Break-ups, work conflicts, family disputes. These are just a few of the more common reasons your friends may ask for your advice. And while it feels good to be the person they trust, value, and turn to, it can also feel overwhelming. Being the “go to” friend can be a blessing and sometimes a curse. It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to help someone, simply with our words. It can also leave us mentally and emotionally fatigued.
If you find yourself to be the person everyone seems to turn to for advice and support, remember, it’s okay to take a break from that role. You are not expected to be everyone’s sounding board all the time. Especially when the listening and giving leaves you drained and depleted.
This week, remember you are human. While you normally feel good about falling into the role of advice-giver, know you don’t always have to be the strong one. When you find yourself in a situation where someone is about to unload, pause and try responding with the following:
• “I’m really sorry but I have a lot going on right now. I know you need some good advice and I’m afraid I won’t be able to give you the help and support you need.”
• “I’m really sorry but I can’t be here for you right now. I have a family member who has been ill and that is weighing heavy on my mind and heart right now.”
• “As much as I would love to help, I’m overwhelmed with work thoughts right now.”
Most importantly, know that it’s always okay to say “no” or offer them an alternative. Even suggesting, “I hope you will be okay. Is there someone else you can talk to?” might just do the trick.
Take good care this week, Steepers!