Why do people have to say that helpful people are just giving “unsolicited advice”? I think of the seasoned mom’s who give baby advice, the religious people who give lectures and verses to those not of their exact beliefs, the counselors who tell me I’m raising my kids wrong if I let them jump on the beds or run around, and the teachers who say I’m schooling my kids wrong when I am a laid back homeschooler. . .and you know what? I don’t care. I know I’m doing what is right for us, and I try to make sure that the newest info support me.
I know it’s just my perspective against another person’s perspective, but I’d like to take a vote or something: is it “unsolicited advice” anytime a person informs you of something you didn’t specifically ask them for, or is it only “unsolicited advice” when it makes you defensive, uncomfortable, or you disagree with the advice? Or is it just another misunderstood word like judgmental? Now in an ideal world, the term wouldn’t be negative, and we wouldn’t be unteachable, so it likely wouldn’t be an issue, in my opinion. If we understand a person’s perspective, say because we use to have it, we can find the advice maybe annoying, but knowing it was well meaning, we aren’t likely to get upset. My thought is, if someone has a new perspective, or just one I haven’t heard, I want to hear all about it, to debate to see if it negates mine. So in both cases I should be patient and having a dialogue, without being ticked off at them for offering the advice.
So the term “unsolicited advice” is just not in my vocabulary. Yet, it’s interesting to me that a few people over the years have commented that they felt I offered a lot of unsolicited advice. Was that because they were offended I wonder? I often try to help people with their health issues, and they sometimes didn’t have the same perspective on natural health, or that they even needed help
(even though it was obvious to me). Were they guilty, defensive or uncomfortable because their weight and/or ill health reflected poorly of their own knowledge of health and lifestyle? Did their world view conflict with mine, but they couldn’t prove theirs, (anymore then I could prove mine) and that frustrated them?
Why does it matter that a person shares their knowledge or worldview with you, whether or not you asked for it, or even knew the right questions or who to ask? It doesn’t make their perspective right, just because they shared it and it doesn’t mean that you can’t share your knowledge or perspective back, to dispute it if you feel they need new info. If you follow the golden rule, and you welcome correction, or a fresh perspective, then you should also feel free to give it. I know I do. No one person has more liberty then the next. If you don’t chose to use your liberty, (preferably patiently and kindly) please don’t be bitter about and take it out on those who do! Let’s all break down the walls of pride and ignorance and have free communication. In our quest to be polite and couth in western culture, we live in ignorance and judgmentalism unnecessarily when we don’t have free and open dialogues about our differences, and instead say people are just always trying to offer us unsolicited advice without offering our own back. Relationships need to be a give and take with that, and those not willing to put themselves out there, will probably just end up angry at me. So please, save me (and yourself) some unnecessary trauma right now and just “unfriend” me if you aren’t willing for that. Thanks