“We listen respectfully to what others have to say and share our experience as it seems appropriate.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 11
Before recovery, I was an advice giver. I gave advice without being asked. Many saw it as telling them what to do, and they were probably right. When others wouldn’t take my advice, I would be angry and that would begin a resentment.
After some time in the program and considerable step work with my sponsor, I received a Father’s Day card from my daughter, a college freshman. She mentioned seeing changes in me over the last few months, and that she especially appreciated advice I had recently given her. I had not shared that I was in recovery, so the fact that she had noticed changes meant a lot to me.
The irony, however, was that I had actually stopped giving her advice! I now simply shared my own experience with whatever problem she faced and left out the “I think you should try the same thing” advice. Through sharing my own experience, strength, and hope, and not giving advice, she was now benefitting from our relationship.
I continue to practice this principle in my life. I simply share my own experience, strength, and hope, and only when asked. For me, that means when there is at least a question mark at the end of their sentence. This practice allows me to be of maximum service to others, and keeps me focused on my Higher Power’s will rather than my own. And now I have actual, mutual relationships with the wonderful people in my life!
Today I will listen first and share my own experience when asked.