Why NTJs Love to Give Unsolicited Advice (And Why That’s Bad for Everyone)

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on October 06, 2019
Categories: INTJ, ENTJ

INTJs and ENTJs might be at opposite ends of the Introvert/Extravert spectrum, but what they have in common is a drive to solve problems. This is great for building careers, but when it comes to friends, family and colleagues, their delight in giving advice can ruin relationships.

If you are an INTJ or an ENTJ, you may already know that you have a tendency to express your thoughts and opinions quite openly. But have you considered the effect this has on other people? And that your need to give unsolicited advice is probably caused by a lack of self-confidence.

If you want to use your strengths to enhance, rather than damage your relationships with the people around you, find out the truth about what’s driving your behaviour and how to change it.

The Advice-Giving Personality

So what is it about INTJs and ENTJs that make them dish out advice like Halloween candy? First, these two types have Intuition (N) as their dominant function, giving them a love of ideas rather than details, followed by the Thinking function (T), which makes them base their decisions on logic and reason. Finally, Judging (J) drives them towards order and organization. This combination creates analytical problem solvers who love to improve processes with their ideas.

INTJs are the Masterminds. They are logical, practical people who are often perfectionists. They can see the potential in all things and set very high standards for themselves and others. Unfortunately, they do not hesitate in pointing out when they believe others are wrong or not hitting the mark.

ENTJs are ambitious leaders who are interested in driving their careers forward and seeking power and control. They want to call the shots and put their well-thought out plans into action. Like their INTJ cousins, they are also perfectionists who can be frank and even arrogant about others’ shortcomings. All of this culminates in a person who frequently gives people advice, whether they want it or not.

While these two types may excel in the workplace with their love of ideas and thirst for excellence, they both lack an understanding and attention to emotion, both in themselves and others, and this can lead to problems in their relationships at work and at home. And while it may seem to the INTJ or ENTJ that they are only trying to help, it can be very annoying to the person on the receiving end who feels they can manage perfectly well on their own. What’s more, the person giving the advice may not actually have other person’s best interests at heart and are really more concerned with gaining control.

According to Seth Meyers, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist with the L.A. County Department of Mental Health, unsolicited advice givers have a few other traits in common:

  1. People who give a lot of advice tend to have a rigid personality. This is true for ENTJs and INTJs who, thanks to their Judging preference, are fairly inflexible. While their desire for perfection and high standards is a positive trait, especially when it comes to work, they can easily become overly concerned with making sure everyone around them is toeing the line, which makes them overbearing and intolerant.

  2. They have an exaggerated sense of their own competence. ENTJs in particular see themselves as leaders and everyone else as followers. They can be critical of others while unwavering in their belief in their own superiority.

  3. Advice givers tend to lack awareness. Their love of ideas, action and ambition makes both INTJs and ENTJs largely unaware of others’ thoughts and feelings, as well as their own. As logical, thinking types, they are uncomfortable with the world of emotion and often brush it aside without considering how their actions affect people or even why they’re giving advice.

  4. They seek a sense of control. When someone shares a difficult situation with them, the ENTJ or INTJ wants to solve the problem, in part, to relieve themselves of the anxiety they feel when things are in disarray. Telling someone what to do makes them feel better. Unfortunately, they tend to overlook how it makes the other person feel.

It’s this need for control that really drives the INTJ and ENTJ advice-giving behavior. People give unsolicited advice because they like the way it makes them feel more than for a genuine concern for someone else’s problems. A set of four studies found that giving advice makes people feel more powerful. The studies also found that people who admitted they want to be more powerful tend to give advice more often.

Giving advice is a way to prove to themselves, and everyone else, that they are smarter and more knowledgeable than other people, which makes them feel powerful. Since telling other people what to do is such a boost to their ego, they usually hand it out whether others want it or not.

But this drive to control is largely unconscious and based on the advice giver’s unresolved feelings of self-doubt. They constantly seek power because they don’t feel powerful. Just giving advice makes them feel important. And when the advice is taken, they feel valued. If the recipient doesn’t follow their advice, they can feel rejected, which can cause a further knock to their sense of self-worth and competence.

How to Stop Giving Unsolicited Advice

Most INTJs and ENTJs are unaware that they are giving other people unwanted, and often unappreciated advice, until someone points it out. They may believe they are being helpful and solving everyone’s problems while taking pleasure in the lift it gives to their self-esteem. But making yourself feel good while putting other people down will only damage your relationships and your own emotional health. Instead, here’s how to get ahead in life, at work, and with your family, friends and colleagues without hurting anyone’s feelings:

  1. Recognize that not everyone needs fixing. There’s a difference between improving systems and improving people. People need to learn and grow on their own. It’s important to recognize that people need to find their own way.

  2. Develop emotional awareness. Emotions are not the enemy. They may be a little harder to navigate, but feelings are there to help guide us through the murky waters of life, telling us when something is wrong or when we are not happy or comfortable with a situation. Instead of avoiding people’s feelings, which can make you appear cold and callous, acknowledge they are there and they matter, whether they are yours or someone else’s.

  3. Just listen. When someone shares a problem or upsetting situation, they usually just want someone to listen and care about how they feel, rather than give them a solution, says Richard B. Joelson, a New York psychotherapist and author of Help Me!: A Psychotherapist's Tried-and-True Techniques for a Happier Relationship with Yourself and the People You Love. When you are patient, accepting, supportive, and give people an opportunity to express themselves, they usually find their own solutions.

  4. Ask questions. To resist the urge to offer advice when someone comes to you with a problem, says mental health counselor Jennifer Artesani Blanks, ask a question instead. If your friend says they are fed up with their job, for example, instead of telling them to find a new one, ask them what they don’t like about their job. When they answer, ask another question, such as What would you really like to be doing? Asking questions makes the person feel heard, understood and that you care about their situation. It will also help them find their own answers.

  5. Boost their confidence. When someone tells you about a situation they are dealing with, you can help them just by reminding them of their own positive qualities. Instead of trying to make someone feel inferior by assuming you know all the answers, remind them of their own strengths, such as ‘I know you’ll sort this out because you’re such a good organiser’ or ‘You have such a caring nature, you’ll find a way through this.’ Bulldozing your way to the top may be easier, but when you show genuine consideration and respect for others, you’ll build trust that lasts. 

  6. Ask for permission. If you feel that you really could help someone with their problem, ask them if you could give them some advice before dishing it out with a snow shovel. The person may not want or need your help and may say no, which might make you feel a little less powerful and in control. But they will respect you for your consideration and your relationship will benefit.

  7. Share with caution. It can be very tempting to start sharing your own story when someone tells you about a situation that is familiar to you. But this is their story, not yours, so only talk about your own experiences after you’ve listened to theirs first and explain that you’re telling it to ensure they don’t feel alone, says Blanks.

For the friends, family and colleagues of ENTJs and INTJs, it can be hard to know what to do when confronted with all their unasked-for advice. Knowing that they are often unaware of how often, and how annoying, it is can help. But remember advice givers are not as confident as they appear. Their self-esteem may be fragile because they are unsure of their own worth. They can become upset, offended and bruised if you reject them outright. You don’t need to accept their advice, but they need to feel like you value them and you’re not rejecting them, says Leon F. Seltzer, a clinical psychologist and the author of Paradoxical Strategies in Psychotherapy. Reassure them of their own strengths and that they matter.

Bottom Line

We are all guilty of giving advice without being asked. But ENTJs and INTJs are particularly susceptible to handing out their opinions and telling other people what to do because of their perfectionist personalities, their drive for achievement and their lack of emotional awareness. With a little bit of understanding about what triggers their advice-giving behaviour, and how it affects others, they can continue to be the powerful, analytical thinkers and go-getters the world needs, while also nurturing their relationships and themselves

Deborah Ward

Deborah Ward is a writer and an INFJ. She has a passion for writing articles, blog posts and books that inspire, motivate and encourage people to build self-confidence and live up to their potential. She has written two books on mindfulness, Overcoming Low Self-Esteem with Mindfulness and Overcoming Fear with Mindfulness. Her latest book, Sense and Sensitivity, is based on her Psychology Today blog of the same name. It's about highly sensitive people and is out now. Deborah lives in Hampshire, England, where she enjoys watching documentaries, running and taking long walks in the country, especially ones that finish at a cosy pub.

More from this author...
About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.


Wendy G (not verified) says...

Interesting, though I have a hard time reading the ego/power/superior issue part because I DO care when I give advice. I give it as a gift, only to someone I care about because I WISH them happiness and I want them to see, through their desperate time, that life has better options to offer when you look at it from different perspectives. 

To assume #ntj is giving unwanted advice to masturbate own sense of power, that is twisted and unfair as stereotypical thinking sounds. I think the writer see it through the #infj glasses without thinking that's not how we work. #Intjs do not give a damn about manipulating people. You see if one can be manipulated, then the people & I are not compatible in thinking quality. And BECAUSE talking to those kind of people is frustrating and a waste of our time then we'd better spend the rest of our life avoiding them. 

This half end of the article is, however, good for us to know how to be more tactful and kind when approach people you want to help without hurting them in the process. That means, if you can actually find someone who is worth helping, though ?

Jackie (not verified) says...

Yes I thought the same. I do end up giving advice out of care, empathy. I have found myself giving advice to trainee students even when I am not their mentor as I feel how isolating it must be for them to be in a new place because I was once a student. I should stop that because it probably is not valued.

Just recently, my aunt was pregant, I felt my duty of care to call her a give her handy tips because I had jst been through it. Later, when she ws admitted to hospital due to raised blood pressure I called her up and asked her how she was and assured her not to get worried but she wd nt text me to say she ws discharged. And again she ws admitted due to placental problems (i found out from another family member) again I messaged her hw she ws, reassured her abt her rights as a patient, reassured she was in good hands and not to worry..and also called her and spoke at length. But she wd nt send me a quick msg to let me know tht they hv decided to operate on her or the baby was there. This finally made me feel probably people do not need advice hence I ended up in this page. Probably I think people like myself, I have always appreciated well meaning advice from any source, I will just store it somewhere and will use it when I need because not a lot of people want your good, fake friends and toxic family members are just waiting for you to slip and fall. 

After reading this page, although I do care about trainees because I have been in their shoes and I do care about younger family members who are in university and I give advice on how to stay out of trouble, it is due to genuine concern or I am just denying the power play situation. All I know is I need to stop doing this. 

Ann Yes (not verified) says...

Especially if they aren't calling you back. It may be best for you to wait until this particular relative reaches out to you. Still, don't wait for her to reach out to you; wish her well and keep it pushing. 

Shaun (not verified) says...

Couldn't agree with you more. I've never given advice as a power trip but as a gift and wanting the best for that person. The author not being an #NTJ confirms the theory. What this article shows me is why we are so hard to be loved, rarely appreciated, and illustrated as an evil mastermind. 

Cindy Lee (not verified) says...

I'm intj. I don't give unsolicited advice or share out loud others stuff. I am a therapist, and even then I don't impose my beliefs on my clients either. But I do have plenty of people who only want to show up in my life to air their crap rather than have fun with me. I have great confidence, nothing pretend about this,  where did you come up with that?  I also believe in self control and not controlling others.  I think you are mistaking a behavioral issues in people you may know for a personality type in us all. 

Real Person (not verified) says...

I absolutely agree. This is more relevant for undeveloped people in general who can't read if a person is looking for advice or to vent. It's problematic to conflate a study (about power seeking behavior and advice giving) with the total NTJ population. If the author is going to extrapolate that these tendencies might exist with NTJs, then it should be described that way. Making assumptions that we don't care about our friends and instead look to control our own anxiety is problematic and feeds the flanderization of MBTIs in general. It's intended to be a tool to better understand ourselves and our decision making behaviors.

For the record, as an ENTJ, I gauge whether my friends are looking for emotional comfort or tangible solutions. And if I have trouble gauging (I'm well aware of my weaknesses and sometimes I can't gauge), then I ask nicely. Because my goal as their friend is to help them. My friends know (and I fully acknowledge) that I am not the BEST person for emotional comfort, but I certainly try my best. Just had to add this bit so people know that NTJs are not sociopaths who don't actually care for their friends. In fact, I hear the most unsolicited advice from Sensors who don't bother guaging at all what kind of comfot their friend might be looking for. But, I wouldn't write an article on a very large platform about that. Because that is a very weak anecdotal personal correlation that I made with my feelings. 

Also, it should be cleared up that arrogance and confidence are two different things. NTJs generally have an endless pursuit to improve and change. This pursuit (which should be considred neutral like the desire to stay comfortable and avoid change) forces us to understand our own stats. And knowing exactly what your strong and weak points are inherently makes you confident.

tl;dr It's problematic to look at NTJs (or people in general) in such an unuanced limited dehumanizing light. Second half is solid for everybody. Consider the information from the first half of the article to be "Author's Opinions and Extrapolations from Psychology Today".

RJ (not verified) says...

I'm and INTJ, I'm almost certain this is written with some form of bias...

-INTJ's don't seek control, Theyy seek order.

-INTJ's LOVE to help solve problems not for control but to create an undertanding/structure for the chaos that is around them.

-We solve problems for others  not to feel good about ourselves but because we want to give other perspectives to those who are unable to see it. This gives us a good feeling. (similar to a person who is giving a helping hand.)

This post vilifies INTJ's for sure.

ESQ (not verified) says...

I was thinking the same thing. Clearly not written by an INTJ. I'm an INTJ and my advice comes from seeing a situation that doesn't make sense, or isn't working, and wanting to fix it. This is especially true when loved ones are involved; you only want the best for them. It has nothing to do with power or control. 

NSM (not verified) says...

I agree with those making comments. This article has some biased opinions, and lacks understanding of an ENTJ/INTJ from the INSIDE. As an ENTJ, I find that we are a highly misunderstood minority in the population, especially for women. NTJs are generous folks who simply want the best for everyone they care about. If someone present a problem to me, I ask them to assess their need - just a quick whinge or to look deeply into the issue. I've spent most of my life alone, because it's rare to find someone who 'gets' me, who is courageous enough to commit to honesty, and who makes a conscious decision to NOT play games, regardless of the type of relationship. I've been called 'salt of the earth' because if someone needs help, I'm there. Have rescued several women from domestic violence, even moving one with 2 young daughters 1500 kms overnight. She asked how she could repay me - I said, 'Pay it forward, because you know what to look for now.' That's NTJ in a nutshell. No ego - we simply see what has to happen, and find the resources to make it happen. Plenty of people have helped me when I've been in a pickle. Sometimes we pay cookies into the cosmic cookie jar, and sometimes we take cookies from it. Life's so simple.

Debbie says...

In fairness to the author, I can appreciate how a non INTJ may view us. It stings, but as an INTJ woman, I can see how we may be misunderstood. Afterall, we have been our whole lives. Quiet confidence may be viewed as a large dose of ego. We will go above and beyond to help someone else, but we will more than likely choose to help on the sly because we want to keep the boundaries in place that protect us from energy sucking requests for more help than we can emotionally sustain. The help must be on our terms. In writing about our need for control, we are guilty as charged if it is referring to controlling our boundaries. Those will be maintained because of our need for peace and order and with knowledge of our limitations. Yes, the appreciation and thanks of others warms the cockles of our hearts and gives us a feeling of self assurance. Perhaps, that is interpreted as superiority.

We also love deeply and want the best for those we love, but because we can quickly see a solution without the complication of emotions, we may either happily spout it out or clam up to give the other person an opportunity to find the answer on their own. Both actions may be misunderstood. The quickness of the solution may be intimidating. Much depends on the delivery which, at times, we don't take the time to think about. We also struggle with waiting for others to figure things out. It wastes so much time. We want to take care of the issue and move on. When we try to fight this tendency, we may get really quiet while we have an internal counseling session which may seem like intolerance or even anger. Nothing could be further from the truth. As the ultimate fixer of problems, we are internally re-calibrating in order to do better next time. We are definitely a complicated personality type.

Hukka (not verified) says...

"We also struggle with waiting for others to figure things out. It wastes so much time. We want to take care of the issue and move on."


I think herein lies the issue, or atleast part of it. The problem I personally have with people approaching me in this manner is that its not their decision to make. Nobody has the right to swoop into my life and start tinkering about, no matter how much sense it makes to them. To be clear, I'm not reffering to you, obviously, because I don't know you and have no way of knowing how you operate in reality. But having had encounters such as this I would like to lay stress on the fact that no matter how logical something seems to the INTJ, sometimes they just DON'T know better whats good for the other person. And people also have perfectly valid reasons for rejecting the advice given to them which have nothing to do with being intimidated or unable to face honesty. 

I might be talking from a slightly different angle, though. I'm perhaps thinking more of the situations where unwanted advice/attempts to control are doled out without the receiver venting or seeking any kind of emotional comfort. I would also like to say that this is not meant as a personal attack to Debbie, or as a disagreement on the motives of INTJs giving unsolicited advice. I'm only trying to illuminate the other side of this. I'll be the first to admit that this is a somewhat sore spot, because I have dealt with this mentality in my life a few times too often. (I've no idea what personality type I am BTW, and am not that interested in which slot I fit into.) To be sure, I think its arrogant to assume that somebody only gives unsolicited advice because they are insecure, but I will say that its equally arrogant to assume that people are not following your advice/letting you solve their problems simply because they are intimidated by you/ less smart than you/ insecure. And that is deffinitely how people have viewed my rejecting their unsolicited problem solving attempts. Maybe its a different matter if somebody is constantly venting their problems but then get offended for being offered advice?


Chels (not verified) says...

I agree with you. I find myself an INTJ guilty of all of the things listed, my quips often sound like all the people disagreeing with what the author wrote. I know this because I'm often trying to tell my teenaged brother fundamentals and just basic things, but my aunt has explained to me on endless occasions that my advice is unheard by him. While I'm just trying to help him, he doesn't need or ever seek my help so I need to learn to move on from certain issues. I'm doing better--no that'd be a lie. I'm trying to stop, but it's tough.

Hari (not verified) says...

Seriously, this author should, first of all, examine her own prejudices with regards to NTJs. I myself am an INTJ and I don't go around giving people unsolicited advice. Secondly, the assumption that the person who gives unsolicited advice is just going on an ego trip is just pure misunderstanding most of the times. A piece of unsolicited advice need not be always rude or insulting to the other person and many times the intention of the person who gives the advice is truly sound. As an INTJ, I have many times seen people suffering in life due to bad choices and I have not gone around correcting them all the time. If someone screws up, it is their fault and I will advise another person (solicited or unsolicited) only if that person is truly close to me and I deeply care about their well being. Some times people need the bitter pill of truth rather than comforting lies and it won't hurt to have a thick skin so that people can see the truth behind what seems like harsh criticism.

P.S: Quoting a few studies does not automatically make you right


Pippa (not verified) says...

I read this with interest as I am on the receiving end of too much advice which threatens a lifetime’s friendship. We were geographically apart for over 50 years so the bond survived but since widowed my friend and her her husband, both teachers and perfectionists and set in their views, constantly hand me advice and are very upset when I choose to ignore it, or reject it. I have explained often that I must live independently and make my own decisions, but they do not listen, even with petty matters such as suggesting a recent illness may be because I do not have enough daily fresh fruit and veg. or eat more fresh fish! What started as delight in their moving close 7 years ago by may end in acrimony, very sad as I have no family left now.

Ans (not verified) says...

1. Its better to avoid telling your problems to INTJ's unless you seek solution or some action. We dislike listening for its own sake. In case you do, tell them specifically that you can deal with things your own way.  We can be there to help whenever need arises. Choose healthier ways to deal with emotions through writing your thoughts.

2. When any person is in stressed state of mind, they may get at wit's end. So, giving ideas or suggestions are few ways in which INTJ's try to help a person come out of their stressed/unhealthy state of mind.

3. INTJ's will probably thank you if you tell them honestly what you like and dislike about them. We don't mind honest criticism if it helps us in the long run.

4. INFJ's need to learn conflict management and confrontation instead of becoming smothered or unhealthy. Avoiding or escaping situations will not help INFJ's with their growth in life.

5. Irrespective of MBTI type, choose to deal with people problems in adult manner. (Check transactional analysis and ego states)

Janet Aram (not verified) says...

This article can be hard to accept because as an INTJ I am driven to solve problems and help people on their journey. My intentions are definitely not for power or to prove I am superior. They are just to help my friends. However, I have noticed that I am not as self aware as I could be and that perhaps I just lack the skills to listen and ask questions and be supportive without offering a few, in my mind, great solutions. I really think a couple of my friends are kind of tired of me coming up with solutions for them. And that's why I read this article. Just looking for ways to communicate with my friends in a way that is better for them. I am not offended by this article. I think we just have to accept that this is one of our best/worst traits and be more aware. Thanks!


Sanya (not verified) says...

So interesting. I chanced upon this article because I'm an INFJ who has just found out that both her parents are xNTJs. And this advice-giving was perhaps their *only* mode of communication with me, their child. After I was a grown-up, it became even more annoying, and then it occurred to me that I just wanted them to listen, maybe I had my own solutions: but, no, their solutions—which were also usually conventional/practical ones—had to be better. I was just nodding along throughout the article. And, viola! it's written by an INFJ: no surprise there!

Though I do agree with some of the comments here—since I know a 'healthier' INTJ—that the worst of this is because the functions are not being managed well: there's a lack of 'balance' with the tertiary and inferior functions, due to which this NT sensibility overpowers everything else, particularly the emotional aspects and listening capacity. The healthy INTJ I know does consider people's feelings and offers advice only when asked/it's indicated. 

Interesting to read in one of the comments about the quietness the xNTJ can retreat to, to understand and act better next time. Overall, good discussion!

syed arslan rizvi (not verified) says...

i am a INTJ and i accept all of these things written are 99% true and I want to improve myself. 'A wise person will always improve himself no matter what'

This is going to change my life

Lia (not verified) says...

I give out so much unsoicited advice I still don't know why.....

Clarence McMillan (not verified) says...

It's good advice to ask if your opinion is needed before giving it.

Winnie Wei (not verified) says...

Why people are so conscious about people giving them advice.  I believe is the person who rejects or overreact to the given advice has a problem. 

Of course, when someone is just having a emotional breakdown or turbulence, it is not necessary to give advice since the person is obviously not able to process the advice logically ATM.  However, when a person is obviously stuck and not realizing it, advice is considered needed for this person.  

Stop promoting avoid giving advice to people, that would only stop this world from being more open and progressing within diversity. 

Savannah A. (not verified) says...

Unsolicited advice IS pretentious. Who are you to believe and state that some people do not realize they are stuck in their life and problems, and therefore need your unasked bits of wisdom, as if you were perfect while they are not? I believe you are yourself stuck in your arrogant and cocky attitude, and that you should learn modesty and how to stop violating other people's boundaries. They are stuck in their problems? Mind your own business. Their problems are not yours and if they ever want advice, they are clever enough to figure it out by themselves and ask for help when they feel it's time to. You think they overreact when they tell you off for your unsolicited advice? It's just that you entered their privacy without their permission and they react fairly to that. You deserve it. Without unsolicited advice, the world would be a more open, progressive and diverse place. Oh, and no need to thank me for my own unsolicited advice ;) .

BettyBB (not verified) says...

I couldn't agree more. Yes, it is pretentious. No one's life is perfect. The people I know who habitually give unsolicited advice usually have narcissistic traits.

Savannah A. (not verified) says...

In my former comment I was replying to Winnie Wei, whose point of view I really disagree with.

Rune (not verified) says...

Dude, I was JUST on PerC getting unsolicited advice from at least one NTJ and actually probably up to three.

I decided to make some ground rules for my thread, and one was *no unsolicited advice*..

but I had to make sure I was using the phrase properly, and googled it.

This was the first thing that popped up in my google search.

and theres a definite theme of this from my observation.

Maybe Im wrong. but people with rigid personalities really get off making baseless assumptions and giving unsolicited advice.

They can even go so far as to insinuate that IM in the wrong, in a thread with a topic that is harmless, but that they are derailing into something that is absolutely ridiculous.

Mark Amber (not verified) says...


I have never read a more compelling article about myself before- how long have you known me!

I need to dive much, much deeper into this as my tired eyes have only read through it once or twice tonight 

Unraveling this about myself may change my life a lot for the better. I have recently been very discouraged about how frequently (1 out of 3 times perhaps) I meet someone usually professionally but sometimes personally who I get along well with at first but then subtly they start to grow weary of me. This describes 90%+ of those issues. That's in addition to the numerous folks who just never seem to like me from the start, where plenty of them may have just been put off by any advice I gave. I look forward to learning more about myself in this.

The advice I give is quite simple and usually related to the mundane. Better keyboard shortcuts to use, ways to work around headaches, settings to use on a particular dryer/microwave... I always like at my work where my job is to give solicited advice and I have to bite my tongue when the comments would be outside of my scope - so I might find some luck using those same "scope creep" mitigation techniques in my personal journey to stop giving unwanted advice. I can also confirm that I absolutely get along well with people who like my advice. I can think specifically of my family, my current boss, and a few friends who absolutely like my advice (again, most just being factual and of the mundane technical verity) and particularly my Boss and one friend give me advice and I appreciate it too. I guess that is where I become at-odds with the content of this article partially, because I feel very confident receiving advice myself which would seem to contradict some of this as over-analysis. Then again I may myself be over reading into this here and 

But basically I love giving advice and receiving advice. I like being around people who like receiving it (people who genuinely value the time I spend learning every little detail about everything) and I like unsolicited as well and I am extremely confident and naturally inquisitive to learn if the methods/information are true for my scenario too- but what I never even understood was how counterproductive it was for some others to get unwanted advice.

I also look forward to reading this over several more times and bringing it up with my therapist- and I have pinned it to my Home Screen so I can come back to it and even read the linked studies. 

BettyBB (not verified) says...

Great article! My MIL is the queen of unsolicited advice and throws in digs in as well. Last night, I told her how worried I am about my son who lost his job and has several mouths to feed including yet another baby on the way. I also wanted to discuss some other serious issues with her. I was really upset and needed to vent. Instead, I got a big lecture about how I shouldn't give him money, etc. She also managed to throw in a miscarriage I had in the 80s, bringing me back that pain, and she sat my husband on a throne about his accomplishments while demeaning mine. I'm still so upset today about the things she said. If she wasn't old with failing health, I'd have nothing to do with her again. I really regret talking to her about this! I won't make that mistake again.

Sasha (not verified) says...

Regarding your son, she doesn't sound wrong from this limited information. Men need to be trusted to figure out their own problems. Your coddling or worry can cripple or stunt his growth. I watched my mother do it to every male in my family. They're losers. It is what it is. One became a drug user with poor credit that works for minimum wage and despises women. The other is a ninny with no ambition that has never fully supported his family without help -- his wife cheated on him every year for 20 years. They're still together because he lacks confidence and why should he have confidence when his mother bails him out and says, "Awww my poor baby," to all of his life struggles.

Bleeding hearts are ineffective, especially with males. This can be a lesson you learn the hard way.  I give this unsolicited advice to try and help you to trust your son and lead him to a better destiny. Don't fix his problems. It's not supportive. It's crippling and selfish. You have to learn live with worry..

Edward W (not verified) says...

I am an ESTJ and do have issues giving unsolicited advice.  I'm not trying to do so as a sense of control, but I like solving problems and see issues at work and home as problems that require solving.  I do recognize giving unsolicited advice can be annoying or perceived as someone trying to maintain control, but my reason for doing so is just trying to help.  I working on not trying to "save" others and concentrating on minding my own business.

Weena (not verified) says...

Perhaps at issue is, simply, the art of giving advice. And the key word is "unsolicited." Certain of us, by temperament (MBTI), upbringing, or profession, fall readily & naturally into solving puzzles and providing logical answers. That skill does not give us the right to usurp someone else's necessary growth through solving their own problems in their own, unique way. It's unfair, actually. A solution that fits a person generally works best when derived from that person's own resourcefulness, not from the outside: "problem ownership" is at issue there. If it ain't your problem, provide only that which is directly solicited of you and leave the person to their own route to follow from that point. Butt out. 

I came across this article because i am consistently on the receiving end of unsolicited advice socially, although ironically in my professional life it is my job to find answers and be an expert. Because my head is so full of information, facts, and experience, I keep pretty quiet socially rather than risk overwhelming and boring people. It is therefore with silent amusement that I permit acquaintances to drone on and on about how I should go about doing my life because so often they are full of truly awful information. Often just plain wrong. And yet so confident as they go on and on and on. 

Are these people all NT types? I doubt it. I think this is more a personality trait than a temperament bug. For sure it's a powerplay. 

However, I can see the author's point in seeing anyone's NT tendencies--whether primary or deeper down in our structure (and, incidentally, therefore a weaker function)--as heavily weighted in the direction of offering smart ideas. Maybe the difference is that, more often, the true NT will actually be correct. Other people--well, there's lots of magical thinking out there, lots of oversensitivity and misinterpretation, overreach beyond one's pay grade. As long as the NT isn't crossing personal boundaries and presuming knowledge that isn't available or provided, I'd go with the NT's suggestions. They're the smart ones. But only when--if--we want them to be. 


Sasha (not verified) says...

This was just hate p*rn. A silly read, frankly.

My search was "What does it mean when I've given up on giving advice to a person?" It led me here. My purpose was to determine if I even care about what happens to them now  -- because I'm not always great with gauging my own feelings and can sometimes be guilted back into care if I see potential, but it's never the same afterward. I figured it out by the end of this article. I do not trust those that do not trust me or don't make an effort to communicate their own boundaries.  

I think delivery matters.

ENTJs give advice to the people that they love and the people that cross our paths that seemingly need assistance. It's duty you see, not overconfidence nor power tripping. The people around us need healthy, clear boundaries. Everyone needs healthy and clear boundaries. If I know a person doesn't appreciate advice, I don't give it. Simple. When I receive unwanted advice it's easy to COMMUNICATE this politely. Maybe it's the rigidity, as you say, of my personality; but we all have the responsibility of learning how to communicate effectively. It's just a part of growing up.

Giving advice is a part of who I am and I will not apologize for it just because a few people are incompatible with that aspect of who I am. You trying to shame us for who we are was never going to work. You'd know that if you knew us.

I'd give you some unsolicited advice in closing, but...

Laura1986 (not verified) says...

I agree with this article. By giving unsolicited advice, the advice giver oversteps interpersonal boundaries. It is very disrespectful and is based on the premise that the advice giver knows how others should live their lives - which I think is ridiculous. 

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