Boundaries: How to Effectively Handle Unsolicited Advice

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unsolicited advice

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of unsolicited advice, watch this video. You’ll learn our step-by-step method for setting a boundary!

Have you ever been the unwitting recipient of someone telling you what they think you need to do? Have you been “should-ed” on? Like you “should” this or that? Unsolicited advice comes at us all the time.

In today’s video from our boundary series leading up to the relaunch of the Boundaries for Beautiful Relationships Course, we’re addressing how deal with advice you didn’t ask for. This is a really common boundary violation, and the next time you’re faced with a well-meaning meddler, we want you to be able to deal with it with grace.

What is unsolicited advice?

Very simply put, it’s advice we didn’t ask for. When someone starts a sentence with, “Here’s what you should do”, that’s unsolicited advice. When people give us advice we didn’t ask for, it can make us mad. Why? We feel imposed upon. We feel disconnected, distrusted and unvalued.

What is solicited advice?

It’s ASKED for! There is an open desire for input from someone you trust or like, as in, “What do you think I can or should do?” 

It’s when someone has really listened to you and has checked in with you before giving you feedback or advice. It’s about RESPECT.

The person giving solicited advice checks in with something like, “Would you like to hear my feedback?”

Why do people give unsolicited advice?

  • Most are well meaning meddlers.
  • They want to contribute to your life.
  • They have no idea that sharing their advice in this way can be very annoying, off-putting judgmental, and alienating.

Some examples of advice that’s unsolicited:

  • In relationships where there is the most safety and familiarity, such as our families, unsolicited advice is common. Parents tell their teens what they should do instead of checking in with them first. Or kids tell parents what to do, which can feel disrespectful to the parents. It’s like they think they have free rein to tell us what to do. The nerve!
  • Pregnant women receive tons of unsolicited advice, from what they should name their kids to what they should eat, how much they should sleep, and so much more!
  • Anyone with a medical diagnosis will receive advice from well-meaning meddlers. It can be overwhelming and annoying.

Watch this video to hear more examples of advice that’s unsolicited, and how to set a boundary and deal with it (without losing your cool).

Click below to download our “SHUT THE FRONT DOOR” Cheat Sheet for how to deal with advice you didn’t ask for.

Please share your experience with unsolicited advice, whether you’ve been the recipient or the giver. 


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