Helpful vs Hurtful : Which are you?

Too many times I’ve see people who mean well hurt the feelings of those they love. I am guilty of this as well.  I am not writing this post to call any one person out for something they recently said. This is actually a topic I’ve been thinking about for some time and I’m just getting around to putting it into words.

The question is, how do you give advice or help without totally insulting someone. Example: If I approach a lady I’ve known for some time who I see as overweight and ask her to let me help her lose weight, I am looking at that as it being helpful because I’m asking to help her better herself. Now if she wasn’t thinking about losing weight and if she doesn’t necessary see herself as over weight, is that helping? I mean, I’m basically calling her fat to her face, right?  Who am I to tell her she needs to change her life and just because I did! I definitely prefer my way of living but that doesn’t mean everyone does.

Now I used weight loss as an example because that’s what I like to do, help people get fit. But that is not the only way to be hurtful when trying to help. Try relationship advice as well. Until you have lived in that other person’s situation you have no clue what is best for them. I may be really mad at my husband right now for something he did or said but that doesn’t mean I am going to sit there and listen to you bad mouth him and tell me how to handle the situation. It’s hurtful and the majority of the time the situation with my loved one will blow over and I’ll be left remembering the “advice” you gave me and be thankful I didn’t take it.  Same goes when friends disagree. There is usually another friend near by that will listen and put their two cents in. Chances are in another day the two parties that disagree will most likely work it out. Putting yourself in the middle of those situations can not only be hurtful to the person you are giving the advice to but to yourself as well. It’s liable to backfire on you.

There are many many situations where advice is given unsolicited these are just to of the most common examples.

Again, how do you move from hurtful to helpful? Well, I am guilty of this I’m sure. I do apologize if I have treated any of you this way.

Now, how would I handle these situations in a non hurtful way? Well, as for weight loss and getting in shape, I wait for a person to express an interest in my activities to approach them about it.  All it takes is a “like’ on a Facebook post or a post of their own about losing weight or getting in shape for me to pounce. I figure at that point you’ve brought it up first and it’s okay for me to comment about it.  I have been overweight! Maybe not as overweight as some but I’ve been there so I know the frustration of not liking yourself. Hating the way clothes look on you. I just want to help everyone feel great about themselves the way I do. There is nothing like shaping yourself into who you want to be and knowing YOU did it with hard work and dedicated effort.

And sometimes it’s not even about losing weight but toning up a skinny body! Building muscles and having more energy. A lot of people don’t realize that exercise really helps with all of that too. Here is my advice…. Just because your skinny, doesn’t mean you are healthy and fit. Now, helpful or hurtful? Huh?

Now, on the subject of relationship and friendship advice, unless you are really good friends with the person, just stay away from it! Be a good friend and lend an ear when your pal needs someone to vent too.  Most likely they just want to vent not listen to advice they probably won’t need anyway. I’m probably just as guilty as dishing out hurtful or harmful advice to my loved ones. Sometimes you can’t help it. But when dealing with this type of thing, before you speak, ask yourself, “if this situation blows over and everything turns out fine, how will my advice make me look?”

It’s not always the advice that is hurtful. Sometimes it’s the story or dialog around the advice that ends up hurting.  Example: If you are talking to an over weight person about an over weight person, don’t think that person isn’t thinking about what a bitch you are being. Same goes when you know your best friend was just in a situation and you are griping to her about another friend who did the same thing. Think before you speak people. It’s hard and sometimes we don’t but we should!

That being said, I’m thinking about situations where I said things I shouldn’t have.  Even the best intentions sometimes end up stinging. I will most likely be thinking twice about my input into others business for now on.  Just a thought, maybe you should too!  (oops, that’s advice huh!)

This post reflects my opinion and in no way, shape , or form should reflect on how I view others should they not agree with my way of thinking.  It’s all in creative fun.

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