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The Advice Syndrome

Many times you tell people something going on in your life and an immediate reaction is to give advice. I think this shows care but is quite misplaced. It is misplaced because they give advice, most times, without getting the full ‘gist’ of the situation. A typical scenario is like telling a friend “I have a problem” and without letting you finish the friend replies with “You should solve your problem, this is what you should be doing…”. Like no $$it, I think I knew I had to solve my problem.

Well, this rambling will not be complete without me giving my personal solution on how to avoid having the “Advice syndrome”.


    1. Listen
    2. Definitely LISTEN
    3. And also, LISTEN FIRST!
    4. Ask questions rather than offer solutions
      • Find out how the problem makes them feel
      • Ask about the steps they are already taking
      • Ask if they need your help, sometimes they just want to vent.


  1. Keep quiet, that can come across really wrong
  2. Jump straight into giving advice
  3. Overreact to the problem (depends on if you know the person like the drama of overreacting though)
  4. Most importantly, do not make them feel like they are the problem or make it look like the lack of effort is the problem.

I have to emphasize on knowing your audience, there are people who are quite independent and like to vent and there are people who only come to you for advice. If you have the advice syndrome you risk pushing away independent people. The safer route is to realize that when someone tells you about a problem it is possible they just want a shoulder to lean on. Subsequently, if they ask you about a problem then they have given you the go-ahead to give your opinion about the problem.

If you have read to this point then I am guessing you are either really curious or can relate to this problem. You can leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading!

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