If there’s one thing that irritates me very quickly about people it is the ability to give each other unsolicited advice. People seem to think that no matter what you may or may not be going through you want to hear every single piece of advice that they have to offer and to be honest it’s so weird. It strikes me that people rarely take the time to consider whether the person who is being offered the advice actually wants to receive it or is ready to receive this unsolicited advice. In my business and life as a whole I have had many instances when people have offered me advice that not only have I not asked for, it wasn’t particularly useful advice. It motivated me to make this video on why people need to stop giving unsolicited advice.
Here are a few more reasons why people need to stop giving unsolicited advice:
It might be bad timing – there is so much happening in people’s lives that we do not see or know, unless we are close to someone and even then we can’t be certain what they might be going through unless we spend every waking hour with them. Timing when offering advice is so important, it can make the difference between making someone even more uncomfortable about their situation or silencing them completely.
It cross boundaries – understanding and respecting each others boundaries is part of establishing and maintaining healthy relationships. Unsolicited advice can sometimes mean that boundaries are being crossed.
Increased pressure to be perfect – sometimes in life we make mistakes, actually we make a lot of mistakes and that is OK. Unless those mistakes are harming us or we are not learning from them then we should give each other the space to make mistakes and remove ourselves from the idea that everything has to be perfect.
Now although this piece is intended to discourage people from giving unsolicited advice I also wanted to briefly touch on how to handle receiving unsolicited advice without internalising things and becoming resentful or frustrated. Here are a few ways of handling it that I have used:
Changing the subject – sometimes just moving on swiftly helps, it doesn’t necessarily help the person to know that they may have done something to irritate you but at least you won’t be stuck in an awkward conversation.
Say how you feel – this one can be challenging but if you really want to assert yourself you should be direct with how you feel, being firm in your communication can help the person giving unsolicited advice know that they should change.
Let them know why their advice though possibly well meaning isn’t for you – being honest but also showing that you appreciate the sentiment (if the advice is coming from a place of love) can help to improve communication and maintain trust.