How to Act When Someone Doesn’t Take Your Advice

Respectable individuals make informed decisions.

There will be times when you’ll play the role of being an advisor to someone who’s making an important decision. You’ll present your findings and opinions on the matter at hand for others to weigh into their act of making a final decision.

Sometimes, our advice is listened to but not followed. Though we may know for a fact what we told a person is correct, they’ll sometimes just not subscribe to our suggestions. It seems that there’s a more important fact which consumes and overpowers the facts contained in your advice.

That fact being: people often make decisions not based on fact.

They’ll make decisions based on feeling, their intuition, and will be swayed by how you present ideas rather than the validity contained within them.

This article is about some pitfalls that people fall through when others don’t take the advice they try so hard to give.

Below, you’ll be presented with things to remember in the face of having your advice implicitly rejected by way of someone else’s action.


Wholesomely Support Their New Direction


The principal thing to always remember in giving out advice, is that you’re attempting to help an individual. People far too often get sucked into a game of having their advice be adopted by those around them. They begin operating not from a desire to help, but from a desire to be right.

Someone’s act of not taking your well thought out advice can be easy to misinterpret as their act of labeling you as wrong. Even if they in fact are, it shouldn’t matter to you if you’re seeking to help the individual rather than be made to feel right. If there is a sense that you were playing a game of attempting to be right rather than genuinely be helpful, people will take note.

It may be difficult to curb your reaction in the face of your advice being rejected. You’ll be motivate to retreat in your interactions with individuals who don’t take your advice. By taking the act of your advice not being adhered to personally, you decrease the confidence with which people act honestly around you. People will begin to note that if you’re giving out advice, then you’re seeking to be right rather than helpful.

When someone rejects your advice, communicate the notion of you trying to help them notwithstanding whether they label your advice as right. Do so by fully letting go of your advice, which they rejected, and hop on the train they’ve elected to take themselves. Help them get through the new decision that they’ve made, even if they didn’t take your advice regarding which direction they should go. Wholesomely support them, their new direction, and their desired destination.


Beware of Them Hiding Their Decision to Go Against Your Advice


When going against the advice of someone adamant about being right, there’s a tendency in people to be covert around their advice giver. In an attempt to safe themselves from awkwardly labeling your advice as unsatisfactory, the people you give advice to may avoid telling you about their decided course of action.

They’ll anticipate your reaction to their course of action as negative since they’d have indirectly labeled your advice as wrong. They’d thereby decide that it may not be worth telling you about them going against what you said and keeping you in the dark without followup.

Instances like this are difficult to navigate because you’d be assumed to be more attached to the advice you gave than you may really be. You might not be invested in them taking your advice, and their attempts at keeping you at bay in fear of how you’ll react may be misguided.

Tread these waters carefully as simply bringing up the topic of them not taking your advice introduces a volatile state. They’ll expect you to be argumentative, and will be protective of their desired course of action. Your best bet is to simply support their decision and label their vantage point as more optimal than yours. Instances in which people are sensitive to their decision to act in opposition to your advice should result in you fully detaching your sense of worth from the advice you gave them.

If the individual you gave advice to is hesitant to bring up the topics your advice surrounded, then play along with their desires. That behavior indicates their sensitivity around going against your advice. If you must, simply ask for an update surrounding the things you spoke about and let them drive the conversation from then on. If they give you a simple update, let it end there. If they seem willing to converse about the topic at length, then you’d be freer to operate in your line of inquiry.


Don’t Say, “I Told You So,” If Things Go Wrong


The second thing to keep in mind, especially if your advice is proven to have been factually correct, is to not rub it in the face of those who rejected it. Though you may have been right in the advice you gave an individual, crediting yourself for being right will decrease the chances of them adopting more of your advice going forward. To their surprise, people often come to learn that others continue to not act on the advice they give; even if the advice giver has been proven right before. What doesn’t play into their favor in those circumstances, is the fact that they acknowledged just how right they were before.

By labeling someone wrong for not taking your correct advice when the evidence presents itself, you lower their morale to listen to you going forward. Nobody likes to voluntarily be around someone who’s reminded them just how wrong they were by not listening to a certain piece of advice. In their mind, you’ll be likelier to believe you’re right in the future, and will adopt an authoritative tone rather than a helpful one. They’ll not want to subject themselves to take on a student role in your act of relishing in just how right you were before.

Limit how much pride you hold in the advice you present by starting with never saying, “I told you so,” when your rejected advice is proven right.

If your advice pans out to have been correct with more time and new information, then the person you gave advice to would realize it just as much as you. Rather than prying open their fresh wound with your pride, surprise them by attempting to ease the pain. Tell them that there’s no way they could’ve known what would happen back when you gave them that advice. Present your act of being right in the opinion you gave them as merely luck, rather than skill.


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Disclaimer of Opinion: This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims in any way.