To Improve Your Relationships, Stop Giving Advice (Really)
I walked into the room feeling like the least accomplished person in there. It was an invite-only group for tech founders whose companies had hit certain milestones. A support group of sorts. A place to vent frustrations, share struggles, and swap strategy in private — away from the judgmental ears of investors.
Why, you ask, should such a group exist? Because try telling your mom that you blew your tech budget on an agency that didn’t have a full stack tech team.
Or, one person might say, “I’m being sued.”
“Me, too!” “So are we!” “Us too!” would echo through the room.
“A former employee has gone unhinged and is cyber-stalking our team.”
“Yep,” an invariable reply. “We’ve dealt with that. Here’s how we handled it.”
Hence, the ultimate support group. Our moderator explained the rules. #1: Confidentiality. Got it. #2: No judgment. Also got it.
Rule #3? Share your experiences all you want. But DON’T. GIVE. ADVICE.
Wasn’t this the support group to end all support groups? How do you not give advice?
But the moderator explained that advice can be dangerous. As I thought about it, I started to agree. And I realized that advice-giving has created ample resentment in my own relationships.
So I decided to apply the no-advice rule at home. Since making the switch, my professional and personal relationships have improved in many ways.
Here are a few of the ways that giving advice creates resentment — in both directions — as well tips on what do instead of telling people what to do. No irony intended.
1. When someone rejects your advice
Your sweat and tears, your failures and wins, your trauma — the scars prove you’ve earned your wisdom the hard way.
So, when a colleague or a friend dismisses your advice, it’s hard to not take that just a little personally. You may fully understand that what they do is up to them. But, wouldn’t we all be kidding ourselves if we…