No one likes advice. But there is not a person on this earth that doesn’t love a compliment.
I’m a pretty social person. I meet new people on a regular basis, and almost whenever I do this, I find myself asking one question about them, which is: are they happy?
And, if not, what do they need in order to be more happy?
What can I help them with?
It’s crazy, I know, and I never (okay, I rarely) say this out loud.
But the question is always there, in my head, and it comes out in a million different ways: telling them where I go to get a haircut, what books to read on a given subject, how to deal with stupid people.
I know, I know:
I am incredibly annoying.
Sometimes, though, my well-meaning advice comes out differently.
It comes out as a compliment.
Like, “You are so good at communicating your feelings” (when they’re really not).
Or, “I love how you always seem to know what not to say” (when this is very far from the truth).
Or even, “I love your hair” (just as a way to remind them of what they do have on their side).
And when this happens–when I find a way to replace direct advice with the indirect kind–it just works so much better.