prettyndsweet12 asks: I have a friend who annoys me by giving me advice all the time. Also, she does this to all my other friends and they think she’s being annoying too, but they don’t want to hurt her feelings, and I don’t either. I’ve put up with it for a while, and I can’t anymore. So if I say something, and she tells all of our other friends, and they think I’m being the bad guy, how do I deal with it?
Hi prettyndsweet12 –
I do have an answer, but it’s pretty difficult. Given that your other mutual friends feel the same way you do about your best friend’s advice-giving, my recommendation is something called an Intervention.
Interventions are usually done for gigantic problems, like alcoholism! For example, let’s say you had a friend who was drinking lots, all the time. And he never did anything to try to help himself about it, and in fact didn’t think he had a problem at all. Well, you and his other friends could organize an Intervention, where you all show up at his home, explain to him that you’re all really worried about him and that he does have a problem, and take him to a rehab facility. It might be the greatest thing you and your friends ever do, and could well save his life.
Okay, so your real-life friend’s problem is nowhere near that bad, thank goodness! But you and your friends could still do this. You could get together, and invite her over. And sit her down and explain that you all love and value her, that she’s one of your favorite people in the world, but that her advising is driving you all nuts! And that you want so badly to keep her friendship, but you need her to hold back on that.
If you do that, will she get upset? Likely. Will she cry? Possibly. So be prepared to just shower her with affection, to let her know that you’re really serious, that she is not losing her friends, but gaining better friendships.
People who give lots of unrequested advice (please note, this is NOT my problem – I’m a dog who gives requested advice!) usually do so for one of two reasons. Either they are really scared about their friends and trying to protect them, or they’re insecure and think they need to show how smart and valuable they are, in order to keep their friends. From your description, she definitely sounds like the second case. So being told over and over that you’ll actually like her better if she stops, is a really really good idea.
Okay, so what do you do if a full Intervention sounds like too much? Well, you could talk to all those other friends, and tell them that you’re going to confront her about this. Then when she goes to them, they can say “Yeah, we knew she was going to do that. And we’re all in support of her. We love you, but really you do this too much.”
I’m not sure if that’s better or worse than the full-on version. But what they have in common is that her whole circle of friends is supporting you. And that’s what you really need to know, to do this.
And all of you are supporting her. And that’s what she needs to know.
And if you can achieve that, this will all go fine.