Who doesn’t like giving advice? Who doesn’t like receiving it? Wait, put your hands down, that was rhetorical.

In all seriousness sometimes we need to ask for advice (we can’t all be in a bubble) and we are lucky that someone values our wisdom enough to ask us for our advice. I certainly am honored when that happens and it makes me feel validated (see The Status Game II). But advice is a tricky thing.

Teleporting vs. empathizing vs. your way

If someone asks for advice you have three ways to answer:

  • You can teleport into their life, AS YOU and then just react. All of your history, experiences and personality comes with you but you are stuck there for the rest of your life.
  • You can just answer the issue as if you’ve been given a test (then move on with no ramifications)
  • You can empathize with the person, understanding what it must be like to be them, having to deal with issues that may be foreign to you, having their flaws and strengths that are different than yours

Which way do you think is best?

Which way announces itself with four special words?