What do you do when a vina comes to you for advice? You probably try to help them make the best decision when they’re in the midst of any sort of predicament, right?
It is always best to remain objective, no matter the situation. What’s best for you may not always be best for your friend. But what’s the best way to put aside your personal opinions and think about what will make them the happiest?
Here’s how to create a judgement free zone that allows your friend to open up, talk through life with you, and makes you the number one choice she goes to about important life decisions.
DON’T MAKE IT ABOUT YOU
When your vina is trying to make a decision, avoid saying “if it were me” or “well, I would do ‘x’ if I were you.” That doesn’t usually help (unless, of course, she’s specifically asks what you would do in that situation). Think about your friend’s wants and needs; what is truly best for her? If you know her well you probably have an idea of how she feels in most situations.
Ask her questions about what she’s going through?
How would you feel if ____ turned out to lead to ____?
What do you hope this will result in?
What other options could exist that you haven’t thought of yet?
Why do you feel like ____?
What does your gut say?
Which leads into the next tip…
DON’T GIVE UNSOLICITED ADVICE
If they want advice, they’ll ask for it. Just be a good listener until then. Your advice will likely be catered toward what you would do in the situation.
You can also help your pal make the best decision (for her) by asking “what if” questions about the situation. What if she decides to go with option A instead of options B or C? What are the pros and cons, potential outcomes, or consequences of making a choice one way or another? Make it a discussion.
DON’T PUSH FOR AN IMMEDIATE DECISION
Unless the problem is super time-sensitive, let your friend take their time to weigh the potential outcomes. By that time, they may have asked for your advice or had you weigh in a little, so you’ve given them all the fuel they need to make the best decision themselves. It’s ok to check in and see how she’s doing.
BE SUPPORTIVE, ALWAYS
Once they have come to their own conclusion, support it. Even if it’s something you wouldn’t do, the best life you can life is the one that you feel aligns authentically with you. You can still be there and understand that they have made a choice that is good for them. The bottom line: everyone is different. What’s good for you isn’t always best for another person. Keeping that in mind, you can be empathetic and understand where they’re coming from. Knowing that you are helping them make the best decision for them, and knowing that they will do the same for you when the time comes.
Download the Hey! VINA app if you want some friends to listen to or are ready to be the best listener friend ever.
(Feature image via @pasquale)