Becoming the best version of yourself

Thanks For Your Input! (NOT!!)

on April 28, 2015

Sometimes those well-meaning people in your life are just . . . too . . . you know . . . well meaning?  I know they “mean well”, but seriously, I didn’t ask!  Sometimes I do ask, case in point, when my TV set up isn’t working or my computer is shutting me down – I ask the experts – my sons!  Of course mainly I get the reply “Mom, Google is your friend.”  OK – fine!

But what do you do when those times roll around that people are offering you their thoughts and their unsolicited advice?  I never want to hurt their feelings, they do have my best interests at heart, but sometimes it’s just too much.

I recently read a short article on how to handle these situations when they arise and I got a chuckle out of it.  I wish I had the ability to remember these “come backs” when I need them, but chances are I won’t.  This one I may practice though!  The article suggests:

“Unsolicited counsel can trigger reactions ranging from gratitude to feelings of inadequacy to anger, . . . The quickest fix?  Be direct.  Say, “Thank you for trying to help me, but I might have given the wrong impression.  I’m not actually looking for advice.”

You might also consider tweaking your own conversational style.  Sure, it could be that your nearest and dearest are busybodies, but maybe they’re jut looking for a way to connect with you.  Friends and family may be naturally inclined to offer guidance if, say, you tend to do a lot of venting or complaining.  And, honestly, even if that’s not the case, you’re less likely to be offered unwanted suggestions if you steer the discussions.”

It’s a fine line to know when to accept and when to ignore or decline.  I have two adult sons who always have my best interests in their minds when they start offering unsolicited advice.  Sometimes it reminds me too much of my EX, sometimes it’s spot on.  Sometimes it’s just plain awkward.

If you’re paying a professional for services, then mostly I would think you should listen to their direction, after all that is what you’re paying them for.  It comes to mind that these would include Doctors, Financial Advisors, CPA’s filing your tax returns, Lawyers – to name a few, but even then, you have a right to question and not take it as the gospel.

I have a friend who years ago worked with me in the Development Department of a Non-Profit.  People were constantly offering unsolicited advice to her about the way she should do her job.  She would always smile a beautiful smile while saying, “Thanks for your input”, but that twinkle in her eye told me that she wasn’t the least bit interested in hearing, or acting upon their opinion.  It became our “inside” joke.

Here’s to knowing when to say – enough!


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