When we ask for advice from someone that is very knowledgeable in certain areas or from someone whom we admire, this can be very useful both in the short term and long term.
On the other hand, unsolicited advice from close family or even from complete strangers can be an annoying and sometimes insulting behaviour.
It could be done in a well meaning manner by some people but in most cases unsolicited advice is self-serving.
The more well meaning reasons someone gives unsolicited advice are firstly because they are trying to be friendly, secondly they are just excited to share something that worked for them or thirdly they are just completely altruistic.
Some other motivations that might be harder to spot however are listed below:
Helplessness & wanting to solve your problems: If you are sharing some thoughts on how you are struggling in a certain situation, the listener may think that you need them to fix your problem rather than just validate what you are saying. They think that by giving you some sort of solution you will feel happier. This isn’t the case though in most situations.
The need to be needed:
Some people just have an intense need to be needed and to feel important. It’s as simple as that.
Narcissistic tendencies: People who may have a Narcissistic Personality, think that what they have to say is very important and they tend to be in the role of ‘teacher’ very often. They think that they are better than you and that their opinions are of high value, so they tend to offer advice all the time.
Dominance: This is similar to the behaviour of a Narcissist. Being dominant in a conversation is very important to some people. They want to be the most influential person and they have difficulty understanding why somebody might not want to hear what they have to say.
Being judgemental: If someone doesn’t like the way you are doing something, then they will give you advice so you can change it. This is when unsolicited advise becomes insulting.
So how do you respond to someone giving you unsolicited advice?
This can be rather tricky. If your reply is too detailed then this might encourage more unsolicited advice. If your reply is too agressive or defensive, then this may cause an argument or even damage your relationship with this person.
Simple, clear and short responses are the best. It is important to set clear boundaries and to be assertive when necessary.
”I will think about it”
”That’s an interesting point of view. I will consider if this is right for me”
”Thank you but I would rather do it this way” or ”I would rather stick to my plan”
”I am not looking for any advice right now”
”That doesn’t suit my values”
What are your experiences with unsolicited advice?
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Love Athina ♥
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