Whenever someone is in trouble or going through crisis, everyone has their own piece of advice ready for them. Even if you converse with a stranger for five minutes while travelling to office or sitting at a coffee shop, you will realize how horrendous one can be at times (including you).
I mean just think for a while what would you do if one of your friends or family members were down with a problem. Before you would actually help them, you will probably offer a piece of advice. Isn’t it? Maybe because someone did this to you in a similar situation or you saw something similar on the big screen. And what’s most interesting is that you will extend your piece of advice even if in the back of your mind, you clearly know how useless it actually is.
But why is it so? Can’t we give it a second thought before offering our piece of advice to someone?
- Just avoid doing so and so…
As soon as the word “just” is used as a prefix to suggest anything, it ruins the whole purpose of the suggestion.
Of course. Now just imagine that someone is struggling hard since long to quit smoking, or eat healthy, and you suddenly tell them to just get rid of that pack of cigarettes, or just keep an eye on what they eat or just start exercising. Rather than being of any help to them, it might make them feel all the more embarrassed all of sudden, as if they haven’t been able to accomplish a small task so far. Though, only they know how hard it has been for them for all this while.
We have absolutely no idea just how much stronger they are in their life battle as compared to us. Maybe they are already reducing one cigarette per week, and have come this far. Or, they are resisting their craving for their favorite food items just to be able to lose some extra pounds.
So, instead of saying, “just stop”, why don’t we try saying, “I did this when it happened with me. And it really worked”?
Obviously, if you have yourself fought obesity, you can be a live example for them. And they would want to take your advice. If you have been a smoker, and have successfully eradicated your evil habit, you can confidently tell them how it is possible. And it doesn’t hurt them. Agree?
And even if you aren’t one of those people, you can simply support their efforts such as not insisting them to eat oily, if they are avoiding it.
- Cheer Up!
Remember the last time when you were feeling blue, and were in a miserable state, and someone asked you, ““What happened?” Just perk up?”
Well! Did it help? No. Then how can we expect that it will help someone else during their bad mood? It’s real simple. Let’s be realistic.
Instead of talking about how moody they are, or telling them that they should cheer up, do something that could make them feel better. Or, simply ask, “How is everything going”?
If they would want to share something, they would. If not, then don’t force them. Let them be on their own for some time.
It is not necessary to treat someone’s sadness as a grave crime. It’s OK to be sad sometimes. Everyone goes through that phase. And then, everything falls in place. Just give it time.
- Be confident/ Believe in yourself
Almost every other person, whether a job applicant, or a sportsperson, is told now and then that they should believe in themselves, after all.
They say, “Confidence is sexy. Wear it daily.”
Okay, fair enough. Confidence helps you look at anything straight in its face. It lets you carry yourself better.
I agree that confidence will help the sportsperson if they have won some matches in their sport before. Maybe it reminds them of the past success and encourages them to put in their best efforts this time too. But, what about someone who has never practiced hard, and still believes in themselves hoping to win the match? Doesn’t it sound foolish on their part?
Instead, tell them to hold on.
Yes, assure them that if not today, then tomorrow. But, let them learn to face failures so they could build that much-needed confidence with their eventual success, with their experiences.
Tell them that nobody cares. So, keep failing and trying, because that is what counts.
- Be Yourself
As far as people take it for what it really means, it is OK. But, if your “be yourself” indicates to them that they must not try to pretend what they are not, it should rather be avoided as a piece of advice.
What is ‘being yourself’ really?
What if you need to leave a lasting impression in a particular situation? You have to improve your accent sometimes. How can you simply do what your inner self tells you to do at that time? And what else does ‘be yourself’ mean if not that you must follow your instincts?
If people mean, “relax”, then it is another way of saying, “Just be confident”. So again, that doesn’t come instinctively.
Why not say rather, “Try to know how you are with people”?
Perhaps, one is not aware of that fully. And learning to observe people may help, even if you don’t apply that everywhere, every time. It helps you understand how people are interpreting your actions. You can act accordingly.
- This is the purpose of your life
When people start telling you, you were “supposed to” do this and that in your life, or your life should have been a particular way… Excuse me???
Just imagine you have no fucking idea what you are doing in your life, and someone shows up telling that “Your life was meant for this or that”. Do they own your life?
It’s only you who can discover your life’s “calling”. Remember that, and it applies to everyone’s life.
Let’s try saying, “Find your life’s purpose”.
I think nothing can be better if they find it for themselves, no matter what it is.
Life is beautiful, and big. Even if you can help one person in your life, it is successful. But, be ready to burn before you could shine.