"Good Morning America" is launching a nationwide search for a 21st century Advice Guru.
This is a full time, on-air position at "GMA." You could sit next to George and Robin and be a part of the "GMA" Team!
Over the next few weeks, we'll be featuring some of your entries on the website.
Check out this one from Heather Gates in Fox River Grove, Ill.
What's the best advice you have ever given? What was the result?
One day a woman came into my office dismayed by the lack of affection and attention from her guy. I listened and came to discover that while there was clearly love and respect there, with time the romance had faded significantly.
I asked her, "Have you thought about having a steamy, hot love affair with yourself?" I suggested she take some attention away from him and the relationship and shower herself with love. Send herself flowers, make herself a lovely, candlelit dinner and take time to pamper and take care of herself, etc. ... She agreed, hesitantly. The "affair" not only lifted her spirits but made her look and feel better -- more empowered. A life change. As a side effect, the guy took notice and the romance and appreciation was back. Most importantly, she committed to take time to love herself equally and it has made her a more confident, healthier person!
What would you tell his person: "Whenever there is an issue between my mother-in-law and me, my husband refuses to stand up for me. How do I get him to value our relationship more than the one with his mother?
You don't. Forcing your husband to take sides will only create conflict between you and him and that's not what you want, and it may be what his mom wants! Try to value the respect he has for his mom and appreciate that it's the example he's giving your children. Try to bring her into decisions that you are comfortable with and where she may add value -- like cooking or decorating advice. But when you ask her, always present you and your hubby as a united front -- "Bill and I are couch shopping" ... or "I'd like to surprise Bill by preparing his favorite childhood dish." She'll love you for seeking her council and for the love you have for her son. Wouldn't you, even if begrudgingly? You may even develop your own respect and admiration for her. She must have done some things right -- she raised the man YOU chose to marry.
What would you tell this person: "While cleaning my son's room, I accidentally saw on his Facebook page threatening remarks from his friends. I fear he's being bullied. What should I do?"
There are times to let kids be kids and times to be the mother tiger-lady. It's time to roar loudly. This is a serious, potentially life-threatening issue and should be treated as such. Maintain trust. Don't reveal how you know but ask your son directly if this is happening. Hopefully he'll be honest but he may protect the bully to avoid being picked on more. Err on the side of protecting your kid. Unless you're very close, skip the bully's parents -- they may be bullies, too -- and go directly to school. If you feel the school isn't being extremely proactive, head straight for the authorities -- same day. While you may fear embarrassing your son, explain the severity of bullying and that it's your job to protect him. Embarrassment fades. There are life lessons for him to learn in this that someday should be discussed and applied later. Right now, pounce.
What would you tell this person: "My boss keeps taking credit for my ideas. What should I do?"
While imitation may be the most sincere form of flattery, stealing credit may be the most frustrating, but it's still a genuine compliment. While your instinct may be to beat her to the credit punch next time, instead try a new direction and keep this professional bridge unburned. Undoubtedly, her actions come from a bit of insecurity. We all have some so use hers to your advantage. When you successfully complete a project throw her some credit. "I've learned so much from you. Thanks for the mentoring!"
Be sure to elevate your boss when appropriate and honest: "Jane is a brilliant strategist, we make a good team!" Doing this may feel like eating an old sandwich -- hard to swallow -- but you'll still be satisfied and potentially fulfilled. Your boss will eventually return the compliments and don't be surprised if at her next promotion she takes her own personal cheerleader along!
Even as a child, every day I would pray my path lead me to help others. This wish has led me to often dispensing practical advice kindly, but very directly. I've seen this life trend continue personally and professionally and have worked in public relations for almost 20 years -- the operative word being "relations."
In that time, I've learned valuable lessons that have assisted me in growing from my own journey and being a good friend and advisor. The keys to my advice are simple and as practical as the advice itself.
Here are some: As a rule, I give advice without judgment and with the understanding that I am only hearing one side. I know that there is good in everyone and in most cases people really do the best they can at the time. I also realize that even a broken clock is right twice a day (just one of my "Heatherisms") and that overall goodness can't be mistaken for an occasional kind act. I distinguish between someone needing a shoulder to lean on or one to cry on -- there are times for both. I relate -- I've had difficulties, like all people, and have found gifts in most of them. Many people can if they look hard enough while some need gifts unveiled to them.
I've also found that every problem does indeed have a solution, even if it's the peace of acceptance. I never forget that most people have the solution within them, sometimes it just takes another person to offer the last piece of the puzzle.
I've learned the key to good advice is giving it without self-benefit. Kindness is key in giving advice and in every situation. The opportunity to help another is a gift to the receiver and giver. I've been blessed to be both.