Most people I know would rather give advice than receive it. In fact, I’d say most people in the world would rather give advice. Given this, it’s a sure bet that on any given day, unsolicited or not, someone is going to give you the benefit of their wisdom (or perceived wisdom). And it’s not always welcome.
There are times when we want to tell our adviser just where they can jam their advice. My mum frequently advises me which career-path I should take, despite me frequently reminding her that I’m on the author-career-path and enjoying my stroll along it just fine. Today an elderly friend advised me that my children are spoiled, despite them being well behaved, polite and happy children.
So, all this said, let me give you some advice on dealing with advice:
1)Remember most advice is coming from a good place. They’re telling you this because they want to help you out.
2)Try to remain polite. With number 1 in mind, giving your (unwanted) adviser a whack (or a sarcastic comment or eye-roll) will only hurt their feelings and make things difficult between you.
3)If it really bothers you, it’s OK to be clear that you disagree with them or that you don’t need their advice but remain polite. I go with, ‘I know what you’re saying but…’ (‘I know what you’re saying but I’m focused on writing at the moment’ or ‘I know what your saying but I think I have a good balance of discipline with in my children’).
4)Or you could…
Remember, just because someone gives you advice, doesn’t mean you have to take it.
5)If you really don’t want advice on an issue, don’t share you problem with someone who is compelled to try and fix it. We all have those friends who feel that it’s their job to fix the world. Instead, chat with a friend who’s more of a listener than a fixer.
So there’s my advice. Take it or leave it.