How To Stop Giving Unsolicited Advice [Annoying, So Stop!]
Have you ever heard the statement: Leave Unsolicited Opinions and Advice at home? In this article you will learn how important that statement is, because unsolicited advice is very harmful for several reasons. Read further…
What is unsolicited advice?
Unsolicited advice is when you see someone who – in your experience – does something that could be improved … and then you say that to that person too. Your intention to give this unsolicited advice is well-intentioned. However, a sour, empty, feeling develops between the two of you.
The same goes for situations where another person is already doing a good job. When nothing is wrong and you want to give a suggestion to help the other person even further, this is also unsolicited advice.
Why do you have to stop immediately with unsolicited advice?
Do you want the quick answer? You suddenly become pleasant to deal with when you stop giving unsolicited advice for good from now on .
Take a good look at yourself: which people in your environment do you see as pleasant to deal with? What kind of people always seem to attract people around them? These are people who do not judge others with unsolicited advice!
Unsolicited advice is irritating.
Even if the other person needs your advice and you’re right … don’t! Why? Here are the top three reasons for holding yourself back:
- The other has to find out for himself. From my own experience. Not through second-hand advice. Advice is nice and well, but if it comes from yourself, it really sticks.
- The other person is not going to accept it from you. Advice seldom gets through really well.
- You are experienced as unpleasant to deal with and / or you harm your relationship with the other.
Don’t be a know-it-all partner at all. He just wants to be heard and an arm to lean on.
But … helping others is a good thing, right?
Yes, helping others is good, but help others not with corrective words, but with love. Love is in deeds , so offering unsolicited help with deeds is good. Love is never in words. Love is never in advice. Providing unsolicited help with words is a bad way to shape your positive, loving intention.
How then do you do acts of love?
- Read this article about random acts of kindness.
- Read this article about vulnerable acts.
- Read this article about ‘the finger that points to the moon’.
It is not up to you to determine that others need your help. The only help you can always offer is to listen without judgment.
– Jelle Hermus
And unsolicited opinions? There is still something to be said for that …
Unsolicited advice is almost always wrong, but giving your opinion without being asked can be fun and enjoyable. It provides fun conversation material, it makes you authentic and it shows that you are not afraid to stand for what you think. However, this is especially true in certain situations:
- If you are in a meeting and you have not spoken up throughout the meeting, then you have not been of value. You have been hired to provide your input as well – for example to raise the alarm if you believe that a plan should be done with some caution.
- When you ‘re flirting, you come off as a wimp if you never express your opinion. Then it is fun and exciting to stoke, prick and play the devil’s advocate.
- Once you have built a strong connection with someone. Only then is it worth it to share how you see the world – and then the other person is interested and receptive to your opinion in the first place.
Examples of unsolicited advice
Read the examples below:
- “Hey Cynthia, the answer to that question is D, because competitors analysis is different than competition analysis.”
- “Hey Debbie, we used Adobe Photoshop 4 in our project group, because Adobe has put it on the internet for free since this year. Recommended!”
- “Marie, the last dance step of the choreography ended with a dip, not a spin.”
Do you notice that all that advice is really useful? Yet they should not have been given because they had not been asked for. Easy. Just shut up.
Wanting to help, to give advice, to give insight … It is arrogant, and I humiliate the other with that.
In any case, it is not possible: no one knows the position of the other, everyone can only help themselves and everyone can only gain insights themselves.
I once heard the German phrase: “Ratschläge sind auch Schläge” (advice is also successful). And I experience that myself when someone gives me unsolicited advice – or offers me a so-called insight.
Bert Hellinger indicates that the person who wants to help is in fact the client himself. He or she needs the other person to accept his or her help so that he or she can feel good. Who is the helper and who is the helper?
– Modita van Zummeren
Dealing with receiving unsolicited advice
What should you do if you receive unsolicited advice yourself? The answer is simple: humbly accept it. Don’t argue about it. Make the other person feel good.
However, is it taking on much worse forms and are you dealing with a stubborn know-it-all? And how do you deal with know-it-alls? See this article.
Not convinced yet to ditch your tendency for unsolicited advice? Read Dale Carnegie’s book
Really. If the penny had not yet fallen, this classic book will still completely convince you. There are beautiful examples in it and the writing style is very beautiful and pleasant. My life changed after reading this book by Dale Carnegie, which talks a lot about unsolicited advice.
To your success!