Where is the line between advice-giving and creating awareness? I know that a large portion of my duties as a professional is advocacy though conversely it is frowned upon to be the one giving advice. So how do I make people aware of the options that are available to them without coming across as recommending one over the other? I think that is where parity of services and a thorough knowledge of the diverse range of resources becomes key.
I want so desperately to be of service to those around me. However, I so often am stopped short by the others' voices inside me telling me not to give advice. Still other voices come at me, telling me not to appear overbearing. "Don't be a part of the problem, but a part of the solution." "You can inform them of our policies, but don't try to convince them one way the other."
It is not my intention to convince people that one way is correctly. On the contrary, I desire to show others the many options that are available to them. When you tell me that I am overly siding with one group or allowing my values to have to convolute my judgment I get lost and don't know where to go anymore. My values say "strive toward egalitarianism and equity." Apparently, I must come across to some as attempting to sway people one way or another. I'm sorry for being myself.
So then you blame me for making this about me. How can I not? How is this not victimizing the victim? I know, my own struggles pale in comparison with those in the world starving for justice and hungry for compassion. However, when you tell me that I'm making it too much about me I wonder how can I change? If you're striving to convince me that I'm blowing things out of proportion, then aren't you the one who is giving advice or labeling unnecessarily?
So I ask you what I can do in an effort to not see things so much from a victim's perspective. You say, "You have to come up with that yourself." So the message I get is that you have every right to point out my problems and shortcomings, but when it comes to suggesting methods for changing those thoughts, behaviors, etc. you are unwilling to work with me. How is that just? "I want to empower you but when I begin to give you suggestions (advice), it is coming from me and not you." So where does that leave me? When I'm stuck and part of you is willing to work with me and the other part says it has to come from within you, what do I do next?
Your efforts to "empower" me live me disempowered. They leave me wondering, "What am I really getting out of this relationship?" I understand your reasoning around not wanting to become an enabler to me and thus create a sense of codependency, but really? How do you expect me to learn this way? I feel this mentorship is very one-sided and it has begun to leave me worse off. Sure, I've learned a lot about myself through this time, and it hasn't all been of my own accord, but I have begun to question your motivations for mentoring me through this. Do you truly have my best interests in mind? Are you really thinking about how I might best succeed? Or are you just hoping to make it through our mandated meetings so that you can add to your own experience, your own CV?
It doesn't seem fair to me though I'm trying to work through it. I'm not one for confrontation, though I know few people who are. Therefore, though you might see my frustrations come out, you may not know their true extent because it seems that the more interactions that we share, the more you lose my trust.
So I'm sorry for coming across as a brash, little child but I'm learning to live this life and lately it just seems like some of the people that claim to be for me are working against me.