People react or respond to advice in different ways:
1. They listen politely, then do exactly what they want to do.
2. Agree with you vigorously. Then do what they want to do anyway.
3. Get angry at you and walk away in a huff.
4. Resent what you said and swear you off for eternity.
5. Get “hurt” by your advice and proceed to tear you down -- privately and publicly.
6. Over-analyze your advice -- and get paralyzed in the process.
7. Smile politely and say thank you, then go from one counselor to another until they hear the advice they want to hear.
8. Keep going back for advice but won’t do anything about it.
9. Listen to your advice then judge you -- that you advised them with wrong motives.
10. Withhold important information from you (for whatever reason) -- then blame you for giving them the wrong advice.
11. Get defensive when you correct them and tell them what to stop doing.
12. Rationalize and justify what they did wrong -- instead of listening and finding out how they can correct their mistakes.
13. Accuse you of being too strict, conservative, over-reactive, judgmental, rigid, liberal, insensitive, etc.
14. Just use you as a sounding board.
15. Do only part of what you advised them to do. Then blame you for the half-baked results.
16. Freak out on you when things don’t turn out well.
17. Use your advice on other people but never on themselves.
18. Take your advice, apply it, and thank you for the good outcome.
19. Take your advice, apply it, and forget about you.
20. Take your advice, apply it successfully, and pass on your advice to people with similar problems.
Fiends often ask for advice from each other. Sometimes just listening to a person can be such a big help already. Why? Because by listening, you already help the person to organize his thoughts, priorities, and options. Well and good. However, when you’re “asking for advice” but, in the process, you’re giving away very damaging information about others -- you need to question your motives. Are you really asking for advice or are you backbiting in disguise? This duplicity is vile and tragic. I’ve seen this happen, and it has broken friendships. It has destroyed partnerships; it has ripped apart teams, departments, churches, organizations.
At the end of the day, the job of a counselor is one of the most fulfilling yet thankless jobs on this planet. Especially in a church setting where biblical counseling is given for free -- a counselor actually invests his time, expertise, emotions, brain power, and resources to give FREE counseling to people who might not even be interested in really solving their problems. To top it all, counseling can be extremely draining.
Unfortunately, some people just like to talk about themselves, their problems, their grievances and resentments -- without actually intending to take deliberate steps to resolve their issues.
If you’re a person with a problem, and you want to be counseled -- please make sure, first of all, that you’re not stubborn; that you have an open mind (meaning, you’re willing to be corrected), and you’re really serious about solving your problems.
If you’re going to a counselor just to vent or let off steam, please refrain from going for counseling. Have a conscience. Don’t waste the counselor’s time. Don’t waste precious time that someone else needs to solve his/her problems.
If you’re not serious about listening to advice, just go read a book about your issues. Maybe you can do a DIY. That way, you don’t become a nuisance to anyone.