💜 I have been reflecting a lot on my own actions lately. 💜
I have been having really amazing conversations with a very-wise high school friend I reconnected with this year.
He said something that stuck with me:
“No one should assume that their advice is SO AWESOME that everyone needs to hear it.”
I know this is true because I have been on the receiving end of unhelpful, unsolicited advice a lot in my life. Especially throughout challenging times, like the illnesses and deaths of my parents.
But when I think back about my side of certain interactions, I realize I am just as guilty of offering unwelcome or uninvited advice.
Instead of just listening to my friends, I used to find ways to make myself useful. I couldn’t just let them talk about their day jobs or creative ambitions, or whatever they were sharing with me.
I always had to assume the role of a coach, consultant or therapist, whether they were asking me to be that for them or not.
Ironically, learning to read tarot for other people helped me move past these habits. I say it’s ironic because a lot of people assume tarot is all about telling others what to do. When I first started reading professionally, I attended an event where someone actually told me they had gotten certified as a life coach because they “love bossing people around.”
But what tarot taught me is that you and your ego are removed from the equation when reading for others: The cards offer the insights and the reader just delivers the message.
Giving and offering advice is an important part of friendship, but no one wants to feel patronized or talked at. There needs to be balance, and empathy. Empathy doesn’t force a solution: It acknowledges the pain or difficulty of something first.
I have come to learn to hold back in personal conversations, and to wait to be invited to offer advice. Or I will ask if someone wants my advice instead of just assuming they do.
Sometimes people just want to be heard and understood. Other times, we need to take time to understand the context of another person’s life before offering advice that is actually useful to them.
We don’t have to perform our way through our relationships, whether they are personal or professional, or assume some kind role for ourselves unless it forms organically.
It also takes the pressure of when you realize people actually just want to hang out and you don’t need to try to force depth on every conversation you have. Not every conversation needs to go deep, or feel productive.
Not everything is about “working on” ourselves.
Until next time,
p.s. If you like these little “ah-a” moments and how they link to tarot, you will probably dig my book The Power of Tarot 🎴