“If it was me, I wouldn’t……” This is the point when you should stop listening right? I definitely switch off whenever a sentence begins like that. especially when the ‘advice’ is unwarranted….
So as I was saying, we all know that one person who feels the need to tell you how they would live your life, key word here being ‘YOUR’, your typical ITK (‘I too know’ for my non-Nigerians, referring to those who feel they know everything). If you don’t know someone like this, count yourself lucky!
I’m not saying that unwarranted advice is so harmful, to be honest, it’s most likely them feeling the need to help you or wanting to feel important, and very unlikely that it’s coming from a mean place. Doesn’t stop it from being irritating, however. The question is, how do you react to this?
Let me give you a little story. So I have a friend, let’s call her Alexa (I’ve always liked that name lol) She’s been in a relationship for a little over 3 months, completely happy, no issues at all (at this stage…) A family friend comes to visit her and begins interrogating her on why she is still single and how time is not on her side again….(she’s 27 so in Nigerian aunty time frame, she should have been married with at least one child by now). So, already irritated at this point, Alexa couldn’t wait to cut the convo short and proceeded to tell her that she isn’t the spinster she thinks she is. Of course, her ‘aunty’ was overjoyed but then the quizzing began.
‘Have you asked him all of the necessary questions?’
‘Why isn’t he married by now?’
‘How are you sure you can trust him?’
‘Is he a Christian? If he isn’t don’t think you are the one that will change him’
‘I hope you know that if you’re sleeping with him, he will never marry you’ (My fave! Haha)
Then the ‘If I were you’ statements began……
‘If it was me sha, I wouldn’t waste my time with someone who isn’t serious’ (At no point did Alexa mention or even indicate that he wasn’t serious…)
‘When I was waiting for my husband to propose, I made sure he didn’t waste time before he got bored, so if I were you, I’d start dropping hints from now so that you’re wearing that ring in the next month or two’ (another fave lol)
The funny thing is, at no point during this one-sided conversation did Alexa ask for advice on her relationship with this lady. So as much as her mind is screaming ‘STFU’ (excuse my French) at what point do you politely tell this lady who has generously told you how to live your life to kindly focus on how to perfect her own life? Bearing in mind this woman is far older than her so Alexa can’t be seen to be disrespectful. Tough right?
Another little example. Another girl just started a relationship and, still in excitement mode, had to call her nearest and dearest to tell them the good news. But one friend takes it upon herself to go and ‘research’ this guy, comes back with some negative info, not confirming whether it is true or false, and advises the girl to stay away from the guy because of what’s she’s heard. In her mind she’s thinking, ‘but who sent you tho?’ Is she simply being a good friend or sticking her nose in matters that don’t concern her?
Now the thing that frustrates me with this is that, said friend was not asked to investigate on her behalf and again with no proof that this information is true, you may have possibly wrecked a perfectly good relationship. I know how I would deal with this (some may call it harsh lol) but what is the right way to handle it? And what do you if it is found that the information this friend has discovered is actually false?
Now not all unwarranted advice is completely useless, I guess you just have to learn how to be wise enough to decipher the useful advice from the unnecessary right? As I always say, we’re not passive individuals and should be able to deal with our own situations by ourselves, and it’s always good to be advised when requested that is.
Stress.com have a great feature on how to deal with unwarranted advice, some EXPERT advice
Writer – Mimi Osakwe is a Public Relations & Communications Professional, freelance writer, art enthusiast, glorified foodie and a lifestyle & culture blogger at ramblingsofmissmimi.wordpress.com who rambles on all things to do with life including relationships, career, societal pressures, places to go and so much more.