Friends and family may be laughing right now because I’m sure I flippantly hand out opinions without realizing it — “do this, try that, don’t bother with those.”
But I make a conscious effort not to lecture a friend or give out unsolicited advice because I know how much that rankles me.
And when someone says to me, “Can you give me some advice?” or “What would you do in this situation?” or “What should I do?” I get nervous and uncomfortable.
I have a friend, a guy, who used to make a point to ask me for relationship advice. He likes this girl and wants to ask her out. His girlfriend is XYZ and he doesn’t know what to do. I would always start with “I don’t know, I’ve never been in that situation, but maybe…”
There are very few topics I feel comfortable advising people on, to begin with — topics I feel I have actual “expertise.” And even if you’re asking me about something inconsequential — “What beer do you recommend?” “What book should I read?” — I have a hard time giving a confident answer because you’re different from me and what I like, what works for me, isn’t guaranteed to work for you.
And to be honest, I sometimes give the side-eye to 20-something bloggers whose blogs are just FULL of “Here’s why you should…” or “Here’s how to…” or “You absolutely need to…” because I’m like, please, you’re my age. Stop acting like you’ve got it all figured out and have an entire lifetime of wisdom.
Then I wonder, how do they get that confidence? How do they have the balls to run one half marathon and then turn around and write an ebook on how to train for a half marathon? I’ve run at least six or so of those suckers and still feel like I’m figuring out the best way to train. How do they feel qualified to call themselves a “life coach” when, let’s be real, they’ve only experienced a tiny sliver of everything that “life” is?
Do you enjoy giving advice? What makes you feel capable and confident in doing so?