Why doesn’t she appreciate my advice?

In Nan and Billy’s house it goes like this:

Nan: I wish I could find a cause to get into, maybe volunteering or just doing something worth-while.

Billy: So call the College Club – I heard they need help, and the hospital gift shop might be looking for    volunteers.

 Nan: Forget it, you don’t even know what I’m interested in.

Billy: Geez! Why bring it up if you don’t want my opinion?

Billy means well, and his ideas might be valid, but Nan finds his approach annoying. In giving advice you anoint yourself as an authority, and if no one asked for it, you come across as know-it-all. More important, like many women, Nan is seeking emotional strokes, not solutions, from her partner. She wants Billy simply to understand and appreciate her problem. This doesn’t figure to Billy or to many men who consider belaboring woes a waste of time. He wants her to take action, while she wants a comforting reaction.

If you play Billy’s part repeatedly in your household, with Nan’s retort, you need to drop the role of advisor. Here are some ideas for not compounding your partner’s anguish.

From Solution Man to Solace Man

– Trust that when she wants your advice, she’ll ask for it. Chances are, she feels capable of saying “I want to hear your opinion” or “Can I get some advice on this?”

– When you feel advice coming to your lips, substitute a response she’ll find more helpful, such as:

  • Restating what she said or feels in a different way: “Sounds like you’re not feeling overloaded any more.”
  • Relating a similar incident: “That’s how I felt when we first moved here.”
  • Really listening: Just hear her out, nod, and show interest.
  • Raising a question: Get her moving in the direction of a solution, but let her provide the answer, not you: “What kind of volunteering interests you?” “So what are some of the options?”
  • Reassuring : “That’s great. I’m sure there are lots of places that could use your talents.”


Warning: If you‘ve been playing solution man for ages, withdrawal symptoms – anxiety, fidgeting, tongue cramps – may accompany your attempt to learn new lines. Take a deep breath. Advice addiction is only in your mind.

Spread the love


Similar posts

Artificial Intelligence is Fake

Now, before you jump to conclusions, allow me to be clear with a few definitions and thoughts. The growing nervousness and fear that AI will take over our educational systems and produce future generations of bot brains and wobbly children is ridiculous. That is just the start of the pervasive concerns that writers and artists fear about losing their jobs. Let’s not even start with the apprehension that educators face about their societal roles. One needs only to

Spread the love

Why Do They Say “Look”?

Have you noticed how many times a political candidate or commentator will say the word “look”? Why do they say that? Well, let us zoom the picture back a little and think about this. Linguists and psychologists have introduced us to what they refer to as “representational systems.” They tell us that people are prone to expressing their feelings, attitudes, opinions, and using one of three ‘representational systems.’ They have named these to be Visual,

Spread the love

Tips for Leading Effective Meetings

Our coaching team appreciates the challenge of masterminding the right mix of talent, personalities, and action items. Fortunately, easy tweaks often go a long way to enhance comfort, participation, and awareness of nuances in a team member’s behavior. Recently, I worked with a senior leader in financial services who felt it was his responsibility to control the agenda and results of all meetings; in fact, he considered it part of his job. He was baffled that his

Spread the love


Tell us what’s on your mind: