This is, without a doubt, one of the trickiest topics to talk about. I'm bound to hurt someone's feelings because most of what I write about is based on personal experience. I apply Nora Ephron's motto to my life; everything is copy. All of this to say, I've been on the receiving end of a lot of unwanted advice, specifically parenting advice. While you may not be receiving parenting advice, I know you can relate.
My natural inclination is to get upset about the unwanted opinions. To be frustrated and annoyed. To go on the defense and explain, or over explain, the reasons behind the decisions I make for son. And then I would move into attack mode and make a lenthgly list of all the things they do wrong in their own life and give them some advice of my own. At least in my head anyway. You get the point. Feel attacked and attack right back.
I didn't do this and before you decide to get upset or angry about your experience, take a step back. By following that bunny trail you would be sitting in the their business and not your own. Not only would you be sitting in their business about how they, the advisors, feel about you, it would also trigger the story you tell yourself about not being good enough. Sitting in their business causes self-doubt about your ability to make wise choices and it would stew. For days, most likely. This mindset does not promote a rich life.
So how exactly do you deal with unwanted advice while staying in your own business?
6 Tips to Deal With Unwanted Advice
Start with a little introspection. If you find that you are immediately getting defensive chances are the advice may just be the very thing you need, but you just don't want to admit it. Defensiveness is a sign that there is something amiss in your life. What is it? Are you in denial about it?
Spend some time considering the position of the advice giver. Are their motives selfish in nature or is their opinion coming from an experience that you didn't consider? Having a better understanding of the origin can offer you a different perspective. Of course you won't really know their motive unless you ask.
CONSIDER THE ADVICE
Typically advice is given from someone you trust and is done with your best interest at heart. While it may not be what you think you want or should do, it doesn't hurt to consider it. Try a pros/cons list or imagine what the opposite decision would feel like. It doesn't mean their advice is the right thing to do, but it will help you define what you don't want.
ARE YOUR VALUES IN CHECK
There is a reason you are making the choices you are, but testing them is always a good idea. Consider it checks and balances. What do you value and do your choices and decisions match those values? This is also helpful information to have in your arsenal if you do choose to speak up.
TALK IT OUT
In my experience, the advice is given on more than one occassion. If this happens, the best thing to do is have a conversation about it. Ask the advisor to keep opinions to him or herself or let them know how you feel about their advice. This is the most authentic approach.
LET IT GO
Getting worked up about unwanted advice only puts more stress and pressure on yourself. Once you have moved through the process, let it go and know that you are the only person that can make the best decisions for yourself or your children. Have confidence in what you believe. That is how you stay in your business and stop being in theirs. Be grateful for them having reminded you to do so.