Valuable Advice on Giving “Unwanted Advice”
Hey guys, Happy Friday welcome back to the blog! Today I wanted to chat about a pet peeve I have and that I know some of you have too. Have you ever received some advice or heard an opinion that you really didn’t care for or had someone say something to you that just made you do a double take? I’m sure you have so keep reading.
Some things have come to my attention lately and it’s about the relationships we keep and this is all relationships, friends, family, partners, etc. Now, I never want to come off as rude but you can never really please people can you? Just think about what I’m about to say for a second, the people you talk to on an everyday basis are biased and sometimes judgmental whether it’s done consciously or unconsciously, even you. Don’t shoot the messenger but it’s true, just think about it. People know you in a certain perspective and it’s a perspective you created based off that relationship. They know you based off what you tell them, what you’ve shared, and what you’ve done together. Your mother doesn’t see you in the eye that a friend or sibling would, just like your partner doesn’t see you in the same eye either.
Now, we all know opinions that comes from, (let’s call it your close circle because that’s what it is), are valuable and advice means even more. So does it ever become too much? Yes it does, it becomes too much when it isn’t asked for or over the top. Sometimes people just simply don’t need or want to hear your opinion so here’s something you can try exercising. One is shutting the f*ck up and keeping it to yourself, it’s okay to bite your tongue. Now, moving on along. Before giving that advice try putting yourself in the other persons shoes and situation, now that that’s done go ahead and give the advice/opinion to yourself that you were about to give to that person. How did it go? Did you like it? Don’t get me wrong, often times advice is given from the heart and when people express their opinions it’s in hopes that you will make the right decision but sometimes your version of right doesn’t fall in line with theirs so that opinion comes off wrong. And let me be the one to tell you just in case you don’t know, words hurt you guys so yes some opinions and advice can be hurtful although that wasn’t your intention. Be mindful of exactly what you are saying to someone especially if it involves a sensitive topic. While people need to hear the truth you can’t always assume that your advice or opinion is that. Try to take a step back and look at the situation as an outsider, would you still say the same thing or is your opinion or advice based off the emotions you have because of your relationship with the person?
If you words things in the ways below there’s a chance you may need to change the way you give advice and express your opinions:
“You’re better off doing it this way…” – and you know this how? Did someone come whisper to you last night and give you insight on the correct way for someone else to live their life?
“Couldn’t be me I wouldn’t do that, I would..” – hmm, and that’s why it isn’t you right? Now no one cares what you would do.
“You should do this..” – once again take note that your way of doing things may not work for the next person, have you thought about what that person may want to do?
Wording plays a big role in how things may come across to others, if you’re going to give advice or an opinion try wording it in a way where you’re providing your answer but still leaving room for that person to make their own decision. Instead of saying “I don’t think you should do this or that” try saying “Well you have you thought about doing this?” and providing different options instead of trying to force your opinion on that person but only if your input is asked for. While everyone is entitled to an opinion sometimes it honestly doesn’t need to be voiced. The worst thing you can do is stoop down to calling someone names while trying to get your point across, “You’re crazy“, “You’re stupid for doing that“, “Don’t be stupid“, “Don’t be a fool“, or the best one I’ve actually heard “You sure know how to pick them” it’s cliche but it does happen. Now ask yourself if you would like if any of that was said to you.
So how do you deal with unwanted opinions and advice? Before becoming upset take the kindness road and set boundaries for the future. You can respond with:
- “It’s my choice, I prefer to do things this way.”
- “It’s important to me that I take care of this my own way.”
- “I’m happy with my decision, but thanks!”
- “I got your point, but thanks anyway!”
- “I’m not looking for any advice right now, thanks.”
You can also change the topic if you become uncomfortable, but you should let the person know the conversation has made you feel a certain way. If none of these work, walk away and keep your distance from that relationship. Think twice before you subject yourself to judgment or unwanted opinions and advice. You are not obligated to keep relationships that don’t bring you a peace of mind. Before you decide how to respond consider the source and decide how to proceed. Decide if it’s worth commenting on, also make sure you aren’t rejecting the advice because it’s not what you want to hear at the moment, just because you aren’t seeking help doesn’t mean the advice/opinion won’t be useful. Communicating is the best way to form healthy relationships and always speak up if someone does something that you don’t like because they may not know the impact of their behavior or actions.
Be aware that you don’t have to share everything within your personal relationships, your business is simply that, your business. It’s natural to want to vent or seek advice and opinions on certain things but sometimes it’s not needed. Learning to vent to yourself or deal with things first internally before seeking an outside opinion or advice may change your whole perspective on doing so. You learn that your want or need to get that advice diminishes once you have that conversation or vent session with yourself. That doesn’t work for everyone so finding what works for you is important.
You are the curator of your image and how people perceive you and you are responsible for the information that you choose to share. For example, if you choose to share your failures but forget to share your accomplishments what do you think you will be perceived as? Although you know what the truth is and isn’t. If you want to seek advice when you’re having relationship problems but only tell people the bad things people will form an opinion about that person that isn’t good and will give you advice on what? That’s right, not being with that person even if the issue you vented about is no longer present; people always remember the bad you tell them. Often times it becomes too late to go back and highlight all the good that was done and you’re stuck with a person you may not necessarily want to vent to or seek advice from because that advice has become biased and judgmental.
It’s reasonable that your friends and people you are close with expect you to share at least some aspect of your life with them or otherwise that relationship wouldn’t exist. But it depends on who they are and what the relationship is like. It is also reasonable to share more with some friends and less with others. Sharing intimate details and parts of your life can leave you feeling vulnerable. Think twice before sharing that vulnerability with everyone, but there’s nothing wrong with opening up to people you trust if you want to deepen and sustain your relationship. It’s all about being mindful and aware of what you share and who you are sharing it with. People give and receive advice and opinions differently so take note before you speak. Overall, unwanted advice and opinions can have a negative and long lasting effect on relationships, the last thing you want is to have to stick yours, well up yours. Be mindful.
“If you are entitled to your opinion, then I am entitled to my opinion of your opinion.”
Since we’re talking about opinions feel free to comment and let me know how you feel about unwanted opinions and advice and when they become unwanted or “too much” for you.
Thank you for reading, Be Blessed & Stay Humble.
Interested in checking out my first two self-published books? Head over to my site: $elf – choose you always.