Have you ever had someone give you unsolicited advice?
It usually sucks. Then again, I sort of wish I would have taken the advice I got back in the summer of ’93 about getting a perm…… or rather… not getting one. I guess we live and learn.
I am not sure where along the way we’ve been trained to listen to everyone else’s advice but our own. We always turn to those around us in some hope or with some expectation that they have things all figured out for us. As if they can help us reach our goals and dreams when they can’t even reach their own. Since when did we give every one else around us so much power? Usually their advice is bad advice. Wrong advice. Biased advice. Advice through the lens of their insecurities, failures, fears or values. Advice that is usually highly saturated in jealousy or agendas.
If someone wants to give me advice- can it be something useful like “don’t drink antifreeze- you might die.” That is useful advice. Note to self- don’t drink antifreeze.
Here are a few lil’ tid-bits of advice that I remember getting….. unsolicited of course:
- “Don’t marry him. You’ll wind up living in a trailer!” Ok- not that there is anything wrong with trailers….. To this day, marrying him was the best decision I have ever made. On another note- I do not live in a trailer (but I own one). #truth
- “Don ‘t start your own business you’ll never pay your bills.” Ok, ok, ok there is some truth to this…. anyone who has owned their own company knows the work, the long hours, the grind, the struggle, the stress and honestly- you pay your employees first. If there is money left over after all of that, you MIGHT make a paycheck. But…. several years and several companies in…. guess what? I pay my bills. I live life on my terms. I work for me. I’ve built and continue to build something awesome. I have no regrets. I boss myself around (side note: that boss of mine can sometimes be a real bitch- but we “get” each other).
- “You can’t be a model.” After several legit shoots later and I’m off pursuing something else (because my passion was not modeling) the unsolicited advice from the same sources miraculously turned into “You should have kept modeling- you were a natural!” “You could have really taken the modeling world by storm” “You could have made modeling your entire career.” bla bla bla
- “Oh, you started a business? Cut your business partner out as soon as you can!” Totally my motto for the kind of business partner I want to be. *eye roll* Hopefully this superb little gem of advice is self-explanatory for how awesomely bad it is.
- “Oh, you are seeing some success with a company you started? Why don’t you just walk away from it and turn it over to me to run and make the money? You don’t need the money and you can just go start something else.” I wish I could say I was making this up at this point- but I’m not.
- “If you have an epidural during labor and delivery, you are a selfish, terrible mother who would rather be comfortable than care about the well being of her child and your baby will probably have something wrong with it” Look lady- as much as I admire your ability to give birth effortlessly without smudging your make up or breaking a nail (let me guess, your nails are perfectly manicured too)- I tried the whole natural thing. I did. I really did. I never, ever wanted to hurt my children- and I know I have completely failed as a mother, a woman, and a vessel for human life. Hopefully you and your army of birth shamers can forgive me…and help me fix my children. 😉
- “You just need to shut up about it” This one is my ultimate favorite!!!!! This glorious gem came from someone extremely close to me (or you’d think should be extremely close to me) right after I was raped and I was trying to process what had happened, start a conversation, and deal with my new reality. “You just need to shut up about it”….. really? That’s the unsolicited advice you give to a rape victim? Sounds about right…. we can’t have any negative consequences come back on the rapist. We can’t require they be held accountable for their actions and we certainly can’t have rapists being called what they are….. rapists. *SMH
I could keep the list going- but you get my point. Every time someone gives me unsolicited advice I cringe a little inside. I am almost to the point of “do exactly the opposite of what those around you are telling you to do”. When I look back on the instances where I took their advice or didn’t take their advice- I keep coming back to the same conclusion: These people don’t know what they are talking about. Their reality is not mine. Most of those giving advice are those who haven’t done jack….they couldn’t do it or didn’t do it and wonder why you’d be ballsy enough to think you can. DREAM KILLERS.
Look- I am ALL about surrounding myself with people who are much cooler and more successful than I am. In fact, those are the people I search out. I don’t want to be the smartest in the room, or the wealthiest, or the most put together or the thinnest. I don’t want to be the one who has nothing to learn from everyone else. But- if you want me to take your advice- you’d better be able to back up your advice with real work experience, success, wisdom or anecdotal success because otherwise- I’m just going to tune you out.
Oh, but eat your vegetables. That unsolicited advice from Grandma is gold. – Kate