This morning a friend called me after accidently sticking herself in the thumb with an epipen. An epipen is an emergency treatment injection for life threatening allergic conditions a person may be having. This medicine actually belonged to her husband for his medical problems. This particular drug if given is administered in the thigh not the thumb where she accidently gave it to herself. I offered her advice rather quickly because of the type of situation she was in, but the problem is that she lives close to 3000 miles away from me! You can feel flattered someone trusts you enough to call you, however, was it prudent to give advice to her? My answer to the question is quite simple- IT DEPENDS!
Here are my top 10 advise giving tips. This is in no particular order and it does not mean this is the only advice out there. Many folks know alot more about almost everything than I do, but after this incident, it occurred to me that giving advice is not what it is all cracked up to be. So again my disclaimer is that this is just some helpful advice on giving advice and not necessarily for only medical types as myself:
1. Be very sincere. It may have taken alot for someone to approach you. AKA-do not roll your eyes….like you are being bothered.
2. Make sure that you understand from them that they are indeed asking for your advice. Clarify with the person especially in nonemergency situations.
3. Do not get judgmental at all. No one needs a lecture. If you can offer a book on the subject then do that or a link from the internet.
4. Allow the person to explain their situation clearly if they can and what exactly their question is.
5. Make it clear that your “advice” is not the only answer especially if there are many different approaches to the question that is being asked of you.
6. Be kind to the person. Do not make fun of someone for asking your opinion.
7. Make sure the person understands your advice and that you ask them to explore in their mind if what you are saying coincides with what they are thinking.
8. Do not act like you are 100% correct unless you know you are 100% correct.
9. Remember most times folks know what is best to do in their situation and they just need you as a friend to confirm their suspicions for their circumstances.
10.Before you end your time with that person, make sure they have a plan of action in their mind.
I am sure many of you are wondering what happened to my friend that stuck herself with the epipen needle. Since I knew she was speaking easily, I made sure she was breathing all right and asked her how long ago she had done this to herself. I said she needed to go have her husband take her to urgent care for assistance especially since she was experiencing some increased heart rate and my friend does have high blood pressure and a history of breathing problems at times. I also mentioned that she should get a tetanus shot. Sticking yourself with a needle or any kind of cut means it is time to update your immunization if need be. My primary concern is to do no harm so encouraging her to seek medical attention was paramount in my mind.
That was an excellent post today. Thanks so much for sharing it. I
really enjoyed reading it very much. I’ll be sure to pass it along to others.
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A friend gave me advice once about giving advice that is so hard for me to follow but so true. I fail in this area a lot but every once in a while it helps me to keep my mouth shut. It fits with your tip #2. Here goes….
“Unsolicited advice is always criticism.”
Long distance hugs to you, my friend 🙂
Thank you! Ouch for sure!
Great info on advice giving! I am going to print these up and put them on my fridge 🙂 I am so glad your friend was ok after the epipen incident. Thank you once again for an enlightening blog!
Thank you! Yes . She is doing fine.
Excellent advice on how to give advice! And I’m glad your friend is doing better now, that has to be a scary situation.
Yes. It was for her I am sure. Thank you for reading.
All very good advice! In my line of work, since I hold someone hostage for an hour with no use of their hands, I somehow lead them to their own conclusions. I say somehow, because as we talk it out, they will reach the conclusion that is best for them, truly tailored to their needs. I end up mostly a sounding board. All good, until the next time I see them and we explore some more solutions to new and/or old situations!
Wow! You sound like a therapist!
Sound advice all around! I hope your friend is OK.
Yes. I think so. She is doing fine!
I just gave advice to another friend on re-posting old interesting posts. I do this when really busy. You had this on FB so I came to look. Advice is great, as long as those getting it listen. Too many just don’t listen. As a nurse you probably are of aware of that fact.
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