Occasionally, though, someone will bring a problem to me without requesting advice. It's usually a friend who just needs to vent. Other times, I'll pick up on a problem without even having a discussion. It's pretty easy to see when someone you know well is going through a rough time - especially when it's something you've been through yourself.
But someone (actually, that someone was Big) once told me, "Unsolicited advice is criticism." He was right. If you offer someone advice when they don't want it - or worse, haven't yet realized there's a problem - it sounds critical.
I don't want to come across as critical, or judgmental of my friends. I do want to offer them the wisdom of my experience, and maybe save them some heartache.
I also walk a fine line between protecting someone's privacy, and feelings - and using situations to share my experiences here. After all, even if my friends don't want my advice, someone else might be looking for insight on a similar situation. Then again, I don't want to reduce my friends' suffering to something as trivial as blog fodder.
So, from time to time, my posts may feel a little vague. Or, I may dig into the archives for something random from my past. It's just my way of offering up a little wisdom, without throwing someone under the bus.
Please, don't judge me.