Manners Matter: Not Looking for Advice

By Mary Pat

Dear Mary Pat,

I’ve noticed that while updating friends about what’s going on in my life (the usual stuff: job, wife, kids, etc.), there is a tendency on their part to offer unsolicited advice. Mind you, I am not complaining during these conversations – more or less just sharing what my life is about. But I find that after these conversations, I am annoyed and angry, and feel as if everyone seems to think I don’t know how to live my own life. I shouldn’t have to defend my choices, especially when I haven’t asked for anyone’s opinion of them. I understand people think they are being helpful, but it’s so offensive. I don’t judge their decisions or give them unsolicited advice, but they get to do it to me?

Didn’t Ask For This

Ephraim, Wis.


Dear Didn’t Ask for This,

Have you ever told your friends that this bothers you? If they are true friends they have the best intentions and possibly don’t realize that they are overstepping. Also, are you sure that they are judging? You didn’t give any specific examples. One of the best parts of a close friendship is to speak freely and openly. Listen to what they have to say, consider if it is true and worthy, and discard if it is not.

On the other hand, if your friends are often leaving you annoyed and angry, ask yourself if these are truly people you want to be hanging out with? Have you outgrown each other?

There is a lot to ponder. Have a frank conversation with them and also with yourself and see what you come up with.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

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