Nothing creates more drama than giving advice to someone who doesn’t want it or isn’t ready. More drama happens when you feel such an urge to give advice that is not accepted or respected. Before giving advice, consider your intentions and look at these three instances where it is best to avoid advice-giving altogether.
1. Never give advice to someone who is visibly angry.
Most of the time people just want agreement or social proof that they are right. Wait until they cool down and make sure they ask for your advice.
2. Never give advice to someone who is extremely happy
If someone is extremely happy with their new book, their new idea, or a new decision, now is not the time to give advice. Most likely they just want your admiration, respect or approval and they are not really open to your critique or suggestions. Unless you are a paid coach, or are extremely good at asking questions wait until their energy is a little more even keel, otherwise you’ll just be known as the one who popped their bubble.
3. Never give fashion advice unless someone asks for it.
Fashion is a matter of opinion. What business is it of yours if someone wants to wear bleached blonde hair? Unless they bring it up, or unless you are their boss and their job is at stake, keep your opinions to yourself.
Much of the time people just want agreement or support, when they say they want your opinion or feedback. Understand the difference between opinions and advice. Most of the time we pass off our opinions as if it was sacred advice. When people need advice, they will ask for it or pay for it. If you feel that you must give your unsolicited advice, at least warn the person by asking for permission, then they won’t be blindsided.
Most of the time advice-giving is nothing more than rescuing and manipulation. A good way to know if you have been rescuing is when someone has not taken your advice and you get angry. It means you are more attached to the other person changing than they are.