Love and relationship "experts" are popping up like dandelions online. But is their current strategy really helping anyone?

From time to time I'll receive a retweet on my Twitter timeline from a relationship "expert." All too often these online "experts" are men and all too often their advice is directed only to women. The advice is usually very blunt and accusatory in nature.

Steve Harvey and crew have given these guys a clear runway to take off into oblivion and reinvent themselves as relationship "experts," even when they don't have a successful, loving relationship with a woman themselves!

I figured since these "experts" have their minds set on giving unsolicited advice to women day in and out, I'll dole out a bit of my own today:

Please stay in your own lane.

No this is not meant as a finger snap in your face. It's a serious suggestion. 

If you are a black man who feels you have had some level of success in life and knowledge of how to have a successful relationship, talk to your fellow black men about it. How can a man like you make his relationship work?  

And vice versa for black women.

But as a side note, when have you ever seen a black woman giving unsolicited relationship advice to black men? Let alone an unmarried black woman who is not in a healthy and loving relationship herself? That's unheard of, right?

Are You Really Helping?
I do believe that certain types of men simply get a twisted pleasure and satisfaction from criticizing and shaming women, particularly black women. I think it's a veiled way for men to bash women while pretending to want to help.

But I also get that the real reason why these male relationship "experts" focus their attention on women is that unfortunately women are the only ones who are willing to pay them any attention. A man doesn't really want any of what they're selling. So if one of these "experts" wanted to sell a book or tape series on how to have a relationship, they know that their target audience is going to be "desperate and lonely women of all ages."

But if you're a black man who is sincerely interested in HELPING people build better relationships, then your efforts are best focused on giving helpful advice to other black men who may be struggling with how to talk to and deal with women.

The Messenger is Just as Important as the Message

You can't shame and blame anyone into submission -- especially not a grown person. Ask any real relationship expert and they will tell you that.

It is also extremely difficult to get through to someone if you can't really relate to what they're going through or what they've been through. Even if the message that you're offering has merit, you may not be the right messenger.

Think about this for a moment: someone may have a very true message about saving the black community, but if it comes from the lips of a condescending white person who has never even set foot in a black neighborhood, we don't want to even hear it.

A black woman better understands the stresses, concerns, troubles, fears, challenges and dreams of other black women. For that reason I believe that a black woman who is in a healthy and happy relationship is best equipped to successfully give relationship advice to another black woman.

Black men also need a strong male influence if they want to build a successful relationship with someone. So I believe that a black man who is in a healthy relationship is best equipped to give relationship advice to another black man.

Expert?
Lastly, let's quickly explore this label of "expert." Just because you have something to say on a matter doesn't make you an expert yet. It takes years of training, reading, studying, meditating, and loads of life experience to earn that title. 

How many lives have you changed? How many strong relationships have you helped build? How many successful marriages have you helped create?

Isn't that what defines an expert: results?

However, even if you can't truly call yourself an expert yet you still might have good insights to offer others. If you truly want to help, offer it to those who you can best relate to and who can relate to you

Yes, it's unsolicited advice but hey, you're no stranger to that ;)



Post by: The Classy Black Lady

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  1. Anonymous On August 16, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    I agree 100% with this article.

     

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