How to Deal with Unsolicited Advice Givers?

2,907 Views Updated: 23 Oct 2017
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How to Deal with Unsolicited Advice Givers?

If you're old enough to understand the difference between life and living, there are chances that you might have come across the "I know everything" guys. These guys are self-proclaimed experts on every subject matter, even things which they can't even pronounce properly. And their favorite pastime is to advise every next person, doesn’t matter whether they need it or not.

There are people in your life: a close friend and a few of my family members who just love to use and share their extra accumulated knowledge in the form of advice in their everyday conversation. To be honest, it's very annoying. These guys take your problem as theirs (not literally) and make it their prime motive to help you with their unsolicited advice. According to them, you always need an expert (like them) to solve your problem and lead you to the right path. They even tell you what they would have done if they were in your place, how they would have handled events that already happened.

When you're in no mood to use the free counsel, and someone still gives you their piece of mind, in such situations, the unsolicited counsel can trigger reactions ranging from gratitude to feelings of inadequacy to anger.

What should be your instant reaction to such people? Say, "Thank you and move on."

Tip: Sometimes, the unsolicited advice is shared with a good intention, and your instant emotionally blunt reply might sound rude. Your reply might be common with every such person, but you have to be very careful in the above-mentioned situations. There’s a very common saying which perfectly suits the topic, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” So, before you hurl a befitting response to any unsolicited counselor, try to understand the intention behind the advice- whether it’s with a good heart or out of usual habit.

#1. Be Direct

You don't like it, say it. The life can be very simple if people start acknowledging the problem and addressing it without any guilt. Sometimes the hesitation may prevail and stop you from sharing a direct response, but, it is the best piece of advice we can give you. And, it's not unsolicited. Take it or leave it.

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(Image Courtesy: Uncommon Courtesy)

#2. Politely Refuse The Advice

Follow the old trick, refuse politely. If you remember the response, the polite refusal that your mom used to give to your dad when he tried suggesting her how to dress up their daughter for her college, the things are really that easy.

Three statements can change your life and make things easier: the first one is 'OK,' the second one is 'Thanks,' and the third one is 'I will keep that in mind.' The third one can be customized accordingly depending on your relationship with the person. Like, if it's your dad, say "Thanks, Dad, the problem is solved." If it's your friend, then your response can be, "Thanks, man! I don't know what would have I done without you and your unexpected pieces of advice". He won't mind the sarcasm; he's your friend.

#3. Respond With A “Hmm”

Ignorance is the best way to seek vengeance from anybody. Besides, it’s the best what you can when a person is not ready to change. Sometimes the person in question is your good friend, a family member, or a coworker; and you can’t just part ways with them because of their unsolicited pieces of advice. However, you can help them understand that you need it indirectly.

What’s that? Whenever they hurl advice to you, respond with an ‘hmm,' or a “hmmmmm…..”. The word sounds like bees buzzing in your ears and can be annoying as much that the person wouldn’t even dare to say anything that might get responded by an hmm.

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#4. Appreciate Their Efforts

In most situations, the unsolicited advisor is someone you know very well, a friend or a family member who cares for you. And they might be sharing the advice because they are not happy seeing you in trouble and fighting it alone, and it can be rude (really rude) if you respond with "I don't need your advice" or something similar.

Sometimes, it's okay if someone is giving you counsel even when you don't need it. Try to understand the love and care they have for you which is making them share their advice with you. The second term for life is "compromise, " and you have to make many of them on different occasions to lead a peaceful life, filled with your loved ones.

Learn to appreciate the efforts the person in question is putting on, to come up with a solution to solve your problem. Give them a tight hug every time they share advice, make them gasp for air.

#5. Start By Understanding The Origin

People who offer you unsolicited advice are generally those who care for us, as said above. But, it is not true that the advice being offered to you are always unnecessary, sometimes you get good advice too from people.

It's very important to see who is offering the advice. Some people, especially your parents or your elder siblings have been through the problems that you're facing right now, and know the pros and cons of every decision you are taking. And I don't mind if you believe me or not, but the advices are a piece of gold sometimes as it comes from people who have experienced the same themselves. When your elders are offering you advice, they are basically offering you tried and tested ideas that might have helped them overcome similar situations.

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(Image Courtesy: Psychology Today)

There’s a quote that describes the situation better, “Life is too short to learn from your own mistakes every time after committing them, so learn it from those who have already committed it.”

#6. Acknowledge The Limits

At times people just want to be valuable in your life and will suggest things like, “Oh you do it like this, and you'll get what you want.” Followed by, “It’s so easy, and I know someone who recently tried it out, and it worked for them.” They might even suggest a name or some live example of a person who followed their advice and things workout for them.

For these people, you can use the “tit for tat” or logical reasoning method. Ask them to counter questions and ask them to respond properly.

It's great that your advice proved to be a little help for someone, but who is this person? Why did they try it out, what were the exact circumstances when they thought of following the advice? Did they have a similar problem or was it a little/completely different from your problem? What were the challenges they experienced along the way, Were they similar to the ones that you're facing?

The last but not the least, Who were they the ones who followed your advice or were there other people who took it seriously? And what were their experiences or the end result?

#7. Tell Them The Problem Is Solved

The free advice givers won't relax until the problem is solved. This is not a disease; it’s just how the human brain works. They won’t stop annoying you with their free “knowledge imparting” activity unless they know it’s not needed anymore. So, the only way to stop receiving the free, unsolicited advice is to let the person know that the problem has been solved.

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(Image Courtesy: Problem Solved)

#8. Gentle Pushback

The last but the most effective trick to get rid of unsolicited bits of advice (for a temporary time), “Hey, I appreciate the advice. Can we talk about it another time? Today I just want to relax and enjoy the weather!”

A signal to the person that you don't need advice can be very helpful and be constructive. So, just put some efforts and say it politely.

It’s your choice how you want to deal with your problem, or free, unsolicited advice. Makes sure you do it in a respectful manner unless you don’t care about your bond with the person.

We hope you liked the article. Let us know how did you respond to unsolicited advice in a way that was respectful? Let us know using the comments section, and we’ll let the world know about it.

(Featured Image Courtesy: Huffington Post)

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