Aleteia

Tired of people giving you advice?

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There’s an art to receiving advice and we miss out when we don’t practice it!

There is nothing harder than having to receive advice, even if it’s good. Many are those willing to dispense it, but those willing to receive it are few and far between. This is understandable, because like criticism, advice is a sly way to impose rules. However, sometimes receiving it can be liberating! 

Whenever someone lectures you on how to raise your children or behave toward your partner or colleagues, you might secretly wish to tell them to keep their useless advice to themselves. It’s another way of saying: “Don’t tell me what to do!” 

But what if you said: “Advise me, encourage me, motivate me, it’s a real compliment to my free will!” When people give advice, you have a choice: to act or not to act on it.

However, you should never forget that advice, encouragements, congratulations, or criticism apply only in situations where there is freedom of choice.  

Advice is a blessing

So don’t fret about receiving advice; it can be a blessing. Good advice speaks to your intelligence and is there to acknowledge your will and potential: “Here is what you can do”  is generous when accompanied by encouragement. Far from reminding you of past mistakes, it’s faith in your future. Good advice is always steeped in respect and acknowledgement of freedom. It’s never imposed as a universal recipe. 

The experience of others is precious because it has a lot to teach us. It’s not an all-purpose solution, but there to show us that other possibilities exist to empower us with the capacity to choose.  

And finally, here is one good piece of advice, something you might want to repeat every night: “I will bless the Lord, Who has given me understanding: moreover my reins also have corrected me even till night” (PS 15:7)!

Jeanne Larghero