Monday, October 10, 2011

Advise or Just Listen?

It's a dilemma that I come across more and more. It didn't used to be a dilemma because if anyone came to me with a problem or concern to share; I chimed in with advice and directions without a qualm. Whether I was asked to share my opinion or not.

For the last year or so, I noticed that I don't just jump in with my advice guns loaded. In fact I am now hesitant to offer advice but very open to just listening.

This occurred to me a few months ago when one of my friends was sharing some troubles she was having and actually asked for my advice. I hesitated and actually admitted that I had no advice on how to resolve the specific issue.

What I did offer; besides my ears and heart for listening, were techniques I utilized to calm my emotions and anxiety enough to handle the anxiety and emotional pain. The pain and anxiety that some of these life issues bring us.

Techniques like self treating with Reiki, deep breathing, energy circulation, detaching from the emotions for a bit and observe and feel them. I always add mediation and prayer as things I utilize as well. These are the steps that work for me in almost every situation.

I have also noted that in many situations listening is the best approach. Sometimes it is the most comforting and helpful. To listen without interrupting the person. To truly and honestly pay close attention to what the person experiencing pain and trouble is saying.

At one time I believed that to not offer advice was a sign of apathy. But now I know it is the highest order of empathy.

Sooo, take my advice and just listen.

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