With years of research, relationship expert Dr. Pepper Schwartz has found proven tips for what to do, and what to avoid, to build and keep a happier, healthier relationship between you and the one you love. Check out her tips below, and be sure to use our referral links to sign up for her free online course! xoxo, Jessica
Relationship Tip Number 1: Don’t offer unsolicited advice. It’s criticism.
Tell me if this sounds familiar. It’s lunchtime. You’re hungry. So, you open up the fridge to make a snack. You grab some bread. Some cheese. Some lunch meat. And as you grab the jar of mayonnaise, your partner comes around the corner and says:
“Do you really want to put mayo on your sandwich? It’s not that good for you.”
You think to yourself, “Who’s making this sandwich? Of course, I want mayo – that’s why this jar’s in my hands. Are you calling me fat?”
Now, you might ultimately put mayo back in the fridge. Or you might make that sandwich with gobs of mayo just out of spite – either way, now you’re annoyed.
Relationship expert, Dr. Pepper Schwartz, knows how to prevent arguing in relationships and says that no one should ever give their partner advice unless it’s been requested.
Now, there are clearly issues that affect both partners that warrant discussion, but when there is no shared risk or responsibility, you should probably wait for your partner to ask for your advice before you offer it up.
This can be hard. Sometimes you see your partner doing something that you know deep down could be done better. And it drives you crazy to see them doing it in what you deem the “wrong way.” And sometimes it’s easy to rationalize that you do actually have a stake in what your partner is doing. For example, you might feel that offering suggestions for healthier eating is warranted because you’re affected by your partner’s health and you want to see him or her make healthier choices. An issue like this might be something worth discussing, especially if you are concerned, but starting such discussions through unsolicited advice is seldom an effective tactic.
Bottom line – If you’re prone to offering up unsolicited advice, I encourage you to practice the art of the badly bitten tongue. It might hurt at times, but it can do wonders for your relationship. Because communication in relationships matters. A lot.