I overheard my husband on the phone the other day giving relationship advice to his friend. Ok, I call it overhearing and he calls it “ear-hustling”. My husband preceded to tell his friend what he should do in his relationship. The advice he gave was not bad and would work….for us; not necessarily his friend and his relationship. When he got off the phone we discussed the conversation and the advice that he gave. I then gave Tyrone, my husband some advice. Here are some tips on giving advice to other couples:
1. Do more listening than talking. Here what your friend is saying to you. They may just want to talk and not actually want to know what to do next.
2. Encourage communication. Always encourage a friend with relationship problems to go back and discuss this with their mate.
3. Remember that what is good for you might not be good for them. You know your mate but you don’t know theirs.
4. Don’t assume that you are getting the full story. Your friend may be giving you the shorter and “better looking” version.
5. Don’t choose sides. Again, you don’t know the whole story.
6. Give support. Let your friend know that they can come to you to talk and continue to encourage them to go back and talk with their mate.
7. Be rational. If your friend wants to utilize backhanded, sneaky or rude means to solve the problem then don’t encourage it.
8. Disclose carefully. Make sure that when you give an example about your own relationship that you are not breaking confidentiality with your own mate.
9. Never say Never. The last thing your friend wants to hear is how perfect you are and how you would never have that problem.
10. Suggest another opinion. You don’t have all other answers. Encourage your friend to seek advice from another friend, counselor, or spiritual advisor. My husband often tells his friends to contact me for advice due to my profession and I am always caught off guard. Don’t do that!
So, now you know what to do the next time your friend or a couple comes to you for advice about their relationship. Remember, following these tips will help with your friendship, keep you out of sticky situations and protect your own relationship.