It’s easy to forget that we are here to love the people in our lives, not fix them. It’s not our job to try to fix others and make them be the type of partner, child, spouse or friend we want them to be no matter how “off” or 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 to them and learn from them.
However, the breadth and conviction of our life’s experiences make it far too easy to anoint ourselves as experts of solving other people’s problems. It’s human nature to want to give advice, judge, help or even take on another’s burden or pain. However, in order to truly support someone in their growth and transformation, we can’t deny people the important life lessons that can only be truly understood by experiencing, not by being told what to do and how to do it.
Listen with an open heart. Keep your ego, opinions and judgments to yourself. Remind yourself 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 listening and not judging. The quiet power of listening may actually be the most successful advice that you ever give.
Alice Inoue is the founder of Happiness U. Visit yourhappinessu.com.