Am I Speaking to a Wall?
As a a family member or friend you have most likely experienced a time when someone has repeatedly asked for advice, which you are happy to give, yet when you share this advice they rarely take it and furthermore, make bad decisions that negatively impact their life. This can be a very frustrating and hurtful experience when you clearly see that your loved one could improve their situation with the correct guidance, yet you know that they will not actually apply it to their life. Even worse is repeatedly hearing how their bad decisions are negatively affecting their life, for which they never seem to take responsibility. So, what do you do in this situation?
My mentor always taught me that if you try to give advice from where you are standing, you may really feel like you gave the right direction, but you should take time to look at where that person is standing. That person may not be moving forward. Any person who is giving advice must see if the person on the receiving end can actually absorb what is being given. If the receiver is able to absorb, then they will be able to take action; if they are unable to absorb, then although they can memorize your words, they will not be able to take action and follow through.
True advice is not just the ability to give someone direction but it also entails seeing where the other person is standing and what their capacity is for understanding. There is a principle that states, a fish is a fish and a human is a human, if you keep trying to explain something to a fish using our language and the fish does not change or follow what you are saying, you cannot blame the fish, because you must remember that a fish is a fish.
No one can change anyone else unless the person they are trying to change realizes it for themselves. When the person receiving advice is determined to change by their own will, then they are able to change; if they merely memorize what you are saying, they may be able to repeat your words, but their actions will not follow.