If you find yourself frustrated because you’re just trying to help by offering others great advice and they’re not taking it, it’s time to change tactics. Your well-meaning, unsolicited advice is “you-ing,” that is telling other people about themselves. You are out of your own territory, which is yourself, your “I.” Your goal is to refocus and strive to live a life filled with genuine joy, love, and peace.
If someone else isn’t ready for or doesn’t want feedback, it’s counterproductive to offer it. Don’t share your insights unless you ask and receive permission first. If, for example, your sister declines your offer, let your pearls of wisdom go and accept that she is responsible for her own happiness. Refocus on being happy yourself and take time to appreciate what you like about her. Power on truths such as “My focus is myself,” “We’re all on our own paths,” and “I wish you well.”
The Need to Give Unwanted Advice is from YOUR Unexpressed Anger
The need to give others unsolicited advice is rooted in your unexpressed anger. Your focus is external rather than where it should be- on yourself, in your heart and living your own life in a way that promotes love and respect. Deal with your own anger by expressing it physically, naturally, and constructively so you can stay lovingly in your own territory.
What’s going on when you feel entitled to give unsolicited advice:
• You are feeling anger and instead of accepting what is, believe that other people should be different than they are.
• Trespass frequently on others’ emotional domain without permission.
• Believe it’s your duty to set others straight and enlighten them with your wisdom.
• Treat others as if they need your superior guidance.
The Price You Pay:
• Producing defensiveness and distance with your words.
• Coming across to others as bossy, controlling, condescending, nagging, superior, judgmental.
• Feeling closed off and disconnected from others.
• Feeling less love and intimacy, lack of compassion.
My Advice on Giving Advice
How to Change:
• Stop and be silent when you catch yourself telling other people about themselves. Just put some imaginary duct tape over your mouth when the impulse to spout arises.
• Listen with empathy, seek to genuinely understand.
• Before opening your mouth to offer opinions, check within. If your intuition confirms it’s all right, lovingly ask and receive permission before you plunge ahead: “I’d like to give you some feedback or make a request. Is that okay?” If you get a no, ask a couple more times to see if they reconsider — a consistent no, means no. If you get a yes, ask again to make sure they’re not just being polite.
• If people are open to what you have to say, go forward with kindness, offer your opinion with no strings attached, don’t argue with their reaction or try to convince them.
• Let them know you’ll elaborate if they want additional information.
• Accept what is true for the other person.
• Only if people are at risk of endangering themselves or others are you entitled to offer suggestions without permission.
• Recognize your domain is yourself, spend energy on living your own life with respect and personal integrity.
• Talk about yourself – that is what is true for you about you.
Power On (Pick a couple of these Truths and repeat them tenaciously when the impulse to offer unsolicited advice arises and in between times.)
My focus is myself.
We’re all on our own paths.
I wish you well.
I want to understand where you’re coming from.
We each get to live our own lives.
Your views and needs are as important as mine.
You may do some things I disagree with, but that doesn’t alter the fact that I love you.
My territory is myself.
• Your genuine understanding without judgment ensures love enters all communication.
• You’ve increased trust in your relationships by respecting others’ viewpoints.
• Your practice of asking permission before giving feedback promotes receptivity.
• You have more opportunity to enjoy your own inner silence and full heart.