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When was the last time you asked someone for advice? Compare that to the last time someone gave you some advice you didn’t ask for it. Compare that, yet again, to all of the unsolicited advice, you now get in the age of social media. These days a simple heartfelt post or rant session on your own Facebook account can lead to mounds of advice from others on how you should be living your life.
This Is Extremely Rude
If you are the one doing it you need to understand that you are honestly being rude. It’s even worse when you’re trying to give people advice when you know nothing about their lives or their problems. Everyone is going through things and everyone has their personal problems that they keep to themselves. Your unsolicited advice could really be hurting their feelings (feelings do matter, and having feelings does not make one "butt-hurt," it makes one HUMAN). If you don’t care about hurting their feelings, and think your own “honesty” is more important, you may want to reevaluate what friendship is.
If You Really Want To Help
If you’re a true friend to someone and you feel like they might need some advice or someone to lean on, reach out to them directly. This is much better than posting a comment on their status posts or posting something on their Twitter or wherever. Show that you care and that you’re not just trying to draw attention to yourself and reach out to them in private.
Yes, you can message them on Facebook, email them, or even text them, but your words can be read in so many different contexts online, so just don’t do it. Call them if you really want to be there for them, or message them to set up a time to get together and talk face-to-face. If you actually speak to one another then they can tell in your voice and actions when you do mean well.
Ask If They Want Advice First
Even then, in person, ask before you start spewing advice. Word vomit sucks, and that’s exactly what unsolicited advice is. It’s you puking your opinion all over someone else that didn’t want it or need it in the first place. If someone needs your advice they will ask for it, and when they do you really need to stick to the topic.
Remember That Everyone’s Truth Is Different
You may feel that your advice is spot on for that person, but you need to remember that you are not them and you haven’t walked in their shoes. Unless you’ve had the same exact experiences as someone else you really can’t know their complete “truth.” You can’t just go by their posts on social media, the things they’ve said to you, or the things that you’ve heard through rumors spoken by other people. None of these are complete truths (and some of them might be flat out lies).
If you give advice, unsolicited or not, and the other person isn’t happy with your advice, just back off. Don’t turn it into an argument. You may even do better to apologize for your misguided advice.
And, If You’re The One Getting The Unsolicited Advice
Learn to ignore it. Do your best not to even respond. If the advice was shared on your social media for all the world to see don’t be afraid to just delete it. You have that right, it is your life and your social media account. If it was in a private message you have the right not to reply or to just end the conversation.
Remember, even when you do actually ask for advice you’re not always going to like what you hear and the advice you get won’t always work for you and your life or situation. Don’t take offense to it, but you can try to straighten out the person that was giving you advice that just won’t work for you, simply by telling them thanks but no thanks. You also don't want to draw it out into an argument. Learn to direct requests for advice to people that might have some remote knowledge of what you’ve gone through. Don’t talk to an unmarried friend about what you went through with your divorce and don’t talk to your boyfriend about your woman issues since you might not get the best advice from these people on these particular subjects.