What sort of help do you want?

What sort of help should you offer?

Many people say – I treat people like I’d want to be treated myself. I challenge this and remind people that instead we should treat people how they want to be treated.

Bruce Feiler, in his research on transitions has identified that people prefer one of four preferences for advice

First we have the Comforters

They want to know that you are on their side and believe in them.

Some want to be Nudged

The ‘nudgers’ want the gentle encouragement saying things like – ‘maybe you should’

For others it to see Role Models

The role models show how to change based on their behaviour. You don’t want to be told, but like to see other people and based behaviour on that.

And finally there are ‘Slappers’

The tough love school who call you out if you have moaned on too long. They want to shake you into action.


It’s worth thinking about the sort of support we want, and this may change over time and depending on situations.

I remember learning to drive, my first driving instructor was nice, but a bit soft. He was trying to nudge me in my driving. I worried I wouldn’t pass my test and moved over to a retired police driving instructor. It was like boot camp with him, I cried in every lesson, but it was what I needed and I passed first time.

So whether it be helping you get a job, deal with a relationship situation or the support of a personal trainer at the gym – what sort of help is right for you, right now?

Published On: July 12th, 2022 / Categories: Personal Development /

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