Confidence often has little to do with Wisdom or Truth. Fools and liars, jerks and braggers can display ample confidence. Even tyrants and despots have confidence to convince masses to support their inhuman ideologies and rules. Just as false Gurus and cult leaders confidently convince their myriad followers of a make-believe reality.
So even if you don’t feel confident enough, or are quiet and introvert by nature. Do not get disheartened, in the end it is the content of our words matters, not the loudness of our voice. Just do your thing, the best you can. As you go along, with practice things get better. They do.
Being merely bold or loud is not necessarily empowered. Power without compassion can be ruthless. True empowerment is when we are aware of the consequences of our words and choices. It is saying the right thing at the right time, with the right intensity so our communication is effective, harmonious and empowering for others. After all, it is our karma. Confidence is worthless, if it is hurtful by being unmindful and not helping the person or the situation.
A case in point is when we give advice to someone. Here’s some simple advice on giving advice, might come handy. Take what you like.
Whenever you find someone vulnerable, hurt or broken, please resist the temptation to offer them advice immediately. I know it is hard to resist, but please let’s do try.
We can all live someone else’s life better. Or so we feel. Thus, we have a piece advice or wisdom (gyaan) for everyone. From the Prime Minister, to a sportman in the arena or a friend going through tough time. Don’t we often feel that God is not managing his world well enough, and could use some advice from us?
What if instead, we give them space and time to others to heal, recover, rejuvenate and most of all to tap into the same resources God has given them too – innate wisdom.
Advice is the easiest thing to give. Requires least investment from us. Makes us feel better off. That’s why, it is so tempting.
For change, try being a silent presence, holding the space for a broken friend. That’s tough. Instead of judging a person who you think has made grave mistake, or a sin, try understanding where are they coming from. Crying with them if need be. Giving them a hug. Soothing them compassionately. So that at their own pace they can make peace or accept the situation. Won’t they be more open thereafter. To look and ask for solutions and directions. They can find their own pathway.
Worse are friends and relatives who give you gyaan, when you have just lost a loved one. I have heard of numerous stories, where friends got annoyed after listening to such pulpit wisdom of advisers and self-appointed motivation speakers. Some people might even find it is cringeworthy. Highly avoidable. Don’t you agree? Like single people give parenting advice or monks giving relationship advice.
Intellectualising pain doesn’t help it heal, only suppresses it. Try not to shame your friend with advices such as, “Be Strong” or “At least…! ” Or push them to find silver-lining in their tragedy or suffering. There is none, at least in the moment. Wait.
Only if they ask you, offer what you feel is required at the moment. What will help them the most. Not all the wisdom we have. Rather what would be most effective. Also the same approach will not work with everyone. You would be required to innovate, intuitively. Sometimes, I don’t have anything wise to say to someone, and it’s ok. “I don’t what to say, but I’m here.” That’s will do as well.
Remember the advice Liz got from her Inner Voice, when she lay crying night after night? “Go back to bed, Liz“. Simple. Why? Because she needed rest at that time. And in time she did heal. Human spirit is not just resilient but also wise. We only have to allow them to shine.
One more thing, let go of all your ego attachment to your words. If they reject it, it’s ok. They can. They are human. It might not be appropriate for them specifically. People are irrational when they are hurting. So be patient, avoid arguments. Keep your own ego in check. Lest you start calling them egoist. Not everybody is ready to see your perspective and receive you what you have to give – good or bad.
So pause, and think before you give any advice because that can be the worst thing for their mental well-being or may push them over the edge. If you feel you are doing a favour by giving them advice or Gyaan, spare them. Believe me they’re better off without your so-called intervention.
Everybody has a Inner Guide and it is not us! May we be able to trust that they can find their way. No matter how dark their journey might appear to us. God has a plan for each one of us. Pray for them, if you can. We are NOT the manager of the world God is. Let’s resist the temptation to jump in and fix what might not be broken in the first place. Only hurt. Certainly do not offer accounts of similar tragedies and lament how bad you or others have had. First it is not a competition, secondly minimizing someone suffering doesn’t help. Does it? Not does chiding or pushing them to be more positive. in short, may we remember it is not about us. Often we just have to show up. Words don’t matter.
Sometimes in our overconfidence, we end up giving unnecessary and unsolicited advice to all those who are quiet, silent, introverts or vulnerable.
They will ask you when they need. Wait. Such advice often backfires, when the receiver says, No thanks! As it only made them feel worse.
If you feel confident enough to ‘help’ someone or you feel it’s your ‘duty’. Let the moment pass. Allow your inner wisdom to guide you.
Read more articles here