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April 27

   The picture may be familiar: I come home after spending a few hours listening to a friend's woes about their relationship, giving them some insights that brought their spirit back up. As soon as I'm in my own door though, I throw advice out the window, and handle the same kinds of problems in our relationship the ways I told my friend not to.
   It's kind of ironic how often I'm willing to dispense advice to others, and yet feel so helpless in figuring out solutions to my own problems. I can see things more impartially in others' relationships, because I'm not so emotionally involved. Why then do I balk at getting others' viewpoints for the same impartiality?
   Maybe it's because giving advice helps me feel like a success, while getting it reinforces my feelings of failure. Yet am I a failure when I get tips from other people on cooking, home repair, or car maintenance, etc.?
   Instead of looking at looking at outside help as a sign of failure, I can look at it as something I do to increase my chances of success in our relationship.

Just for Today
   Has someone asked me for advice on their relationship?
   Today I'll remind myself that I can benefit from others' insight as well. I'll remember that it's hard to see things impartially when my emotions are clouding up my thinking, and that is normal. It isn't that I'm not smart enough; the truth is simply that I haven't had all the different experiences and insights that others have had yet.

It is a pleasure to give advice, humiliating to need it, normal to ignore it.


@Copyright Bernd Hansen - Contents may be downloaded or copied for personal non-commercial use.