Friday, July 3, 2009


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.
Stay safe.
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.



  1. I really appreciated the "gentle nudges" vs advice I got in the beginning.

    Enjoy calm seas this weekend;)

  2. Listening, really listening, is a loving gift we give to others.
    Great post.

  3. perfect, i am going to frame this and put it in every room in my house. thanks so much happy fourth of july

  4. Have a delightful holiday weekend.

    I love the idea of silence and listening. I need more and more work in this arena. It's worth the effort.


  5. Perfect picture, and I love the "Listen" piece. Saw it long ago, had it, lost it. How familiar. lol Going to print it and HAVE it again. Gonna clea off a spot on the fridge for it. :D

    Here's to fireworks in our hearts--big, beautiful ones that aren't so loud that they hurt our ears...

  6. I so LOVE the on the boat packed for several days sounds delightful! Enjoy this weekend of freedom! Sounds like you have a brilliant plan!

  7. Yes I think I have been listening more in my life, dont feel as much like talking just listening

  8. I love sharing and not advice giving as well. It's a good reminder that I'm just a drunk among drunk, not here to "enlighten" anyone :)

  9. Nicely said...

    Blessings and bon voyage...

  10. The anonymous quote reminds me of
    "Conversations with God." Very similar style. Wishing you both a very happy and brilliant fourth of july.

  11. Syd, Love this write.. I will admitt I have been know and told on a few occassions " you just didn't listen" mostly if the spouse and I were at odds about some thing or another. Then I pretend I'm listening.

    I know now, that, listening is less important than how you listen.

    Happy July 4th, be safe and cannot wait for the photos..

    Love this photo BTW..:}

  12. Tremendous!
    You are so good!
    I am grateful for you.
    Happy Independence Day!

  13. I've read this before and it's really challenging to me. I think I'm a good listener, but only when I remember these concepts and apply them.
    Have fun on the boat-

  14. good advice. damn, wrong choice of words, heee heee heee. have a super 4th of july!

  15. Yeah, that helps spell it out to me how off I felt that guy was who commented on my blog. It was interesting to me that my head went a little blank when I sat down to write the following posts afterwards. Lessons are everywhere. People are certainly allowed to have their opinions but I also wouldn't have let it go on and on because I won't let someone else rain negativity on me.

  16. Learning to listen without jumping in with my big mouth is something I am trying to master at the moment.
    Listening is so important.

  17. "I'm not helpless. Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless." Something to remember. :) Thanks!

  18. Thanks Again it really adds alot to my day reading your blog


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