Giving advice isn't always good

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Robert Maurer

Giving advice isn't always good

Advice is welcomed as it indicates that the other person cares about us and we don't think they can hide a manipulative strategy to direct our conduct.

Last update: July 03, 2022

Advice is subjective opinion that is conveyed with the intention of guiding another person's behavior. The truth is, there are people "without art or part" who have the habit of giving advice to everyone.

These are individuals present in all families or groups of friends. Giving advice puts us in a position of authority, wisdom and even prestige. On the other hand, they are generally received positively as it indicates that the other person cares about us and we don't think they can hide a manipulative strategy to direct our conduct.

The one who gives advice in order to control the conduct of others is a toxic person, who pretending good intentions tells what to do or not.

Giving advice to manipulate

If you meet a person who interferes in someone else's life, who gives advice with great confidence without knowing what you are talking about and imposes his opinions, it is better to distance yourself.

“In an effort to help, we can force someone to act differently than they would have liked. In addition to this, when we insist on giving advice to those who have not asked for it, we are actually giving it to ourselves ”.

– Alejandro Jodorowsky

First of all, it is imperative that advice be sought. Secondly, it is essential to be an expert in the field, therefore to be able to provide a recommendation based on science or truth.

Finally, the only way to give correct advice is to empathize with the recipient and try to see the problem from their point of view, not from their particular position, which is different.

Traits of those who have the habit of giving advice

People who give unsolicited advice have particular traits. In general, these are older people who, due to their age, believe they have more experience, although not always so, therefore they are wiser.

Sometimes close relatives and even parents give unsolicited advice. Unfortunately, on many occasions, even if this "help" is not their intention, it can have a negative impact on us.

Give standard advice

"Time makes it all right" or "believe in yourself and you'll make it" are the typical advice we read in teen magazines and then try to give it to another person.

These pre-made tips are never effective, as the person concerned is also aware of it. She even applies them, but that's not what she needs right now.

“More than helping, we can often make the other person feel guilty because they don't believe in themselves or can't see the bright side of things.

Not knowing how to face fears and project them

Whoever gives advice always and in any case often presents unresolved problems and is afraid to face them. This leads them to giving advice to others as a way to make up for one's mistakes. No one can help another person if their mind is harboring numerous ghosts.

Furthermore, many times the advice is anxious in nature : “Don't do it”, “it's dangerous”, “what if it doesn't work?”, Instead of motivating, as it is dictated by fear.


Instead of listening to the other person, you always think about your own personal experience. “Well, I…”, “It happened to me too and…”. We have all done it, to a greater or lesser extent, and in turn we have watched others do it.

Such an attitude does not make one feel understood or listened to. Ultimately it will be the person "to help" who listens to who should offer her support. Let's not forget that all experiences are different yet similar.

Everyone carries their own vital baggage and on the basis of it should solve their problems. Only a professional could drive.

Giving advice that is not believed

It is possible to give advice that, while valid, is difficult to put into practice and even the person offering it has never followed it. Therefore, they have no validity.

Any advice must be realistic, progressive and tailored to the person. General advice such as "if you want to quit smoking, start in the evening and chew gum to calm anxiety" are not realistic; there are many techniques.

Beyond that, they can even harm the person, fill them with pressure or anxiety and have the opposite effect.

Give advice because they feel the other person needs help

Those who always give advice consider others to be inferior and unable to overcome obstacles. In fact, taking an interest in others is a way to distract yourself from your own problems.

Before giving advice to someone, who has not asked us or of whom we have no scientific knowledge, let us always remember the following reflection:

Anyone who tries to help a butterfly out of its cocoon kills it; whoever tries to help a sprout to blossom destroys it. Everything has its timing and must happen from the inside out. 

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