Introverts aren’t anti-social or lazy, and we’re getting them all wrong. As someone who spends a great deal of time with myself, I find this comforting. I also find this piece comforting, because it addresses something we loners always fear: what to do if you’re alone and choking. Speaking of home alone, do you have an open floor plan? We’re cursed by it, apparently.
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How to give advice 💁
Occasionally, though not often, people will ask me for advice. It’s simultaneously a wonderful and gut-wrenching feeling. It feels wonderful to have my opinion valued and my life experience validated. It also feels gut-wrenching in that I'm automatically seized with the thought: what on Earth do *I* know about anything?!
I know some things and a lot of nothing, frankly, so when people ask me for advice, my first instinct is to freeze. Also, because I feel mixed about giving advice, I’m also reluctant to ask for it. Though, experience has taught me that it’s better to ask for advice and input rather than go running into walls others could easily identify for you.
So, here are a few tricks I’ve learned when it comes to giving advice:
When people ask you for advice, ask them more about their situation. Answer the question with a question. Usually, they know exactly what they should do, they just need you to tease it out for them.
Always note that you’re referencing your lived experience, and give them any advice you pass on in that context. You don’t know what Bob, Susan or Jill went through — you just know what you went through.
Problem-solve with the person. Try to figure out the problem they are trying to solve and try to solve it with them. Don’t be a bystander. Get in the mess with them.
Then again, my advice is to come up with your own principles for giving advice, not that you asked me. 😉
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Emi Kolawole · E is for Everything HQ · Palo Alto California 94306 · USA