What to Do with Advice That You Didn’t Ask For

I think all of us have experienced getting unsolicited advice at one point or another. Sometimes it’s helpful, but often it’s completely unwanted. I always think in my head, “If I wanted your advice, I would have asked.” I try to catch myself before offering advice to other people, especially friends when they haven’t asked. Sometimes people just want to vent or talk something through out loud, and they don’t necessarily want (or need) someone else’s opinion. But what happens when you do get that unwanted feedback? Maxie’s got you covered.

Unwanted advice

What to Do with Advice That You Didn’t Ask For

Guest post by Maxie McCoy

A few months ago I texted Carly with the ever famous friend message, “OMG can I vent for a second??” And I proceeded to tell her these random comments I got from a friend which included criticism regarding something I was working on and lots of opinions that I didn’t ask for.

The first reaction I had was WTF and the second was this actually doesn’t matter at all. But we’re all human, I definitely am, and I was pissed for a minute before I reminded myself to let it gooooo.

I’ve learned a thing or two about unsolicited advice. Like my parents asking me not to use certain words in my writing that they don’t approve of (LOL). Or friends who want to tell you how to handle your situation. Or people on the internet who don’t know you yet still want to tell you how to live.

If you find yourself in a situation with a friend, with a parent, or anyone else where you’re getting advice that you simply didn’t ask for, I feel you. We all do. But there’s a way to turn these situations into a positive without getting too worked up (learned from clearly having gotten too worked up before, see text to Carly above 😉)

Speak up. When you start to notice unsolicited advice happening either in a situation, or as a pattern, it’ll get easier to cut it off rather than turn it into an entire gabfest that you’d give anything to get out of just to be polite. Here are my favorite ways to respond to the advice you didn’t ask for, depending on what the situation calls for:
– I don’t really feel like talking about this right now.
– I’m still processing it myself.
– Thanks, I’ll think about that.

Assess the person’s intention. People who give unsolicited advice aren’t always know-it-alls, and they’re not bad humans. Many times, in fact, it’s people that want the best for you so much they can’t help but try and solve your problems and/or guide your actions. Try your best with those you love to see it as that and nothing more. (And remember, just because they might think they’re right doesn’t mean that you’re wrong).

Filter through the advice. Every once in awhile there may be nuggets of truth that you appreciate and agree with in this advice you never asked for. In which case, run with it! If they ended up having a point, it’s OK to follow that just because you weren’t into at the time. Afterall, feedback from others is all about delivery.

Let it go. If out-of-nowhere advice really makes you mad, give yourself a minute to think about why you’re mad, where your emotions are coming from and if they have anything to teach you, maybe phone a friend to get it off your chest, and then don’t make it anything more than it needs be.

Unsolicited advice is the worst. But it doesn’t have to turn into a tizzy if you know how to handle it with those you love. And let’s all do a better job of not giving advice that we weren’t asked for.

Get more advice from Maxie that you might actually like here 😉

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This is so true! When I was planning my wedding, it seemed like everyone had advice on everything from the best florist and bakery to where to go on our honeymoon to what it takes to have a successful marriage. All of which I didn’t ask for. Great tips, Carly/Maxie! Jessica @


Love the “Thanks, I’ll think about that” response. After becoming a mom, people have really started to dish out the unsolicited advice. Going forward, I think I will be using that one quite often!


such a timely post as yesterday i received some unsolicited advice from my father, which was stressing me out! but i vented to my husband which definitely helped


What a great post. My standard reply to unasked for advice is, “You could be right!” Now, thanks to you, I may also tag on, “I’ll think about that.”


I recently discovered that getting unsolicited advice is my ULTIMATE pet peeve. I get so mad! Perfect post.


Can I just say that this post could not have come at a better time! Thanks, Carly and Maxie.


Thanks Maxie – I recently got engaged and have been having panic attacks with the amount of unsolicited comments and “helpful” suggestions from friends, family, coworkers, about what we should do (without knowing anything about us as a couple!). Definitely going to try out these strategies.