I Just Want to Vent. Why do people want to give me advice?

I think we have all been there. I certainly have. You just want to vent about something and all you get back is advice. It leads you to feel that you haven’t been heard and makes you feel worse.

Maybe you have found yourself in a position of giving someone advice when they didn’t want it. It is easy to do.

Unfortunately we live in a society where we are encouraged to give advice and not listen.

So how do you change that?

How do you ensure you don’t fall for the giving advice trap?

How do you ensure you will be allowed to vent without getting unwanted advice?

  1. If someone is venting to you listen. If you feel you have a helpful opinion or advice to give then ask if it is okay to share it. If they say no then don’t give the advice. Just listen.

When you listen, pay attention to what they are saying. Don’t try to construct some response you think will be helpful. While you are constructing that response you are not listening.

Just listen. Let them know you are listening. Acknowledge how difficult/ frustrating/ upsetting what they are describing is/was.

  1. If you want to vent to someone, ask them first if they are in a position to listen. If they say no, then don’t vent to them. This ensures you don’t dump all your stress and emotions onto another person who may not be in the right space to hear you.

When you need to talk to someone it can be hard if you can’t find anyone to vent to but keep trying. There will be someone who will listen. Remember it is also hard if you are not in the space to listen if someone vents to you.

Communication is about respect. Respect the other person who is venting to you. Respect the other person who may not be in a position to hear your vent.

How to hold space for another person, and have space held for you in return

Have you ever had this happen?

Something momentous has happened. Maybe you just got your dream job. Maybe you accomplished something you are proud of. Maybe you are feeling down. Maybe you just want to share your thoughts with another human being.

You talk to another person and they don’t respond as you want. Maybe they jump in with their own story, not even acknowledging yours. Maybe they rush to tell you how to sort the problem, when all you wanted was to be heard. Maybe they said something negative.

It is really hard when another person doesn’t listen.

What you want is for someone else to hold the space for you. To honour you in that moment. To see you. To really listen actively by focusing on your and respecting you enough to pay attention to what you are saying.

Sharing your story is a bid for connection. People make these bids all the time. But those bids are often ignored. When that happens you can feel invisible.

It is really important to give other people time and space to express themselves. And it is really important other people give you that time and space as well.

It is easy when chatting with another person to get caught up in telling your own story, just as they can find they get caught up in telling their story and now hearing your own.

Sometimes you just need to listen. At other times the other person needs to listen.

When you are having a conversation with another person, try to put thoughts about how you might reply out of your mind and just focus on what they are saying. Give them empathy and love because that is usually what they are seeking.

It is important to honour others with your presence.

It is also important that others honour you with their presence.

A good friendship has give and take. Sometimes you listen and hold the space for them. Other times they listen and hold the space for you.

If you find your friend is always expecting you to hold the space and never holds the space for you then maybe it is time to find another friend.

Honour yourself and set healthy boundaries.

Hold the space for others, and expect them to hold the space for you as well.

If you have things going on in your life that you need to talk to with something and be heard, and you can’t find anyone to do that, you can see a counsellor.

Can I Help?

If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you, please contact me on 0409396608 or nan@plentifullifecounselling.com.au

If you see me, I will listen, offer empathy and love, and help you make sense of your problem. I will never tell you what to do.

If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with helpful information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here: http://eepurl.com/g8Jpiz