I test every piece of advice I read or hear with these questions:
Would you look a battered woman in the eye and give her that advice? Could it help her escape her situation or would it encourage her to stay in it? If it would be bad advice for a battered woman, then it’s lousy advice for men and dangerous advice for women.
“Pure love is a willingness to give without a thought of receiving anything in return.” – Peace Pilgrim
“Selfless giving unto others represents one’s true wealth.” – Jon M. Huntsman
Or how about these:
These are dangerous pieces of advice for women. And all this dangerous advice is compounded by the problem of not teaching women the most important lesson of all: to love themselves first and foremost. I remained in an abusive marriage because I was so brainwashed to believe that I had to put the marriage and my children above myself. Countless times, I chanted to myself, “Your sacrifices are a virtue.” I tried to comfort myself with that motto for years. Tried to make sense of what I was allowing to happen to me.
No person should ever put a relationship above themselves and their own well-being. No woman should think herself selfish in a negative way for prioritizing her happiness or her health above a relationship or her children. The ultimate display of love is not sacrifice. It’s not staying with someone out of loyalty. The ultimate display of love for another CANNOT occur unless you love and care for yourself first, and that is because the ultimate display of love for another is walking through this world shining with joy as your very best self and freely sharing that best self with your partner or your family. That’s the lesson we should be teaching girls and women above all others.
Next time you see an advice meme or hear a self-help guru spout life advice, try it out with this test. If you couldn’t, in good conscience, look a battered woman in the eye and tell her that advice, believing it will help her get out of her situation, then that is flawed advice for you.
Thoughts? Do you agree with me?