Question: Can you give me some advice on giving advice?
Answer: Give advice on what you know – things you’ve experienced. Let’s say we’re talking about sex/love blogging in particular. Pretty much everyone has been through a breakup. You can go through life saying you’re a professional at breakups. You know all about them. That’s because that’s a deeply personal thing that has happened to you, and it’s relatable. The problem is that you’re not the only person who has been through a breakup. What makes you special and why does your experience matter?
I’ve found that it’s not the experience you’ve had that matter but the growth that you’ve experienced through that experience.
Anyone can sit down and say hey, cosmo 101, breakups suck, here’s what you can do. What I enjoy reading are the stories of people who can offer a before and after. I hear you’re hurting. I was in that situation once too and this is how it felt when I was in that situation. These are the things that I did to get out of that situation and grow stronger because of it.
Take a mundane story and roll it in glitter and the tears of your enemies and present it on a silver platter to the king.
Those stories are more real and motivating than a list that is shared over and over again. It’s about story telling. Advice is kind of like story telling. It can be, and I think it should be, the passing of wisdom.
What’s important is trying to tell that story and pass along your wisdom with the understanding that you know something. You don’t know everything. You had this one experience but their experience might be different. You might have had a different outcome than they did. Your experiences aren’t the sum of all experiences. And while they might make you wise and give you that knowledge and wisdom, they don’t make you an expert on the situation.
People like to believe that they are experts. The only thing you’re really an expert on is yourself. So write from that perspective when you’re giving advice. Write about yourself but do it in a way that can act as guidance for another. Do your best to mix up that question with what you can give and don’t give more than that.
Above all: Don’t feel like you’re expected to give more than that.
Do you have a question about sex or love? Submit at the top by hitting ask advice and I’ll answer it on my blog.