If unsolicited advice were a crime, we’d all be in prison. We give and get way too much of it.
You know the scenario. You start to describe a tricky relationship situation or a complicated feeling about your career or your weight to a friend, a partner, or a co-worker and before you know it, you’re getting a lecture on how to do everything better, like this person does. All you wanted really was to talk about your issue and have someone listen and hear you. Now you’re nodding your head vigorously, only agreeing to begin living your life their way in the hopes that this will shut them up but they prattle on and on, oblivious to the cry for help in your eyes. It’s frustrating and annoying and you make a mental note to no longer share your feelings and thoughts with this person.
Have you ever noticed, though, that you do the same thing? Have you ever found yourself thinking “Gee, I’ve been talking about this time for a long time. They aren’t saying much”. Well, my friend, you’ve given unsolicited advice also and the person on the receiving end of it was just as desperate to be listened to and heard, rather than lectured. Literally every human on earth has been on either end of this situation at some point.
How do you deal with it in both cases? Make sure you’re actually hearing what the person is saying. Stay present with them. When you do speak, give them a chance to talk and respond. Make sure that you aren’t only thinking of your response to what they’re saying. When you’re getting this unsolicited advice, try to see if there’s a hidden gem in there. When you suddenly realize you’re giving the unsolicited advice, remember that we all have our weaknesses and no one likes to have them poked and prodded at.