Avoid Giving Advice To Your Partner To Keep Your Relationship Strong

When someone is explaining a problem to you, the obvious response is to offer some advice on how to fix it. In the case of couples, the Wall Street Journal suggests you avoid giving that advice to your partner if you want to keep that relationship strong.

Photo by John Walker

When you get to know someone really well, you also start to think you know what's best for them. Subsequently, you start offering advice when your partner don't really want it. According to the article, you have a few better options:

One way to give better advice is to first make sure your spouse actually wants your help. You can do this by asking — a novel idea! — "Would you like some ideas on that?"

Consider what Dr. Lawrence, of the University of Iowa, calls the Platinum Rule: "Do unto others as they would have you do unto them." In other words, stop and listen. Sometimes listening can be even more effective than giving advice... Or try telling them a story. "This might not be appropriate for you, but what I did when I had a similar problem was…"

It's a simple set of rules, and if you stick to them you'll find your communication channels are a bit more clear. Head over to The Wall Street Journal for a few more bits on both offering advice and asking (or not asking) for it.

The Perils of Giving Advice [The Wall Street Journal]


    Doesn't stopping and listening work both ways? Like when someone is trying to give you some advice.

    I'd be more annoyed if someone tried to manipulate me with pointed 'stories'.

    Telling someone my problems but not wanting help is the equivalent of me calling a plumber, telling him my tap is leaking, and then hanging up.

      Dman, I politely disagree. A lot of the time people do just want to vent and don't want advice or want somebody to agree with the decision they've already made


    I agree with this. It pisses me off sometimes when my wife tells me what to do in an issue. I really just want to talk it out with her so I can work out what to do myself.

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