Have Several Seats! 5 Reactions To Give People When You Receive Unsolicited Advice

July 2, 2014  |  


By Jennifer Twardowski For YourTango


Unsolicited advice: We’ve all received it at some point in our lives and we’ve all given it as well. In some cases, if we didn’t know enough about the circumstance to ask for advice then we were appreciative if someone told us — but those moments are few and far between. The majority of the time, we feel that the other person is trying to take our own power away. We feel as if they believe that we are not capable of taking care of ourselves and knowing what we need. The advice gives us a feel that we have some of our own freedom and autonomy taken away. As a result, we get angry, we get frustrated, we think thoughts like “What gives this person the right to tell me what to do? They don’t even know what’s really going on!”

Though these thoughts and emotions are very much real and should be acknowledged, it’s not like we want to explode with all of those raw feelings onto the other person. The trick is in making our feelings known through a boundary, while also doing it in a respectful manner so the other person doesn’t immediately feel attacked.

The way we respond can vary greatly depending on the context: who the person is, what they are giving advice on, the nature of your relationship with them and so on. However, there are some statements that can work pretty universally. Here are some examples.


  • “I appreciate your concern, but I don’t need your advice.”
  • “Sorry, but I don’t need advice with this right now.”
  • “I know that you care, but all I need right now is a listening ear — not advice.”
  • “I know you are concerned about me in this situation, but I do not feel that your advice is helpful right now. I’d really appreciate it if you would just listen.”
  • “I know you’re trying to help, but I don’t feel that I need advice right now. I’d appreciate it if you’d just accept it and let me learn on my own. I will ask you for advice when and if I feel that I need it.”

For more information on effective communication, read more at YourTango.com 


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