How many times have you been too shocked to respond, bitten your tongue, or wanted to lash out at someone’s words? Then this blog post about tips to deal with unwanted advice and comments is for you. Before I go into how to respond, let’s step into the other person’s shoes, as everyone has put their foot in their mouth every once in a while.
Why People Give Unwanted Advice and Comments
Here are three reasons:
- Out of love, being concerned, and/or wanting to help you.
- Their way of controlling you.
- To boost their self-esteem by feeling more knowledgeable and/or superior than you are.
3 Tips to Deal with Unwanted Advice and Comments
Whether it is one of the above three reasons above or another motivation, you don’t have to tolerate it. Here are three tips:
Often unwanted advice and comments have a negative tone; therefore, it may cause angry feelings. It’s easy to lash out at others with anger by responding with criticism or telling them to F off. Yet, that’s can be stooping down to their level.
Instead, breathe deep and take a moment before responding. If you are really angry to the point of bashing them, don’t respond, or walk away. Here’s a personal example that happened to me many moons ago:
I attended a family function with my sister, brother-in-law, and my niece, who was a toddler at the time. It had been about a decade since I last saw the majority of these relatives. A distant great uncle looked at my niece and said to me, “When are you going to start popping them out?”
My first thought was – I go out and get laid tonight, will that make you happy? This is how I responded, “It would be a good idea if I got married first.” Then I walked away to avoid making a scene.
Is It A Trigger?
Everything happens for a reason and sometimes the Universe, Higher Source, or whatever you choose to call it, will use other people’s unwanted advice and comments into your life to trigger issues for you to resolve. Oh, joy; however, it’s for you to heal. Why do we need to be triggered? Here’s three reasons why:
- Create stronger boundaries.
- Realize past issues and heal them.
- Discover your correct path despite other’s opinions.
Need an example? My hair history is a great example. Through the years, people have told me to: iron it, perm it, straighten it, thin it out, cut it, dye it… Fifteen months ago I decided to allow my natural hair color to grow in, which you can read about in this post “Gray Hair for Self-Acceptance.”
Before and especially now that my true hair color has grown past my ears, I’ve received unwanted advice and comments to cut my hair. This really triggers me because I have unpleasant memories of the two times I had short hair and growing it out is horrendous! Plus, my hair grows sideways like a mushroom top, aka Bozo the Clown, with Shirley Temple curls. Slowly, but surely, I am healing my hair trauma.
How to Respond to Unwanted Advice and Comments
Please note that it takes strength to respond in kindness. Forgive yourself if you respond in anger or criticize the person. Remember, there are times when ignoring the person with silence may be the best response, especially if they could become violent. Otherwise, choose from the following twelve comebacks:
- Opinions vary.
- Bless your heart.
- My __, my choice.
- Do I know you?
- How rude!
- This topic is not open for discussion.
- Did I ask for your opinion?
- That doesn’t work for me.
- No, no, no, a thousand times no.
- Wow, I really wished you kept that to yourself.
- Now that you commented on my appearance, may I comment on yours?
- Unsolicited advice is the junk mail of life. – Bernard Williams
There’s a saying, “If you spot it, you got it.” Before you give advice or make a comment, think to yourself, is this truly helpful and what your motivation is? Then request permission, such as can I give you advice, may I tell you my experience, could I tell you what I would do if I was in your shoes, or I read information on this topic and do you want to hear it?
If you need help with this or another topic, please visit my services.
*Originally posted June 13,2021