This picture caught my eye because it’s definitely something that I’ve been learning to do. Growing up my mom used to always tell me that if you help someone without their permission they’ll turn around and persecute you. As an adult, I’ve experienced this firsthand. I’ve always been someone who has been willing to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to help someone. Recently I’ve learned the importance of being cautious as help people. One of the things that my therapist education has taught me is to rarely if ever give advice. Four words I will probably never use, or very rarely use “In my professional opinion.” The reason for this is because people will rarely tell you the full story. They’ll tell you a side that makes them look like the person that is being wronged when in reality, either they’re the culprit or they share the blame. I’ve learned that most people don’t want help. They just say that they do. Saying that you want to change and actually CHANGING are totally different things entirely. Good intentions don’t equal good actions. One of the problems with giving advice is that you rarely ever know the full story. If the person follows your advice and it turns out to be wrong, 9 times out of 10 they’ll blame you. I’ve gotten out of the “I’m a therapist so tell me all your problems” syndrome. I don’t counsel family or friends and I don’t say what I think unless it’s asked. And even then, I do it pretty sparingly. Most people don’t want counsel. They just want a listening an empathetic ear. I find it much easier to just let people know that I’m here if they need me and just leave it there.