A close friend of mine loves to give me advice about my personal life. She is very keen on telling me what to do and I am fed up. How should I deal with this?
The first thing you have to consider is what is your friend’s intention. Is she genuinely looking out for you or just being overbearing? On the one hand, your friend might genuinely have no idea that she is overstepping the mark.
On the other hand, there could be undertones of jealousy or other motivating factors that are not well-intentioned. Then you have to examine yourself. Are you suddenly changing the goalposts? Have you gone from allowing advice and discussion on your relationship to suddenly taking it off the table? You will need to understand these things in order to be able to approach and discuss the changing dynamic of your friendship.
Perhaps you were looking for lots of advice in the early stages of your relationship and now that things are going well you feel advice is no longer needed. But have you explained this?
You also need to be honest with yourself. Is your friend being overbearing or are they giving you good advice that you don’t want to hear.
Sometimes real friends tell you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear, even when it might be difficult to hear.
Ultimately, your relationship is about two people not three. Once you have addressed these questions you might feel like avoiding the person, but the best thing to do is deal with it head-on so that as a result your friendship isn’t badly affected.
The next time a piece of unsolicited advice comes your way, just be honest, say you really appreciate the advice but you are happy how things are progressing and will ask for help if you need it. This will ensure your friend won’t feel you’re shutting them out completely. If they offer an opinion in future, start with a gentle reminder of your discussion, then try to change the subject to another topic.
It’s really important this is said with love and not on the attack or putting your friend on the defensive. Stay calm and warm, that way they will be more likely to properly absorb what you are saying. Of course, you still have to be prepared for a defensive reaction, “I was only trying to help”. Once again, reassure them of your appreciation of their friendship, say you really value all the chats and advice you have been given to date.
It’s important to let your friend know you are happy in your relationship, make it clear that you are different people and consequently might deal with situations and relationships differently. It’s also important to find new things to share and talk about. Ask for advice in another area of life, tell them you could do with some tips and their opinion that your friend might be able to help you with.