As a projector, it may be hard to detach yourself from the advice that you’re giving.
Why is this?
Because you care about other people!
And it’s totally normal to feel this way. No one wants to watch those around them struggle senselessly if one tip could help them save time, energy, or sanity.
But if you give advice, unprompted, you likely won’t be heard the way you mean it. It’s what I like to call “the Projector Paradox.”
The Projector Paradox is that even though we have so much helpful advice to give, we are only able to give it when it’s asked for.
There are some loop holes to this though, and if you missed yesterday’s blog post, you’ll want to read that one to understand the loop hole plus other tips you may not have know about being a projector. You can find that one here, it’s called What It Means to “Wait for the Invitation” as a Projector.
Prefer to listen as you read or take the blog post on the go? Listen to podcast Episode 4, all about Giving Advice With Detachment!
So other than having to wait for the invitation to give advice, what’s next?
It seems like a simple answer. “You just give the advice.”
But how many times have you given advice only to find out that the person who asked you for the advice completely disregarded it anyways?
Then they ended up in a worse off situation and if they had taken your advice, they would’ve solved it?
The amount of times this exact scenario happens in projector’s lives is steep.
And I’m sure you’ve felt the tinge of upset within you when you hear this scenario from the person you gave advice to.
So, I ask again, what’s next after you receive the invitation?
Let’s break it down.
1. You DON’T jump in and give advice right away.
This seems counterintuitive right? But just because someone has recognized you and invited you, DOESN’T mean that they’re open to RECEIVING advice.
So when they ask you for advice, first fire off some helpful questions for THEM to self-guide themselves.
What does that look like?
- “Well, let me just make sure I understand this correctly, what’s the most important part of this situation to you?”
- “Let’s look at it this way, if I was the one going through this situation and I came to YOU for advice, what would you say?”
- “Which way are you leaning?”
- “Do you feel like you want to do one thing more than the other?”
The objective here is to reword what they’re telling you, and ask them insightful questions that can help lead them to their own answers.
Of course, you don’t have to be as formal with the questions back as these are, but you get the point.
Why do we need to do this?
Most times, people are seeking validation for the way they want to go. Most times, they’ve already made up their mind what choice they want to make, they just want someone to suggest it too.
Both of these are reasons why it’s important to help them build trust within their own decisions.
Let’s be honest here, we’re not always right.
No one EVER has more understanding of someone’s situation than the person who is DIRECTLY INVOLVED in it.
And even if we ask all the questions necessary to find out every bit of information about it, we still CAN’T know what’s the best option for THEM.
Because we HAVEN’T lived their life. We don’t know their priorities. We don’t know their fears. We don’t know every single previous experience that they’ve been through. And it would take as many years as they’ve been living to understand them entirely, because they would have to recount every single second with us.
Not only is that impossible, but it’s also just the entirely wrong way to handle any situation.
The next point brings us to why that is.
2. Help others build trust within themselves so they can handle challenges better in the future.
As a Coach myself, this is one of my BIGGEST goals with every client.
Because I don’t want them to have to depend on anyone else to make clear decisions.
Will there be mistakes along the way? Of course! We’re human. This is literally what we’re here to do.
And if you didn’t already know, mistakes lead to success. Failure leads to success. It’s all a learning process. And you actually fail your way to success.
That’s a topic for a different time, so let’s get back to this.
Asking insightful questions helps them pull out their own answers and their own true thoughts and feelings about the situation.
And not only that, but it shows them that they COULD do this for themselves in the future.
It shows them that they ARE the authority and decision maker in their own life.
It shows them that YOU support them no matter what decision they decide to make.
And it gives them the confidence that their decision won’t be judged harshly as they believe it will be. It’s only their own judgement of themselves.
When you help them build trust within themself, they feel SAFE. They feel COMFORTED. And they bond with YOU on a deeper level because they were able to find all these amazing things with you around.
I have a friend who actually comes to me instead of some of her other friends because she KNOWS that I won’t just automatically jump to one side or the other in a situation. I won’t lie to her and tell her she was right if in fact she wasn’t.
She comes to me because she TRUSTS that I have her best interests in heart for the LONG TERM, not just for some short term validation. She comes to me because I’m objective and I bring a unique perspective and great questions.
And above all, I LISTEN.
I don’t diagnose, I don’t rush to the rescue, I don’t try to fix; I LISTEN first.
Then I help when asked or when I feel she’s gotten it all out and is now ready for some open conversation.
Which leads me into point number 3.
3. Ask what they want from you first.
When someone recognizes you or is coming to you about a situation, ask what they want from you.
Do they just want to vent it all out? Perfect, you can be all ears and just listen.
Do they want feedback on their part in the situation? Perfect, you can prepare for that.
Do they want a total solution? Perfect, you can prepare for that as well.
Asking them what they need from you in the moment before the conversation has begun will lead you to 10x better conversations overall.
You won’t be overstepping any boundaries when you ask.
You won’t be rushing to fix something while they’re feeling left unheard because it seemed like you just wanted to fix them.
Essentially, you sidestep almost all miscommunication AND you deepen your bond with them because NOW you’re being there for them, the way THEY NEED; not the way YOU THOUGHT they needed.
And after ALL of that, if it comes down to it where, yes, they are seeking out your advice and your opinion, then go ahead. BUT make sure to release the expectation that they will take your advice.
For example, instead of assuming that they’ll heed your advice, assume that they won’t and let yourself be pleasantly surprised if they do.
And realize that they are their own person. They’re going to make the decisions most in line with themselves. And that’s OKAY. Because they’re the one that has to live with the outcome.
Everyone makes the decisions they think are best in the moment, with the information they had at the time.
And if you get upset with someone else not taking your advice, you’re giving license to other people to be mad at you when you don’t take their advice.
And I guarantee that YOU don’t like other people trying to force you to take their advice either.
So give your advice with detachment.
And if you follow the rest of these tips, you’ll find you have better relationships with those you care about, you’ll have more energy because you’re conserving it and not throwing it in all directions, and you’ll be happier because you’re releasing expectations of others from your mental capacity.