Has someone ever said to you, "I told you so?!" or "If you would've listened to me this wouldn't have happened?" I've been reflecting on the indignation and anger or perhaps hurt that is underneath those statements. It is as if the friend/family member/colleague/acquaintance is lobbying an accusation about your failure to heed their advice. Hmmm...Merriam-Webster's definition of advice is to make a recommendation regarding a decision or course of counsel. The Free Dictionary defines it as an opinion or recommendation offered as a guide to conduct: an admonition; a warning.
When offering advice it is typically based on one's worldview and or perception of how they see the other person. So basically one offers advice on what they think is best for their friend based on the lens of their own experiences, how they felt when watching their friend go through something and their own fears, joys and successes. Advice can also come from a place of arrogance.
When the phrase "I told you so?!" or "If you would've listened to me..." is directed towards you what do you feel or think. When this happens to me a few salty curse words come to mind. I also inwardly groan. I also squint my eyes and furrow my brow because I can't believe the words that are coming out their mouth. I also feel annoyed because I'm like what the entire f#(% can't I just talk?! Damn!
I know that people have good intentions and only want the best. However what is missing is really being present and understanding what I need, understand and want IN MY TIME not theirs. Also what is missing is that I may be venting not asking to be rescued or advised.
Sometimes people just need someone to listen. Listening can be more than enough. Being a sounding board is a gift. It allows the person to throw out ideas and thoughts out loud and in a safe space with someone they trust.
Try it sometime. Just listen without advising. Be present. Save your agenda for yourself. When your friend/colleague or loved wants your advice let them ask for it or ask them if they want advice before freely giving it.
The Magical Years by Selma Fraiberg