Receiving advice when you ask for it is one thing—but for someone to offer advice unsolicited and unaware of what your circumstances are can be a frustrating experience.
In a TikTok that has drawn over 1.6 million views, user Sarah Duffy (@sarah_duffy_) shares an experience she had with a strange man who sat down at her table in a coffee shop and began offering her unsolicited life advice.
“POV: You’re me sitting at a coffee shop with your AirPods in and an older man comes and sits down at your table and gives his unsolicited opinion on your life,” a text overlay on the video reads.
At some point, after she begins recording their conversation, the man asks her if she is working from the coffee shop as a writer and if she has been published. When she tells him that she is a writer focused on self-help but has not yet been published, he becomes argumentative, saying that she is too young to be a self-help author unless she has lived a life of bad experiences.
“No, seriously, if you’re going to tell people how to help themselves, you should be older and have gone through all kinds of terrible stuff,” the man says off-camera. “Then you’re qualified to give advice.”
In her video’s caption, she clarifies that she is not a self-help writer and that she made it up when he asked her what she was doing in the coffee shop.
“I would really like to purchase some of the absolute audacity that this man has stored up,” she wrote. “Uninvited, clearly uncomfortable, and not looking for conversation. He kept going. Best part is that I don’t even write books, Carl. I made it up.”
@sarah_duffy_ I would really like to purchase some of the absolute audacity that this man has stored up. Uninvited, clearly uncomfortable and not looking for conversation. He kept going. Best part is that I don’t even write books, Carl. I made it up. #fyp ♬ original sound – sarah_duffy_
In a follow-up video, she shows herself telling the stranger that she did not ask for his advice and that she does not need his help. The man then responds by saying that he is not a psychiatrist and is not qualified to determine whether she needs any help.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Duffy via email regarding the video.
Several viewers commented on the video with potential responses for men who provide unsolicited advice in this manner, should Duffy have a repeat experience.
“Should’ve mentioned that it’s a menstrual self-help book, and ask his experience with that,” one commenter wrote.
“Always tell them, ‘sorry i don’t have any change,’ because it immediately throws them off and embarrasses them,” another commenter wrote.
“‘You seem to have mistaken me for someone you know,” a commenter suggested. “Do you mind sitting somewhere else?'”
Others remarked on how nice Duffy was to the man, when they would not have been, given the way he was talking to her.
“You’re so nice to him,” one commenter wrote. “You didn’t need to be.”
“You were so nice and he sounds so narcissistic,” another commenter wrote.
“I applaud you being nice but as someone else said, there’s a time where it’s ok to say, ‘Ok, thanks for your Ted Talk, I am busy so please leave,'” a commenter wrote.