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Setting Boundaries

Taking Control of Your Life: Why You Shouldn’t Let Others Vent Frustrations on You 

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By Dr Brighton Chireka 

We all have people in our lives who feel they have the right to tell us what to do, even when we didn’t ask for their opinion. This is especially true when it comes to feedback or constructive criticism. It is important to recognise when that criticism is unsolicited and not constructive. While it’s important to listen to others, remember that not everyone is entitled to comment on our lives. People must first prove themselves trustworthy before they can give us feedback. It is also important that you set boundaries and take control of your life by not allowing others to vent their frustrations on you disguised as constructive criticism. Letting people earn the right to comment on your life allows you to maintain control over the kind of feedback and advice you receive. 

When Receiving Advice, Choose Quality Over Quantity 

Not everyone is entitled to comment on your life—let people earn the right to criticise you. Someone who genuinely wants the best for you will first comment on the good things they see in you and suggest ways that you can get better. It’s important that those offering advice come from a place of love and respect rather than a place of frustration or anger. Allowing someone to give you feedback only after they’ve seen good things in you reinforces positive self-esteem and encourages individuals to strive towards self-improvement without feeling judged or attacked by others.

It’s also important that you make sure people are giving consent-based advice; unsolicited feedback should be preceded by permission from you. Any unsolicited advice should never be taken seriously without consent because it could lead to trouble down the line. In addition, if someone comes at you with an angry tone, it’s best not to respond until they can come at you with respect. That way, any advice they give is more likely coming from a place of genuine concern rather than one of frustration or anger. Furthermore, if anyone tries to force their opinion onto you without permission, remind them that they need to ask for your consent before giving any form of advice or feedback. Finally, remember, before anyone should be allowed into your inner circle, they must demonstrate genuine interest in helping further improve your life rather than using it as an opportunity for venting frustrations disguised as constructive criticism. A genuine person will always seek permission first!

Why Should One Seek Consent Before Giving Feedback ?

First and foremost, asking for consent before giving feedback shows respect for the person receiving the feedback. It also gives the receiver a chance to assess whether or not they’re open to hearing what you have to say. This can help ensure that any criticism given is done so constructively and in a way that will be taken seriously by the recipient. 

Secondly, asking for consent helps create an open dialogue between two people. When both parties are aware of their respective expectations and boundaries, it can foster more honest communication which leads to better understanding and trust between them. 

Learning To Take Charge Of Your Own Life 

One way to take control of your life is by learning how to say no—even when it feels uncomfortable or difficult. This means knowing how and when to set boundaries with family, friends, and coworkers so that their opinions don’t become overwhelming or intrusive into your life. For example, if someone keeps giving unsolicited advice about how you should live your life, try saying something like “I appreciate your input but I’m going to make my own decisions here.” That way, whoever is offering the advice will know that their input isn’t needed unless asked for specifically. Setting boundaries around who has the authority (or permission) to offer advice can protect your mental health from unnecessary negativity or toxic opinions from those who don’t have your best interests at heart. Having clearly defined boundaries can also help prevent unwanted comments from becoming too personal or hurtful as well as protect you from feeling like you owe anyone an explanation about why their opinion isn’t being followed through with actionable steps on your part.  


Constructive criticism is often necessary in order for us to grow and improve ourselves as individuals; however, it’s important to remember that not everyone has the right to comment on our lives unless they’ve earned our trust by seeing the good things in us —and asking for permission—before giving any form of advice or feedback. Unsolicited advice should always be disregarded if it isn’t helpful nor beneficial in any way towards achieving personal growth and development. So don’t let anyone vent their frustrations on you disguised as constructive criticism! Only take advice from those who genuinely care about your wellbeing and actually make an effort to see the good things in you first before offering help.   That way you will be sure that what they say are truly meant for your benefit—not theirs!b


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