Tuesday, September 27, 2011

the best offense

I'm tired of opinions.  Everyone has one (or several).

We do a lot of things that seem to generate opinions from other people.

I'm not sure why they feel the need to share with me.

I've heard about schooling and sickness and deadly nut allergies, bed times and discipline and the spacing of additional children.

In every case I'm citing, the opinions weren't favorable ones.  And in most cases, they weren't even kind.

Is there something about my face that welcomes people to tell me that I'm doing it wrong?

I've been wondering about that quite a bit.

So, dear readers, I'm turning to you for advice.  What do you do when someone offers an opinion about how you're living your life that you don't like, or even worse, is based on erroneous assumptions that make you want to punch the opinion-offerer in the nose?  I'm guessing you don't throw any punches.


Alicia said...

I hope I'm not a friend you're talking about. You are perfectly welcome to throw any pieces of my "advice" out with your regular ol' poo.

I don't have a good response for this. I'm not a confrontational person, generally, so I usually just smile and nod and then spend an INORDINATE amount of time being mad and fretting and thrashing and coming up with perfect responses well well WELL after the fact.

Sibley Saga .... said...

I think I'm a little more like Alicia in that I think of stuff to say after the fact. Plus, it may be possible that I'm one of those people who inadvertently gives unsolicited advice.

Whimsy said...

Alicia: No, you are certainly NOT doing this, and in fact, I welcome your advice. Most especially because I am the one asking for it.

Which leads me to Samia--- you aren't an offender either. Quite frankly, none of the lovely folks who regularly comment here are in the offense on this! Mostly when I'm talking about is when I DON'T and certainly HAVEN'T asked for advice, or more specifically, haven't asked for an OPINION and it's offered anyway. And it's not even nice. Drives me crazy.

Is anyone laughing at me being dumb here because I'm actually ASKED FOR ADVICE about this? Ha ha!

Whimsy said...

Please ignore the bad grammer (and spelling) in my comments. Have been up since the crack of dawn. That is all.

serenity now said...

I echo what Alicia said (I'm trying to believe I'm a regular commenter on the blog, though I'm an infrequent one. Regularly infrequent). I also sometimes cry when I'm doing the coming-up-with-responses-and-thrashing-in-private stuff. Someday I'd like to think I could smile politely at Unwelcome Advice Giver and say something like "That's an interesting idea"--and leave it at that. Not there yet.

Of course, the worth of advice (esp. unsolicited advice) is relative, like art. If you're getting stick-figure comments, it's probably okay to ignore them in your Rembrandt world. You know your stuff and what works for you. Others aren't experts on your life like you are.

Rose said...

I think it depends on who you are receiving the advice from. Obviously, more tact is needed for in-laws than for complete strangers. For most people that aren't in your immediate life, you can politely nod and say, "Thanks!" with a mental note to immediately forget their "advice". For those that are more immediate (like... people that will check in regularly to see if you tried their "good idea"), you have to be a little more creative. Something non-commital like, "I might try that, we'll see. Thanks for the idea."

Someone ALWAYS has something to say about something, and with practice, I've been able to ignore most bad advice that I'm given. One of my husband's favorite lines is "Opinions are like butt holes. Everyone has at least one."

Rainyday said...

I do a lot of smiling and nodding and non-committal phrases like, "Well that would be interesting." But I'm pretty passive aggressive. And then I vent to my hubby or blog about it.

tearese said...

I think being a mom is what invites those comments and opinions, even when they are thinly veiled insults. Grrr.
People can be obnoxious, can't they? I've tried to learn not to share strong opinions on things anymore,unless I'm absolutely certain the other person shares my point of view.
Then I sit around and wish I were either more assertive, or others did the same as me!
For instance, at a church picnic the other day, everyone kept trying to get me to LEAVE MY BABY IN THE CAR because it was windy. Seriously? But then, another mom there often leaves her baby in the car DURING CHURCH, which I think is appalling. And to think, now they all think I'm the bad mom for not doing likewise. Sheesh.

Rose said...

Tearese, you're not alone (thinking that is appalling). In fact, in Washington, it's illegal!