Cutting Back On Unsolicited Advice
Think back to your childhood…
What was one thing you hated that your parents did to you?
Okay, maybe it’s difficult to think of one thing, but there was probably one thing that drove you nuts…
Am I right?
Maybe it was just me. If that’s the case and you really liked unsolicited advice then you can stop reading the article, but we’ll continue on the topic.
This seemed to happen all the time to me as a kid. I’d maybe do something the way I wanted and my parents or an adult would be right there to let me know how it should be done.
I thought maybe it was just because I was a kid, but it seems to continue into adulthood. There are still people in life that will offer unsolicited advice. You express some kind of frustration or something like that. You’re just looking for someone to listen for a minute, but they interrupt you before you’re even done speaking and share their advice.
Isn’t that annoying?
Parents do it. Family does it. Friends do it. Co-workers do it. Bosses do it. It seems like everybody.
We All Hate Unsolicited Advice
I started noticing that I was doing this to others. I realized how much I hated it and started thinking that I needed to start with myself first.
So I started looking around and found a few articles on unsolicited advice. This is a really good one.
It seems that humans appreciate their autonomy and independence. If we’re going to do something, right or wrong, it’s going to be because of choices that we made and not because someone told us to do so.
It seems that offering unsolicited advice will lose your friends, colleagues and perhaps even clients.
However, it still seems like a good idea to offer advice.
Our business at Ghost Blog Writers is really about offering advice. We approach blogging as a way to provide answers to the questions that a target audience is asking.
But the key seems to be that people are seeking information. We try to find those voids and fill them with information or with advice depending on how you look at it.
We don’t try to bump into people when they’re not seeking advice and provide it to them even if we think they would benefit. It’s about putting the information out there for people to easily find when they want it.
That’s true in blogging and in life in general.
Listen & Provide Information
When you’re having conversations with people see if you can sit back and listen. Acknowledge what they’re saying and let them finish. See if you can ask questions to help them come to the conclusion on their own.
See if you can provide information that will help them come to their own conclusion.
That article linked above shared a great example. The example is that a person is going to swim in the ocean, but someone comes up and says there are sharks in the water. The person didn’t say, “Don’t go swimming.” They simply provide some information so that the swimmer could make their own decision.
When you give unsolicited advice to others, especially those close to you, you’re putting them in a difficult situation. They don’t want to make you feel bad and strain the relationship so they will struggle with doing what they want to do and doing what you suggest.
You’re the one putting the strain on the relationship. Stick with more listening and reforming your advice into simply providing information to those that are seeking it.
Start removing “should” from the way you speak with others. You likely don’t like being told that you should do something and the people you’re close with don’t like hearing it either.
The end of the article linked above talks about how if you restrain yourself from providing unsolicited advice that others will be more likely to ask you for advice. How’s that for a conundrum?
You’re a better person to be around when you’re not forcing your thoughts on others.
You are a good friend, colleague, etc. when you listen well and help others figure out their own problems. You can provide information, but keep the advice to yourself until the other person really wants to hear it from you.