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unsolicited advice?

How do you feel about random strangers giving you advice?  I’m not talking about advice that makes you feel like they’re trying to run your life because whatever you’re currently doing is annoying them (like how to handle your children).  I mean something more genuine.  I can think of a few examples:

– A girl in a public restroom who was having difficulty putting in her contacts.  She looked like she was about 12 years old and probably had just started wearing them.  I wanted to show her a trick I’d learned to make it easier.

– A woman near me in a crowd whose camera kept focusing on the head of the person in front of her rather than the person on the stage.  She was very frustrated and I wanted to help her get a better photo.

– A mother and daughter deciding on fabric for a wedding dress.  I gathered by their conversation that they had no experience in that area and were really unsure.  I was in the process of making mine and had done a ton of research.  I wanted to give them some suggestions.

Is it rude to walk up and start a conversation with someone to offer advice or suggestions?  I usually don’t.  In each of these situations I seriously considered it, then thought better of it.  I suppose it’s partly a fear of rejection, fear that I’ll get a negative response.  I’m just unsure of what is appropriate according to etiquette.

What do you think?  If a stranger offered you help in this way, would you be grateful or offended?  Do you offer such advice?

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One comment on “unsolicited advice?

  1. In each of those instances, I think I would probably be grateful for the help. As long as it was given in a nice, polite way (which, I know, is how you would give it). 🙂

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