she’s handling her life. If she does something and it blows up into a big mess, you can say, “I am so here for you. Let’s get out of here and download everything you’ve learned about that big mess over…” and that could be whatever…wine, chocolate, ice cream or retail therapy.
Isn’t that what friends are for?