The Complex Case of Unsolicited Advice
A major element of building a good relationship with a friend, family member, or partner is to feel comfortable sharing and receiving advice. After all, what’s the joy in having relationships if we can’t interactively take part in growing, nurturing, and maintaining them? We’re used to getting advice from some people—our parents, for instance—and not so used to getting it from others—namely, our kids.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “if I wanted your advice, I would have asked for it” but that’s not always true. Often times we depend on unsolicited advice to guide us in the direction we know we need to go. In these cases, we’ve known the right answer but have been waiting on someone close to us to put it into words. Maybe you’ve been hedging on whether or not to search for help with a person problem or even take out a new title loan on your car. Sometimes, a single solid statement from a friend can put it all into focus. “Yeah, you’re right—what am I thinking?”
Other times, unsolicited advice can confuse you further and steer you away from your natural inclinations. While this can be good in some instances, it can also be a setback. We’ve all been subjected to peer pressure, but it doesn’t always take the form of an after school special such as indulging on drugs, alcohol or any destructive vices. Peer pressure isn’t just for teenagers. It’s tricky to realize the influence some individuals or substances have over us, the same way it can be hard to realize that sometimes the smartest opinions are the ones we want to hear last.
We experience peer pressure as adults and it can be just as powerful, if not more. It’s important to remember that some of the time, when our friends give us advice, they are projecting their personal desires into our lives, whether they know it or not. Let’s say you’re married and are having some kind of domestic issue. You’re discussing this issue with a friend who is not married and may be a little jealous of you. Marital advice coming from this friend may or may not be helpful. That’s not to say it’s not coming from a place of genuine care, but you can’t be absolutely sure that the advice they’re proffering isn’t tainted by jealousy. Sometimes the best advice to someone is convincing them to listen to someone else! Whether you need the help of a counselor or are looking for professional care by searching for louisville recovery, getting someone to listen is a step in the right direction. You often hear “admitting you have a problem is the first step” but maybe just hearing someone out is the step before that.
A good rule of thumb to stick to is to always at least listen and consider unsolicited advice. Like the President conferring with his advisers, you should welcome as many perspectives with regard to important decisions as you can handle. It rarely hurts to consider your decisions from alternate points of view. But if you have a friend or loved one who is consistently interrupting conversations to ‘coach’ you on issues you don’t feel you need to be coached on, you’re within you’re right to politely cut the friend off. The world of unsolicited advice is a tricky one. It’s important to remember that no one is objective, and everyone brings their own baggage to the table.