Thanks for the tip, Karen – New study looks at people who offer unsolicited advice

Why do some people feel the need to offer their two-cents even when it’s not requested or desired? A study by uncovers some not-so-surprising and some astonishing facts about advice-giving busybodies.

MONTREAL, April 29, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — They’re everywhere. In your local shopping mall, in the comment section of your social media posts, perhaps even in your own family. It’s those self-proclaimed “experts” or professedly well-meaning people who feel the need to tell you how to do a task, raise your children, or live your life. They answer the questions that no one asked, and offer advice on non-existent problems. Why do people feel the need to offer their unsolicited opinion? Researchers at PsychTests shed some light.

Analyzing data collected from 9,041 people who took the Social Skills Test, PsychTests’ researchers singled out two distinct groups: people who frequently offer unsolicited advice (“Busybodies”) and those who don’t (“Non-Meddlers”). Here’s what their study revealed:

> 70% of Busybodies get so caught up in what they have to say that they don’t notice the reaction of their listeners (compared to 10% of Non-Meddlers).
> 25% don’t consider how their words or actions will affect others (compared to 7% of Non-Meddlers).
> 71% said that they frequently say or do things that upset others (compared to 6% of Non-Meddlers).
> 55% indicated that they do most of the talking in conversations (compared to 10% of Non-Meddlers).
> 65% talk mostly about themselves (compared to 14% of Non-Meddlers).
> 65% will interrupt a conversation if they believe that they have something important to add (compared to 19% of Non-Meddlers).
> 28% are blunt rather than tactful if asked for an honest opinion (compared to 12% of Non-Meddlers).
> 28% are not comfortable admitting when they are wrong (compared to 8% of Non-Meddlers).
> 21% will continue discussing a controversial topic even if it is upsetting to someone in the group (compared to 10% of Non-Meddlers).

> 75% of Busybodies are uncomfortable sharing their feelings (compared to 34% of Non-Meddlers).
> 15% are stubbornly unforgiving (compared to 5% of Non-Meddlers).
> 75% have a tendency to snap at others when stressed (compared to 24% of Non-Meddlers).
> 61% admitted that they don’t usually get a warm reception when they pay friends a visit (compared to 8% of Non-Meddlers).
> 73% will move ahead with a decision without consulting the people who will be affected by it (compared to 21% of Non-Meddlers).
> 48% can’t keep a secret (compared to 29% of Non-Meddlers).

If they received praise for an achievement that they attained with the help of others, only 55% of Busybodies would share the credit (compared to 76% of Non-Meddlers).

“Unwelcome advice-givers are generally well-meaning, but they fail to recognize that fine line between courtesy and intrusiveness,” explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “What’s more is that our study picked up on something that may point to why they offer unsolicited advice: a fear of admitting mistakes. So rather than examining their own faults, they try fix other people’s. In addition, the fact that 75% of Busybodies are uncomfortable sharing their emotions is telling, because it means that they don’t like turning their attention inwards, so they direct it outwards.”

“Here’s the bottom line if you’re a meddling Karen: before offering your opinion, especially if you haven’t been asked for one, engage in some self-examination. Why do you feel the need to offer your two cents? Why are you sticking your nose in someone else’s business? Do you really want to help, or are you craving validation? Be honest with yourself. Engaging in a little self-examination can save you from a lot of embarrassment, and might even prevent an unnecessary conflict. And you won’t be called a ‘Karen’.”

Want to assess your social skills? Check out the Social Skills Test at

Professional users, such as HR managers, coaches, and therapists, can request a free demo for this or other assessments from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery:

To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook:

About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists and coaches, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see

Media Contact

Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D., PsychTests AIM Inc, 5147453189, [email protected]


SOURCE PsychTests AIM Inc

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