Please don’t do that

I confess that one thing that is guaranteed to get my back up is when people offer unsolicited advice all the time. I know they usually mean well, but if I’m not asking for you to tell me what to do, don’t assume that it’s okay to do it. Sometimes people just want to talk about a situation and they’re not asking you what to do, and they rarely appreciate having someone else tell them how what they did was wrong and how they should have done it. I think it’s patronizing and insulting to others to think that I know better than they do, especially when it’s a subject that involves that person specifically, so I bite my tongue even when I think my opinion is the right one. So kindly, please stop doing that and we’ll get along just fine : ).

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@op

Jan 2, 2024 at 9:46am

With some people, constantly offering unsolicited advice is a compulsive behavior. I think it stems from the belief that in order for them to be lovable and valuable, they have to be helpful and useful.

10 2Rating: +8

Mutual courtesy and respect

Jan 2, 2024 at 11:16pm

Someone who has problems of their own and are working their problems out for themselves by themselves is extending you the courtesy of listening to your unsolicited unloading of your own problems. The least you can do is extend them the same courtesy of listening to their advice and thank them for it even if you may not agree with it. If you're not mature enough to hear other people's advice or even their criticisms then vent to your cat, or go outside and vent to the birds or just keep your problems to yourself like the rest of us do. You don't like people telling you what to do, but you're the one that brought your problems to them, and maybe they don't like you telling them how they should respond to your unloading.

14 3Rating: +11

Op

Jan 3, 2024 at 7:34pm

Clarification: I’m not talking about problems in most cases. Just exchange of experiences that the other person is also doing. So there’s no cause for that person to feel like I’ve opened up the door to having them offer unsolicited advice. I know lots of people do this and in my experience they’re often just trying to be helpful. But they also tend to be people who haven’t done a lot of self reflection so they haven’t realized how annoying this habit is to others. In some cases the person has been told several times that their behaviour is a problem but they don’t care because in their minds it all about them and they can’t understand why someone else might have a different point of view. So thanks for your unsolicited advice but I’m good : ).

1 6Rating: -5

I agree this can be annoying...

Jan 4, 2024 at 11:18pm

...and I'm going to be intentionally hypocritical for a sec by offering a potential solution:

Use your words.

"Hey, do you have the capacity right now to hear about something that's bothering me? I'm not looking for advice, just an opportunity to vent and let out some frustration."

That way, you have checked in to see whether the person has the mental energy to hear you out, stated a clear need about no advice, and have something to point back to if people start up with suggestions.

If I don't have the patience for the conversation and someone is emotionally dumping (as per Mutual's comment), that's when I become the coldest, most annoying solutions-focused armchair therapist of all time in an attempt to wrap things up and as a way of unleashing my passive aggression about the theft of my limited energy.

3 1Rating: +2

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