We are here to love the people in our lives, not fix them.
It’s easy to forget this, but it’s really not our job to try to fix others and make them be the type of partner, child, husband, wife or friend we want them to be, no matter how wrong we think they are.
We are here to appreciate them, share perspectives with them, love them and communicate with them in ways that inspire them to be the most authentic person they can be.
We are also here to listen and learn from them.
However, the conviction of our life’s experiences make it far too easy to anoint ourselves as experts of solving other people’s problems.
We are a generation of well- intentioned fixers, brimming with solutions for our children, our parents, our partners, our friends, co-workers and even other countries and cultures.
Human nature compels us to want to fix, give advice, judge, or even take on another’s burden. However, in order to truly support someone in their growth and transformation, we can’t deny them the life lessons or experience.
Oftentimes, what we really need most is someone to walk beside us on their journey without judgment and without trying to impact the outcome.
In some regards, our loved one’s problems should be facilitated rather than fixed. Your support can take the form of unconditional love.
Help your loved ones feel safe, even when they are confused or falter.
Here is some guidance on how to express your love by listening more and how to respond appropriately:
>> Keep your ego, opinions, and judgments to yourself. Remind yourself that it’s not about you saving the day or being the one with the perfect solution. Make others feel safe — even when they make mistakes by being a good listener.
>> Let others make the decisions. Respect the choices of love ones by allowing them to have a different experience than you might want them to have. Allow for complex emotions to be expressed without feeling you need to analyze them or do something about them.
>> Encourage loved ones to trust their own wisdom and intuition. Gifted leaders empower others.
They rarely tell people what to do. Rather, they provide the opportunity for someone to identify their own best path to follow.
In times of challenge, a lot can be said for the power of listening. A recent Harvard study found that speakers paired with good listeners felt less anxious, more self-aware and reported more clarity to their attitudes.
The quiet power of listening may be the most successful advice that you can ever give.
Alice Inoue is the founder of Happiness U. Visit yourhappinessu.com.