Handling Unsolicited Advice



In my last post here, I talked about receiving advice from advisors, mentors, and people from whom we generally ask for counsel.

But we’ve all been on the receiving end of unsolicited advice. You know, when the well-meaning (or not so much) friend, family member, colleague, or opinionated acquaintance gives you their two cents about what you’re doing (or should be doing) with your job or life in general.

Truth is, there can be gems in those unsolicited advice too–if we open ourselves to discovering them.

But every now and again, we’ll come across the ones that seem to hit all the wrong buttons.

So, instead of feeling gracious for having received some word of wisdom, we feel as if someone has blindsided us, and trespassed on our private turf. Our defenses go up. We feel a variety of emotions following the interaction: annoyed, defensive, insulted, embarrassed, among others.

There are times in our lives when we become magnets to such unsolicited words of wisdom. Deciding to make a big change in your life, like switching careers?  Yep, definitely ripe moments for some of these well-meaning advice, and it’s best to be prepared for the influx of all kinds of points of view.

Here are a 5 things to keep in mind next time you find yourself in this position:

1. Who’s dishing out the unsolicited advice?

Does this person truly have your interest at heart? Does he/she have a unique perspective on the situation that’s worth listening to? Has she experienced something similar in the past, and can shed some light on some truths, no matter how difficult it may be to hear?

2. Can you simply ignore the advice, or must you respond?

At the end of the day, no one can force you to listen or follow an advice. Can you simply acknowledge the person, thank him for sharing his thoughts, and move on?

You’ll find that often, there isn’t any need to provide a response or explanation for your actions or decisions.

3. Remember that the advice is always given through the advisor’s filters.

Every advice you’ll hear (including the ones in this note), is shared through the giver’s world view and his own filters. Someone who sees the world as glass half-empty will tend to look at risks, whereas someone who shows up with a glass half-full point of view, always sees the opportunities.

Understanding that a person’s advice is at least partly about them, will save you from taking things personally and being inadvertently hurt in the process.

4. Find a way to get the sting out.

Sometimes, the advice rubs you in all the wrong places, and stings. If you truly can’t find anything worth harvesting, and it’s simply doing damage to your mindset and confidence-level, then you must do everything you can to avoid letting the advice stick.

The worst thing is to let the person’s words find a home in your head, and become another negative voice back there. If you aren’t able to shake it off by yourself, talk to a friend, or another mentor, your therapist even, if you have one. Don’t let their words find a home.

5. Be gracious.

Assume the best in people, and thank the person for his time and the effort he took to share his thoughts. Best case scenario, the unsolicited advice is helpful and you find some value in it. If not? Change the topic of conversation or simply walk away from it. Remember #3 above, and if it really bites,  #4.

About the Author: Lou Blaser is the Chief Ambition Prod at Second Breaks. She is a change and strategy advisor, who helps people get unstuck from their stalled Plan A careers.


Share small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve’s community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 500,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.


  1. excellent post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You should continue your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  2. I precisely wished to say thanks yet again. I am not sure the things I would have gone through in the absence of the actual techniques shared by you about this area of interest. It was an absolute intimidating setting in my position, however , seeing your specialized tactic you solved the issue forced me to jump over happiness. Extremely happier for your service and in addition pray you comprehend what an amazing job you happen to be getting into teaching many people through the use of a site. I am certain you have never met all of us.

  3. I am often to blogging and i really respect your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your web site and keep checking for brand new information.

  4. I simply couldn’t depart your web site before suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the usual information an individual supply for your visitors? Is going to be again continuously in order to check up on new posts

  5. Thank you for another informative website. Where else could I get that kind of information written in such a perfect way? I’ve a project that I’m just now working on, and I’ve been on the look out for such info.

  6. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is wonderful blog. A great read. I’ll definitely be back.

  7. The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my option to learn, but I really thought youd have one thing fascinating to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could repair in case you werent too busy searching for attention.

  8. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such excellent information being shared freely out there.

  9. I feel that is one of the such a lot significant information for me. And i am glad reading your article. However should remark on some normal issues, The site style is perfect, the articles is really excellent : D. Good activity, cheers

  10. Hey very cool site!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds also…I am happy to find a lot of useful information here in the post, we need develop more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  11. Today, I went to the beach front with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

  12. I simply couldn’t depart your website prior to suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the standard info a person supply in your visitors? Is gonna be again continuously in order to check up on new posts

  13. My developer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on various websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to another platform. I have heard good things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it? Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated!

  14. Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your post seem to be running off the screen in Safari. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The design look great though! Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Many thanks

  15. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

  16. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say excellent blog!

  17. Together with everything that seems to be developing within this particular subject material, many of your perspectives tend to be fairly exciting. On the other hand, I beg your pardon, but I can not give credence to your whole strategy, all be it exhilarating none the less. It looks to me that your comments are generally not completely validated and in fact you are generally yourself not completely confident of your point. In any event I did appreciate looking at it.

  18. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and aid others like you helped me.

  19. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful information specially the last part :) I care for such information much. I was seeking this certain info for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  20. I just like the helpful info you provide for your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and test once more right here frequently. I’m fairly certain I’ll be told plenty of new stuff proper here! Best of luck for the next!

  21. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Genuinely rarely should i encounter a weblog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you may have hit the nail about the head. Your idea is outstanding; the problem is an element that insufficient persons are speaking intelligently about. I am delighted we came across this during my look for something with this.

  22. Thanks for your short article. I would like to say that the health insurance dealer also works for the benefit of the coordinators of your group insurance policies. The health insurance agent is given a listing of benefits looked for by anyone or a group coordinator. What any broker may is find individuals as well as coordinators which will best fit those needs. Then he offers his tips and if all parties agree, this broker formulates binding agreement between the two parties.

  23. Fantastic goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous
    to and you’re just extremely magnificent. I actually like
    what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you are
    saying and the way in which you say it. You make it
    enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it wise. I can’t wait to
    read much more from you. This is actually a great site.

  24. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail.

    I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it develop over


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here