Dangers of Giving Unwanted Advice [Beware!]
A few months ago, I checked my Instagram and saw that my barber was pissed.
He was going on a rant to his 5,000 followers.
The rant can be summarized with the following line:
‘If you don’t have kids, then don’t give me advice on how to raise mine!’
He said he got some good insights.
But for the most part, it was annoying.
I can completely understand the psychology of receiving unwanted advice.
And I’m sure you can empathize with this fellow.
Sometimes, unwanted advice leads to great insights.
Other times, it’s just flat-out annoying.
How Winners Give Advice
Just because you can give advice doesn’t mean that you should.
Because to give advice, you should know a lot about the field.
Me giving advice on how to build a rocket ship will be asinine.
It’s because I don’t know much about that subject.
But nowadays, everyone feels like an expert.
They are like:
‘Rocket ships? Of course, I can give you advice on rocket ships!’
These are idiots who lead with the ego.
Due to them leading with the ego, they don’t really give advice.
If you peel back the layers, what they are really saying is:
‘This is what I did, and you should do it too.’
Humans are naturally recruiters.
It takes humility and wisdom to transcend recruiting mentality and give genuine advice.
Why Others Give Unwanted Advice
You may be thinking:
‘These annoying people can talk to anyone else. Why the hell are they keep giving me advice?’
Most likely, they aren’t only giving you advice.
If there was a camera that followed them around all day, you’ll see that they give unsolicited advice in a lot of interactions.
That’s just how they talk.
It’s sort of like talking to a comedian.
Sure, they are making you laugh.
But if you follow them with a camera, then chances are they are making a lot of other people laugh too.
Being humorous is a part of a comedian’s nature.
Likewise, giving unwanted advice is a part of several people’s nature.
How to Deal with Getting Unwanted Advice
If you’re close to the person, it’s best to nip it in the bud.
Just be like:
‘I see where you are coming from, but I’d appreciate if you let me learn from my own mistakes.’
I like the quote:
Good people learn from their mistakes and great people learn from other people’s mistakes.
But I don’t love that quote.
The lessons that stick for life are learned the hard way.
I don’t know about you, but I love learning the hard way.
Backing up your shutdown of their advice with the logic of:
‘I would like to learn from my own mistakes.’
Disarms the other person and it’s no longer personal.
Other times, it’s best to hear them out.
They mean well and want you to avoid making the same mistake they did.
Their unwanted advice is not led with the ego.
It is led with the heart.
Be Wary of Giving Unwanted Advice
Humans judge themselves by their intention.
Humans judge others by their behavior.
Sure, when you are giving unwanted advice, you may be like:
‘My intention is pure. I want the best for the other person.’
But the other individual is like:
‘This idiot keeps nitpicking me.’
Humans hate to be nitpicked.
Due to the rise of content, humans have lost the ability to focus for long periods of time.
Therefore, their mind wanders.
Due to the negativity bias, their mind wanders to the negatives.
The negatives of them getting nitpicked by you.
Humans will turn on those who make them feel small.
They are not aware of your intentions.
Maybe you really do mean the best for them.
But in their world, they view your unwanted advice as highlighting their inadequacies.
Is Giving Unwanted Advice Ever Fine?
‘My little brother is headed down the wrong path. Shouldn’t I give unwanted advice then?’
Yes. But delivery is key.
Just lecturing them and telling them what to do rarely works.
It may work on occasions.
But very rarely does it lead to behavioral changes.
It’s best to empathize with the other person, ask strategic questions, or give a story packed with lessons.
Teaching is a lot like selling.
Humans love to buy, but they hate being sold to.
Humans love to learn, but they hate being taught.
Think about that.
I knew this one guy who kept making idiotic faces on Snapchat.
This guy was hyper-sensitive.
One day, he tells me that this girl made fun of his Snapchat and he flipped out on her.
That’s when I asked:
‘Just to play devil’s advocate, do you sort of get why she thought that?’
That’s when he looked at his Snapchat picture again (yes, he saved all his selfies!) and was like:
‘You know, I can sort of see her perspective.’
Then he looked at the image again with a stunned face:
‘Whoa, wait a minute!! I actually completely see what she is saying!’
Questions got the mind running.
A running mind with direction sought answers.
The answer led to a realization.
No unwanted advice needed…
Final Thoughts on Unwanted Advice
Some people love unwanted advice became they view it as a free teaching session.
Others get furious enough to make an Instagram live out of it.
The bottom line is to assess who you are speaking to.
See if this person has thick skin and is seeking criticism.
See if you are in the position to give advice even if they asked.
And see how it feels when someone gives you unwanted advice.
Social skills are all about introspection.
Know yourself so you can better know others.
For more practical advice (the wanted one of course!) on social skills, be sure to check out my book, the Charisma King!
You will learn how to introspect better, listen better, and connect better with others.