Table of contents:
- Silence is golden i
- Relationship Violence: When You Can't Be Silent 2
- Danger of giving advice3
- Best Practice - Guiding Questions 4
- Give advice only as a last resort and with reservations 5
Video: And Yet: Should You Advise Your Friends About Their Relationship?
Respecting personal boundaries in friendships and intimate relationships is sometimes even more important than in formal communication. After all, you are unlikely to tell your friend that her 1,000-dollar facelift cosmetic procedure was a waste of money? And, most likely, you will not have a desire to read morals to a friend who sits on social networks for too much time - after all, in the end, this is purely his own business.
The content of the article
- 1 Silence is gold
- 2 Violence in relationships: when it is impossible to remain silent
- 3 Danger of giving advice
- 4 The best option is leading questions
- 5 Give advice only as a last resort and with reservations
Silence is golden i
However, in friendships, there is often a burning desire to express what we really think about the behavior of our comrade. “If you don't like your friend’s new passion, it’s better to keep your opinion to yourself. Even if you and your friend are used to discussing all issues honestly and openly. Too much criticism of his or her new lover will only hurt your friendship,”advises Alain Gerst, a psychotherapist from New York.
“It’s better to wait until they part. And then you can tell your friend that this new boyfriend of hers is an irresponsible clown, not made for a relationship."
Relationship Violence: When You Can't Be Silent 2
But, like any rule, there are exceptions here. This is if your friend is suffering from physical or emotional abuse. In this case, you should immediately voice your concerns. “Always be in touch to help your friend or acquaintance if necessary,” advises Gerst.
How can you know that a loved one is in trouble? First of all, the inaccessibility of your girlfriend should be alarming. For example, she used to be constantly in touch, loved to have fun at parties or go shopping. Now you can't get her out of the house - as if her social circle was limited to one single person.
“This situation is unhealthy in itself. However, it is also a common practice often used by rapists. This is how they try to gain more control over their victims,”says Gerst. “If you have any suspicions - it is best to ask the question directly. Don't be afraid to embarrass your friend or make yourself look stupid in her eyes. It is better to play it safe and find out all the necessary information, because violence is much more common than we are used to thinking."
Danger of giving advice3
There is a popular wisdom: people ask for advice to do the opposite; or to follow this recommendation, but then blame the advisor for everything. Here is one such example:
“Week after week, a friend complained to me about problems with her boyfriend. One day she showed me a tearful six-page farewell letter she had written to him. At that moment, it seemed obvious to her that it was time to end the relationship. However, she was terrified of being alone."
"I made a mistake, and gave her seemingly logical advice:" Honey, if you have seven reasons for parting and only one to stay with this man, then it's time to pack up your things and move out of him."
“Unfortunately, however, she was not ready to part with this guy. She suddenly stopped communicating with me. Of course, it immediately became clear that the reason was that I did not support her decision.”
So giving advice about relationships is directly detrimental to friendship. If a friend is actively seeking advice from you about his personal life, then in principle it can be given. But this should be done carefully.
Best Practice - Guiding Questions 4
Alena Gerst explains: “In this case, it is best to ask leading questions. Let your friend come to understand the situation herself. After all, you cannot know what it is like to be in her shoes. Even if it seems that the most obvious way out for her is to break up, all the same, her feelings and thoughts remain inaccessible to you. What if she, after parting with her lover, does not survive this and becomes seriously ill? And these things happen."
Give advice only as a last resort and with reservations 5
If you are still determined to give advice, then first you should make sure that the person is really interested in them. It is also worth stipulating in advance that you are not responsible for the consequences, but only provide your vision of the situation. And a person already has the right to make a decision himself - to follow this advice, or develop his own strategy. “Tell a friend or girlfriend that you are not in their position after all. And you can't fully understand his feelings,”psychologist Marie Land recommends.
“Finally, don't try to become a priest or a free therapist. Approach the discussion with curiosity, not as an expert. After all, you yourself would hardly want your friend to seek to manage your personal life, right? So the best thing to do for a friend is to listen more and give less advice.”