In our couples counseling session, Tom began to tell Ally what she should have done in a particular situation. I interrupted him and asked him to start with the lead-in phrase, “What would have worked for me….”
He was attempting to give Ally advice about what she should have said or done. Unsolicited advice infers that a person is doing something wrong.
The lead-in phrase, “What would have worked for me…” gives Ally feedback about what works for Tom. In this way, one gives important information to a partner rather than criticizing.