Writing Pieces

Unsolicited Advice

By March 27, 2019 April 2nd, 2019 No Comments

People are always giving me advice.

What’s with that?

I think there’s something about me that says that I’m just muddling through.  In obvious need of direction.

I don’t like unsolicited advice.

In doing a little research I’ve found that experts say that giving unsolicited advice gives one the feeling of  “having the relational upper hand through authoritative guidance”.

A study at the University of Pennsylvania said that men are more often guilty of this than women.  But that study was done in the late eighties.  Women are pushier now.

Giving unsolicited advice is an attempt at dominance.

Quiet or more introverted people are the most frequent targets.   I think that extends to nice people.  Kind people.  The ones that listen and won’t cut the advisor off.

I’m not sure that being given unsolicited advice is even the worst part.  For me, it’s the aftermath.

Someone gives me advice and I say, “Ah, yes, it’s true”.  Or, “Interesting idea”.  Or, I just shake my head to acknowledge the thought.

The next thing I know is that I’m in trouble for not following the advice.

People say, “Oh yeah… Mary. Humph. You think she’s following your advice but she just shakes her head and does what she wanted to do in the first place.”   Well…duh.

How can I always be in trouble for not following advice I never wanted anyway?

What to do.

Experts say you should thank someone for their advice, but tell them you won’t be taking it.

Now what decent person does that?  You’re in the middle of a dinner party and someone imparts their wisdom on you.  On a subject you haven’t really considered. Who would ever say, “Thank you for your advice, but I won’t be doing that”.   Snap.  Boom.  They’re toast.  But you won’t get in trouble later for not doing what they said.

My friend said there’s a checker at his market that always comments on the food he’s buying.  “Halibut.  Known for worms.”  Or,  “Seen the Halo Top? Right next to the Haagen Dazs.”

I don’t know.

I don’t think unsolicited advice is going to stop anytime soon.   Maybe we just turn and pretend we didn’t hear.  Feign a stroke. Start talking like Yoda.

Or simply say you’ll think on that.

And never give it another thought.

Mary Mott Writes

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