Giving unsolicited advice-Why do people do it?

When we ask for advice from someone that is very knowledgeable in certain areas or from someone whom we admire, this can be very useful both in the short term and long term.

On the other hand, unsolicited advice from close family or even from complete strangers can be an annoying and sometimes insulting behaviour.


It could be done in a well meaning manner by some people but in most cases unsolicited advice is self-serving.


The more well meaning reasons someone gives unsolicited advice are firstly because they are trying to be friendly, secondly they are just excited to share something that worked for them or thirdly they are just completely altruistic.

Some other motivations that might be harder to spot however are listed below:

Helplessness & wanting to solve your problems: If you are sharing some thoughts on how you are struggling in a certain situation, the listener may think that you need them to fix your problem rather than just validate what you are saying. They think that by giving you some sort of solution you will feel happier. This isn’t the case though in most situations.

The need to be needed:
Some people just have an intense need to be needed and to feel important. It’s as simple as that.

Narcissistic tendencies: People who may have a Narcissistic Personality, think that what they have to say is very important and they tend to be in the role of ‘teacher’ very often. They think that they are better than you and that their opinions are of high value, so they tend to offer advice all the time.

Dominance: This is similar to the behaviour of a Narcissist. Being dominant in a conversation is very important to some people. They want to be the most influential person and they have difficulty understanding why somebody might not want to hear what they have to say.

Being judgemental: If someone doesn’t like the way you are doing something, then they will give you advice so you can change it. This is when unsolicited advise becomes insulting.

So how do you respond to someone giving you unsolicited advice?

This can be rather tricky. If your reply is too detailed then this might encourage more unsolicited advice. If your reply is too agressive or defensive, then this may cause an argument or even damage your relationship with this person.

Simple, clear and short responses are the best. It is important to set clear boundaries and to be assertive when necessary.

”I will think about it”

”That’s an interesting point of view. I will consider if this is right for me”

”Thank you but I would rather do it this way” or ”I would rather stick to my plan”

”I am not looking for any advice right now”

”That doesn’t suit my values”


What are your experiences with unsolicited advice?

If you liked this post then please feel free to share & comment.

Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.



Blocks to healthy self-assertion

Being assertive can come very easily to many of us whilst some of us might have an extreme difficulty in this area, due to many of the following blocks as stated by Hauck (1981b):

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1.Fear of injury -Physical violence may be threatened or unleashed in order to keep you in line. This might be the case in an abusive relationship.

2. Fear of failure

3. Fear of hurting other people’s feelings-For example, if I tell him that ‘his gift wrapping is not very good, I might hurt his feelings’

4. Fear of rejection– For example: I couldn’t cope if they criticised me or abandoned me

5.Fear of financial insecurity- For example, you stay in a job you hate because you are worried about financial instability if you leave.

According to Trower et al (2011)there are these 2 blocks:

1.GuiltYou believe it is wrong to assert your own wishes because you believe this is selfish behaviour or you don’t feel worthy enough.

2.Damning anger– You end up blaming others for frustrating you by insulting or hurting them. For example, you might say ‘You are such a lazy and slow worker’ rather than saying ‘I would like to talk about how we could equally distribute the work load between yourself and Adam’

According to Gilbert (2000) there are these blocks to being assertive:

1.Loss of control– Assertion can involve high psychological arousal which might lead to shouting at your partner.

2.Fear of counter attack– After you have asserted your complaints, you fear being overwhelmed by the other person’s response. You fear blushing, you mind going blank or maybe even getting tongue tied. You fear looking worse off after asserting your wishes.

3.Self-blame– You might blame yourself for causing tension or conflict by asserting your needs.

4.Positive self– You view lack of assertiveness as having positive qualities of being kind and caring.

Assertiveness in general will help you get more of what you want and less of what you don’t want but there is the possiblity that it might not always work out in the way that you hope. If you have been someone who isn’t assertive and suddenly start asserting yourself with familiar people in your life, things may become increasingly uncomfortable with those people, as they aren’t used to you being assertive. People don’t like change!

Which of these blocks do you struggle with? If not, feel free to share your experience of being self-assertive.

Thanks for reading

Much love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.