We all know that people LOVE to share their own experiences and stories (hence this blog..ha ha)...no matter what the topic may be. This is especially true when you have children! People always warned me that "people will always give you unwanted advice." No doubt, the predictions came true...even just weeks after having my son!
My son had Colic...and nothing...I mean nothing would calm him down...(that is until we discovered my secret Colic Cure). I once had another mom tell me that I "didn't buy the right kind of swing" to stop him from crying! And you ask how I responded....I simply stated..."oh ok" (lame I know).
My first instinct is to tell people "shut-up" or "I really don't care for your advice," but in the same respect I also understand that people are just trying to help by sharing, and it really does no good (for me or them) to roll my eyes or to fake listen! But at the same time, I don't want to lie and say something like "thanks, I will try that," when in the back of my mind I have no intentions of even revisiting their advice. So what do you do or say??
I have come up with a couple of phrases to help you respectfully respond to this unwanted advice! These phrases will help the "know-it-all" understand that you have heard and acknowlege their advice! Sometimes people just want to be heard!
Even if you haven't had to deal with this problem yet, it is nice to have some ammo in your back pocket when it does happen, because it will! The phrases below I would use for aquaintances, strangers, or that old grandma in line at the grocery store.
- I appreciate your concern. Thank you.
- Thanks! We know that advice was hard earned through the years.
- Thanks! Um, that certainly is some advice! (This requires a bright smile so they don't catch your sarcasm.)
- Thank you for your advice.
Now if it is a family member, or a good friend of yours, your best bet, in my opinion would be to confront them about their unwanted advice. I say this because hopefully you have a closer relationship and are open enough to discuss your thoughts and feelings on the unwanted advice. Here is an example of a real-life conversation with my mother-in-law in regards to my son's diaper rash
Julie: My son keeps getting diaper rash, and I am not sure why, I have tried everything!
MIL: Well are you changing him enough?
Julie's Thoughts: (Now I am getting irritated/offended, because in my mind, when someone says this, it means that they are insinuating that I am neglecting my son and his needs! Did she ever think that maybe it may be something else!)
Julie: I change him at least every hour, I am not sure if he has an allergy to the polyester in the cloth diapers. It is kind of upsetting that you ask if I am changing him enough, it makes me feel as if you think I am neglecting my son.
MIL: Oh No! I had no intentions of doing that, it is just the first thing that comes to my mind. I did not mean it at all like that! I am so sorry.
Julie: Thank You! I am glad you can understand where I am coming from (in short).
It seemed to go over very well this way, and I didn't harbor bitterness against her for thinking that I am neglecting my son!
How do you respond to unwanted advice?
Do you remember a specific incident where you had to deal with a Know-it-All?