How to Handle Unsolicited Advice

It’s quite miraculous when a person feels like they’ve been heard, seen, and understood. Curt Micka, JD 

We’re approaching the season of…..advice giving. That time of year when you see the relatives you haven’t seen since last year. You know, the ones who know how you should live your live. If you want to remain respectful and keep the peace in the midst of their advice-giving, here are a couple of tips.

If the advice or suggestion your relative makes to you isn’t appealing, you don’t need to explain why their idea won’t work or why you don’t want to do it. Instead, take the focus off yourself and switch it to the person who is giving the advice. Be genuinely inquisitive. Say some like, “So tell me more about that? Why do you think that’s a good idea for me?”

To draw the conversation to a close you might say, “I appreciate that you want to help me  be __________(successful, skinny, a better parent, safe as I age). I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet but I’ll consider your advice. Thanks.” 

When you approach their advice with real curiosity, you make the advice-giver feel respected. And, you never know, as you dig deeper, you might find a useful nugget. As you show appreciation, the advice itself becomes less important than the fact that you’re acknowledging their effort to be helpful.

Affirmation: I can reject the advice of others and remain respectful

Coaching request: If you receive unsolicited advice from friends and relatives, practice being curious rather than defensive. Let me know how it works.

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Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

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