Breaking the Loop: Encouraging Action over Repetitive Conversations

I took the long and windy road to finally learn that no one actually wants your advice. 

Over the years, I’ve always been the friend that listens. The empathetic friend that allowed their friends they pour everything out to what they were feeling inside them and purge. It would turn into repeat conversations daily or weekly. Same purging of their thoughts and emotions. What they wanted to change about themselves, why they repeated the same behaviours and why they struggled to change. 

When I offered my insight or advice, post-purge, they weren’t interested in hearing it. They rejected it, denied it to be true and didn’t want any advice on moving forward. Or, if they entertained my words, they were listening with glazed over eyes and not absorbing what I was saying. 

If I’m honest, I was so over the repeat conversations and truly bored of talking out the same problems over and over. While we need to release our emotions, we actually need to take some steps to make things change. 

So instead of listening and offering up my words of advice, I would question them.

  • Why do you do this?
  • Why do you get out of your friends, family partner by doing this?
  • When will you stop?
  • Do you actually want this to change or do you enjoy repeating the victim story? 

I figured they needed to face their truth, whether they committed to their change or cut me as a friend because of it, ultimately, I wanted the change too. 

I came to understand that people knew the answers to how to solve their problems. If people needed advice, they would ask the question. But they don’t want to take action. It requires change and people like the familiar, even though they don’t want something to continue. But they aren’t in enough pain to make that shift. And until they did experience that pain, they continued the conversation loop and believed that was enough action to overcome the problem.

It was obvious as a facade and a way to continue masking the problem without a solution.

People need to be their own victor of their heroes journey to realise they have the strength and capacity tl do so. Maybe sometimes all they need from their support network is the right set of questions to pop them back on their path.