How to Deal with Unsolicited Advice
I used to laugh silently at people who said to me, “You will know what to do when the time is right.”
This statement always sounded so airy and insubstantial. There was nothing to grasp and direction on what actions to take. All I could do is wait for a sign.
It’s funny how life turns things around. Now I am the one who recites exactly the same line to others.
Offering this statement is my way of honoring other people’s paths and their decisions.
My mom is often frustrated with me because I don’t offer unsolicited advice from a medical perspective. Yet, I don’t feel it’s my right or responsibility to insert my opinion or point of view into someone else’s situation.
Yes, I have a strong sense about the results a person will get from taking certain actions or choosing different behaviors. I can predict how situations will end up, and more often than not, I am right, unfortunately.
However, giving advice without being asked is the equivalent to saying: “Do it my way! My way of handling things is better than your way.”
I believe unsolicited advice speaks volumes about the person giving the advice. It reveals a need to be right and in control of the situation.
Operating like that is an attempt to make yourself bigger and your partner, friend, or colleague smaller. The conversation is no longer among equals.
I don’t believe anyone—not your partner, therapist, or friend—knows what’s best for you. If they try to convince to heed their advice, turn around and run the other way.
Find a place where you aren’t disturbed and ask yourself what you need most at that moment.
You will know what to do when the time is right.