In the following chapter of our new book, Snap Strategies for Couples: 40 Fast Fixes for Everyday Relationship Pitfalls, Dr. Pepper and I caution about giving unsolicited advice to your partner. Enjoy the free sample!
Giving advice is very seductive if you are the one giving it. It can seem like such a good idea at the time. You can give your partner the benefit of your opinion on what you would do, or what he or she should do, because you are obviously far wiser and better informed. We hope you know that we are just joking here!
Advice is treacherous territory in an intimate relationship. It is often likely to be taken either as "I am better, smarter, wiser than you" or "I am superior in some way." There is also the other aspect of giving advice that signals contempt: “I don’t want to hear what you have to say and I have no empathy or compassion for what you are telling me.” Your “advice” can be seen as an attack, and nothing is going to go well after that. And as you know, when someone feels attacked the response is either to fight back, go passive, or get away, none of which is a desirable result. The best resolution when you get this response is to apologize quickly and resolve not to continue this kind of behavior. To be clear, there are a few times when it may be safe to offer your advice, and that is when you hear these exact words: "I would like your advice."
As always, for the other pages of the chapter and the rest of the book, order here!