I was talking to a good friend recently, and she shared a bit of wisdom she had heard.
It resonated with me, so I wanted to share it with you.
Help is only help if it is perceived as help, otherwise it is viewed as judgement.
And no one likes to feel judged or told what to do. Unfortunately, your intention in most cases does not matter. You may be coming from a good place, but often it doesn’t feel that way to the person on the receiving end of the help/advice. When your help is viewed as judgement – often that triggers shame in the recipient. This creates resistance, resentment, and rebellion.
To avoid those 3 Rs, consider assessing these 3 Rs instead:
- Readiness – is the person ready to receive the information? Are they in a place where they can hear it and do they really need it?
Ask yourself: Is the timing for help/advice right? Where is the person in the situation? (Are they drowning and mainly need a hand up? Or are they swimming and need direction?) If someone is in the midst of a crisis, it might not be the best time to offer advice, but physical help instead.
- Receive – are they interested and open to receiving different points of view or paths forward.
Ask: Are you open to feedback?
I have some thoughts for you, would you like to hear them?
What do you need from me in this situation? To listen, to problem-solve or something else?
- Recognize – do they recognize what you’re offering as help?
Say: I would like to offer you some help, how can I help you? (In this case you are stating your intention to provide assistance.) Avoid any statements that might be perceived as judgement (ie: You should have, I would have, etc.) Asking for and accepting help can be hard. This language can be the key to offering genuine help and avoiding shame and judgement.
Asking for and accepting help can be hard. This language can be the key to offering genuine help and avoiding shame and judgement.
“Listening is often the only thing needed to help someone.” – Unknown
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