33 Comments
Jan 19, 2023Liked by Michelle Elisabeth Varghese

As someone who doesn't like to seek or give advice (as you know), I believe you will come out refreshed and more centered from these 30 days. It's hard to fight an urge, whatever it may be, as you always feel (or assume) you're acting in good faith. Or you construct a good faith behavior in your mind when in reality there isn't one (but you don't even know; it's unconscious). I for one put a tremendous amount of value on making mistakes, and even when I feel a genuine urge to give advice (like with my kids -- that has to be the most genuine urge to give advice that there is), I build a resistance in my head to force myself to let go of it and just observe, and be. I think that it's hard to know who you're really dealing with, even with close friends. They may have the most diverse (and hidden and private) motives. I loved this essay, Michelle. These themes are so profound and your writing is always so beautiful and effective. :)

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Jan 20, 2023Liked by Michelle Elisabeth Varghese

Michelle! Are you sure you were not writing about me? If not, I think she and I must be related - the description is too on point!

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Jan 19, 2023Liked by Michelle Elisabeth Varghese

Love this piece, such a profound self-reflection and awareness. It reminds me of the practices from Rik’s supportive conversation sessions where you literally only do 3 things when the other is speaking: 1 sit in silence 2 repeat back exactly and 3 say ‘so what you’re saying is ( and repeat back exactly). Often this is what the speaker needs most. It is hard to do and enjoyable to practice. Looking forward to hearing the results of your 30 day trial :) (although you do give great advice!)

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Jan 21, 2023Liked by Michelle Elisabeth Varghese

As a lawyer training to be a coach, going from giving advice all the time to not giving advice as a starting point was really tough. Two of the best words a teacher in Motivational Interviewing shared with me that really helped my righting reflex were “compassionate curiosity”. In other words, what can I be curious about rather than what do I have to be right about. It freed up me!

And I love the curiosity you’ve brought out in yourself in writing this essay. Wonderful to see that.

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Jan 20, 2023Liked by Michelle Elisabeth Varghese

Not an easy task to execute as it will change how you approach various conversations.

What I've learned is to ask for permission before providing advice. Are you searching for my advice?, Would you like my perspective?, etc., help guide the conversation, especially around close friends and family. Only when I receive permission do I provide ideas, solutions, or advice for the individual. I also tend to repeat the issue or problem, but that's my years of sales background coming through. Ha!

Good essay and your doing really well finding a "flow" in the delivery of your words.

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Jan 19, 2023Liked by Michelle Elisabeth Varghese

What a fantastic challenge of pattern interruption to take on. Advice fasting. I suspect, however, that the people in the world who we all wish would refrain from spewing their advice so freely are not as self-aware as you, and in fact, it would never cross their minds to keep it to themselves. I see others are resonating with your comments and the style of your upbringing, but it was the opposite for me. No one ever gave anyone advice, and there is another kind of pain, loss, and disorientation that comes with an absence of mirroring and guidance—especially from parents to children. I actually think that the right path regarding advice giving is unfortunately not clearly marked, ambiguous and vague, and that it is situation and relationship specific—the right path being somewhere in between the extremes. As a parent of three kids, I can attest to the fact that it not an easy balance to strike, but I also think it's exactly people like you, capable of self awareness and self reflection, who stand the best chance of pulling it off. I'll bet your friends need and benefit from your feedback quite often. And then there's always a fine line. But I'm definitely not giving you any advice. : )

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Jan 19, 2023Liked by Michelle Elisabeth Varghese

Your vulnerability is resonating with me, MV. I give unsolicited advice without realizing and I find that I have to backtrack and apologize to my friends for giving them a mini-TED talk.

Your mom reminds me of my mom. Fiercely compassionate and protective. And she’s a nurse too :)

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Jan 19, 2023Liked by Michelle Elisabeth Varghese

Ooo what a banger. Really got me thinking, so much so I'm back here three hours after I first read it. :)

It made me wonder: is it really superiority? I was raised by similar parents - they hate to see us or even their own peers/siblings make mistakes. But I don't know if it's that they think they are right and thus superior, or that they think they're safe and thus right.

I've come to see it as more an anxiety to ensure we don't err in the ways they already know not to. As if staying alive, staying safe, never falling and never failing are the only ways to live. Which I can kind of understand because well... look at the lives they came from?

Looking forward to hearing what comes of your 30 day experiment! <3

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Jan 27, 2023Liked by Michelle Elisabeth Varghese

"Sweetly Waiting To Give Unsolicited Advice" lololololol

a whole lotta people could benefit from that 30 day challenge.👀

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Jan 23, 2023Liked by Michelle Elisabeth Varghese

No waaaayy!!!!

A month without giving advice 😬

What I’ve observed in our generation is that people (including me) have become less welcoming toward advice. It wasn’t in previous generations.

I remember hating getting unsolicited advice when my son was born, and now on enrolling him in school and about his education. It was because I am an active reader of parenting and childhood education, so I believed that I already knew the stuff.

I only enjoy advice when it comes from a person I admire or when I need it.

But I like to give advice whenever I see a potential for improvement or believe it is necessary to intervene. It’s up to the person, leave it or take it.

This brings me to a question, why did the previous generation (our parents, grandparents) happily welcome advice from others and we usually do not enjoy it?

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Jan 23, 2023Liked by Michelle Elisabeth Varghese

Loved this Michelle (and the picture made laugh a lot hahaha), also loved the challenge.

You made me think that "Not giving advice" even has further ramifications on just loving the person in front of you as it is, without having to pass judgement on every action or decision. I've been trying to do this with my dad lately, and with your suggestion, will try it out with more people :)

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