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I have a friend who I love dearly, She has an issue I don't know how to address though. She feels she knows whats best for everyone, dishes out unsolicited advice and becomes hurt and angry when people don't take her advice.
I've tried gently pointing out that you can't MAKE people do anything and that she would be less stressed if she said her piece and let go. People get offended and annoyed by this in her work and personal life. I see where this behaviour is destructive to her but I'm Not getting through AND I feel like a hypocrite for doing the same thing I'm calling her out for.

OpposingOpposum 9 Apr 2

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19 comments

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1

My advice, for what it's worth is to let her be who she is. I understand that it's annoying and probably a bit destructive but she will eventually learn that on her own.

1

Sounds like it is a problem. One of the hardest things for people to do is to set firm boundaries. Use the BIFF principle: Breif, Informative, Friendly & Firm. Simply Say, I know you like to Give Advice, and much of it is really good advice. However, When Someone Gives me advice that I didn't ask for, I find it rude, but more importantly it hurts my feelings like I'm not able to make good decisions on my own. I know you mean well, but it really is upsetting to people and makes me uncomfortable. I love you dearly, but it must stop. But hey if they are asking for it then by all means. Focus on how it makes you and others feel and less about what she is doing. Hope it helps.

Thanks

1

All you can do with any reliability is thank you friend for their feedback but keep further discussion non commital. If there are consequences this person faces a result of "steamroller" behavior, it's not your responsibility to protect her or apologize for her or feel bad for maintaining simple boundaries.

1

A "friend"...

Uh huh... ?

Seriously though,
people have posted a lot of good suggestions already, but honestly I have never had much luck with getting people to see destructive behavior in themselves.

I am pretty sure I don’t even notice it in myself.

For me it comes down to, if I like the person enough to accept them for who they are. If I do, then I try to ignore the behavior. If the behavior is something I just can’t tolerate, I may try to gently nudge them, but in the end I usually just have to move on.

It is very difficult to change someone, and you usually wind up being resented for trying.

Lol. I freely admit to having been guilty. Goodness knows I'm a "stray picker upper". I'm working on not doing that though. I do like her immensely, she doesn't upset me but she does upset herself a lot and doesn't understand why people distance themselves from her.

@Blindbird done that plenty

3

Be straight up, her feelings are hers to own. Let her know that unsolicited advice is often not wanted or listened too. If she wants to.avoid being ignored and disregarded it would be better to wait to be asked, or ask before giving advice. If she gets upset with this, point out that it's an example of how others feel at her unwanted help.

1

"Thanks for the advice. I'll take it in under consideration. Now...what color are your socks?"

That's the funny thing she rarely tries to advise me. It's weird.

Oh. So share that advice to those she advises.

@DangerDave you know, I think I will.

1

People like her have controlling issues.
Controlling people just don't let things go.
I'm sorry I don't have any advice on this,
sounds like my mom.
I have actually told my mother that she needs therapy. They never are the ones to take a look in the mirror.

2

Some folks have already analyzed and commented very intelligently. Especially @tarynj03 . Maybe if I speak from my own experience with my mother? She has unexamined trauma from her own life so, as a way to avoid dealing with her own shit, she focuses and even obsesses on other's issues. Everyone else is somebody to fix, to save or a puzzle to figure out. Needless to say this means an almost complete disregard of boundaries. My mother is so hard to be around I keep minimal contact and when around her I become very closed off and don't share much because I don't trust how she'll use that information. Be careful with this friend. Not saying she's as bad as my mother but if she IS focusing on others to avoid dealing with her own shit she may not be able to hear you. She may even get very defensive. If she overreacts and treats you like you've betrayed her there's probably some kind of childhood trauma involved. From my own experience people like this are very difficult to get through to. I hope you have more sucess than I but please protect yourself. Peace.

Incredibly difficult .. I know where you are coming from.. !! Wise words. Arms length if at all emotionally is the only way. I wouldn't like to say my friends conditions on here but sounds very similar in some ways. ! Peace to you to.

I know there is significant childhood trauma,as she's shared some of what happened with me. Idk it just makes me sad.

Keep on being you @Blindbird sometimes just someone doing mundane stuff with you can help .. just someone being consistent. Not being let down you know. So you might think you aren't doing a lot !! But maybe you are ..

@Nickbeee thank you. Listening seems to be the best I can offer, so I'll keep up with that. 🙂

@Blindbird Just be careful. If you're a compassionate person it can be very hard to hear the bad things that have happened to others and not want to help: even when it's harmful to you. I should know better and yet recently I was trying to fix/rescue someone to my own detriment. Healthy boundaries are SO important and yet are a struggle for me almost daily because of the poor example set by my mother. Good luck.

@kmdskit3 thank you. I'm trying to balance her needs and my own.

2

She may be doing it to avoid a deeper issue of her own ?? Is that possible ? I have a friend like that i'm currenty helping through stuff!

1

Tell everyone to let her think they have taken her advice and that it worked out terribly, and it's all her fault.

Lol. You've been taking pages from Bills book ,I see.

3

I guess the question I would have for your friend is what is her real motive? Is she interesting in helping other or does she just want to prove to herself how smart and wise she is? If she wants to help, it may be useful to ask her how she likes to receive information and advice. Chances are, not like she is giving it out. Additionally, it may be useful to point out that people are more willing to listen when they ask for advice and guidance. Not before. The wise people is the one who speaks last.

1

lol, THis makes me think of parents struggling to get their toddlers to stop running around nude/consistently wear clothes. Left alone eventually they will get cold

You're Not wrong

1

what gets me is when a person who is single and has been single for a long time gives 'advice' to a married or person about relationships.

Lol. That's why I hit up my married friends for relationship advice.

4

Is your friend my mother? Lol

i was thinking the same about my mother but she's dead...she was ALWAYS giving people advice about shit

@SeeCanU The advice is the least of it lol. I love her, but yeah lol

0

I guess you got to leave her to learn the hard way

2

I do know people like this and the only thing you can do is be polite. Thank them for their advice and merrily go along your way.

4

Well, since I actually DO know it all, (just ask me, and I'll tell ya...because who would know better than me?), I would suggest that there isn't really a way to make someone be introspective...I lightly tease my know-it-all friends...or try to follow their solutions with them...'what if's' drive people crazy...

indeed they do

8

I didn't know you knew my aunt

HA!

Lol

4

I'm in the exact same spot right now. In about 3 hours, I have to have a conversation I am absolutely dreading. It has the potential for going very badly, but it has to happen, today. I wish you good luck with yours.

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