20-40-60 Etiquette: Keep it to yourself?

20-40-60 Etiquette tackles what to do with a friend's constant, unsolicited advice, with Yvette Walker as guest.
by Helen Ford Wallace and Lillie-Beth Brinkman and Yvette Walker and Callie Gordon Published: July 21, 2013
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QUESTION: My friend has advice for me on every subject, even when I don't ask for it. How do I politely tell her that sometimes her unsolicited advice is best kept to herself?

CALLIE'S ANSWER: Take the good advice with the bad. Clearly she cares a lot about you. I would leave it alone.

LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: Maybe your friend is in parenting mode — for elementary-school-age kids — and can't quite get out of the habit. Parenting thrusts us into advice-giving mode even if we weren't always that way.

I realize that's an assumption, but I know several people who are like this of various ages and in various stages of parenting, and I try not to let it bother me, even when it does. I know the people care about me, and I try to take two tactics with it — 1. Agree with them so forcefully and wholeheartedly that they have nothing else to say on the subject, so you can move on and do what works with you, or 2. Tell them that you have it covered and would appreciate it if they would stop doing it. Your friend may not even realize that she's doing it. Sometimes we all accidentally offer unsolicited advice in our areas of expertise or because we're in the habit of doing so in another area of our lives. I have to try to keep it in check sometimes, too.

HELEN'S ANSWER: Sometimes when you are talking, advice from the other person just pops out, so try to accept your friend's words graciously, or don't share topics with her if you think she might give you free, and unwanted, advice.


by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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by Yvette Walker
Night News and Presentation Director
Yvette Walker is Director of Presentation and Custom Publishing at The Oklahoman. She supervises the look and feel of the paper, as well as coordinates content in several special sections and niche publications. Previously, she managed online...
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by Callie Gordon
Freelance Writer
Callie Gordon, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, is working at Chesapeake Energy in the Environment, Health, and Safety Department. She was previously an event coordinator for Chesapeake Energy.
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