What to do when your partner asks for your advice, then ignores it

From moving past the stubbornness of partners to other vexing issues of a personal nature, reader questions are answered by clinical psychologist Jo Lamble.

Reader question:

I’ve been with my boyfriend for five years. We get along great, but the one issue that really annoys me is that he is very stubborn and will not take advice – from me or anyone else. He will ask for advice about something as small as what shirt to wear, to things as big as family or work issues, but will then ignore the advice I give him! He’s so set in his ways; it makes my blood boil. Help me control my blood pressure. How do I get him to listen to me?

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Jo’s answer:

I couldn’t help smiling when I read your question because how many times have we all been asked for advice that is later ignored? Even when someone comes to see a psychologist, they often don’t take the advice they’re given. That’s because they may have come just to vent to someone outside their circle of friends and family.

If your boyfriend refuses to take any advice, I’d certainly stop giving it. When he asks for your opinion, maybe you could answer with a straight bat. In other words, ask him what his options are and which one appeals to him most. Or ask him to tell you more about the problem and simply act as a sounding board. Don’t underestimate the power of reflective listening (which simply means echoing what you’ve heard).

Got an issue for Jo to tackle? Send your question to feedback@bodyandsoul.com.au