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How to Handle Unsolicited Advice

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Last year during Thanksgiving Day, I received ELEVEN inquiries on my website throughout the day. ELEVEN inquiries in JUST ONE day. That might not mean anything to you, but the takeaway is that being around family during the holidays can not only cause a lot of people stress but also bring on unsolicited advice which can lead to hurt feelings and frustration for many.

Here’s a hard-hitting truth for you: If someone gives you advice and it triggers you or upsets you, there’s likely something inside you that feels vulnerable about it. When you’re struggling to resolve these feelings of being upset, it’s important to take a moment and evaluate what about that statement or question bothers you.

On the other hand, if someone addresses something and it doesn’t bother you, it’s probably something that isn’t true and that you can brush off. Here are some ways to handle unsolicited advice or comments during the holidays.

Practice acceptance.

You can’t change someone who doesn’t want to change. Accept that about your family members and others you’ll be around during the holidays. You can’t change them, so maybe try changing your expectations instead. Accept that they might not be your favorite person but that you are absolutely in charge of your own attitude. 

Acknowledge their (potentially) good intentions.

This person giving you unsolicited advice may not even realize that they might be hurting your feelings or making you uncomfortable. Kindly let them know that you appreciate their concern and that you may request their advice about this topic at a later date.

Use “I” statements to speak your truth.

Use statements that will not ruffle feathers – we’re talking about “I” statements. “Thank you, I will take that into consideration.” This statement reversed as a “You” statement may make the individual feel attacked. 

While this is all great information to have heading into the holidays, don’t wait until you’re in the middle of it all to start making these positive changes in your thinking. Start today! Call me at 412.408.2098 or visit my website and let’s talk ways to make this holiday season your best one ever!


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