We are off on the boat today. Everything is packed for several days. I thought that the following is a good summation of the frustration that can come from giving advice. I have always liked the idea that Al-Anon isn't about giving advice but about sharing our E, S, and H.
Have a great fourth. I'll post photos of the fireworks and beach adventures when I get a chance.
When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving advice, you have not done what I asked. When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn't feel that way you are trampling on my feelings. When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.
Listen! All I asked was that you listen not talk or do-just hear me.
Advice is cheap: 25 cents will get you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same newspaper. And I can do for myself, I'm not helpless Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.
When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and weakness. But when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, then I can quit trying to convince you and can get about the business of understanding what's behind this irrational feeling.
And when that's clear, the answers are obvious and I don't need advice.
Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what's behind them.
So, please listen and just hear me. And, if you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn; and I'll listen to you.