What's the big deal about Young Living

On Receiving Advice Graciously

Have you seen these little baby onesies and t-shirts around?

More than just the onesie, I have seen this attitude around. And I get that it is supposed to be funny. Believe me, I love funny, and if you know me at all, you know I believe sarcasm is an art.

But this rubs me the wrong way.

And I’ll tell you why. (You were worried I would keep it inside, weren’t you?)

Just because someone gives you advice doesn’t mean you have to take it.

I have been told

  • I should quit having babies. (4 children ago)
  • I should put my kids in school.
  • I should go back to work.
  • I should bottle feed.
  • I shouldn’t check so many books out of the library.
  • I shouldn’t be so opinionated.
  • And much more.

And guess what has happened as a result of that advice?

Nothing.

My 4 youngest children haven’t vaporized into thin air. My kids haven’t materialized in a seat in the local public school. No one has forced me to go back to work.

Nothing has happened.

The unwanted advice didn’t do anything to influence me or hurt me.

Sure, it was annoying. Absolutely it was rude.

But the advice did not have any effect on me.

So, now I am going to tell you what I tell my children when they complain in a whiny voice that a sister is “staring at meeeeee!!!”

Look away.

Smile and look away. There is nothing they are doing that is hurting you. You can decide to smile and look away, and in doing that you are maintaining your dignity and showing respect for others, even if they are not doing the same for you.

And besides, what if, by publicly showing that you despise and shun advice, you are missing out on a gold mine of information from the many mothers who have gone before you for thousands of years?

When you shut yourself off to advice, you ensure that you won’t have to sift through ideas that you disagree with, but you also ensure that you will never find a gem among the junk.

It doesn’t hurt you to hear things you disagree with.

You might even hear something of value.

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Comments

  1. I agree with everything you said!! People can be rude and need to listen to Bambi’s mother “If you don’t have nothing nice to say….” But not having a teachable spirit is a dangerous place to be.

  2. I agree with your advice ;) I have been held captive by a “talking head” many times, wish I could escape, and then when I think back later on the conversation, I realize, “She may have been on to something there…” Proverbs tells us if we are wise, we listen to instruction…and discern. Thanks for the reminder :)

  3. SO true! Even the bad/ rude advice I’ve gotten reminds me to consider why I do some things, and it just strengthens my resolve. The only people who need to “get it” are God and me, and thinking on their comments just helps to affirm that I’m where HE wants me to be. This is also true when I hear unsavory comments made to OTHER people- I’ll think “ooohhh… yeah, I need to do that too!” SO it’s not all bad, lol. At least not all the time. The “I grow weary” rant on my blog addresses this exact issue- I’ve been homeschooling for 5 years now, and people are still trying to talk me out of it. I hear them, but I still homeschool my kids :)

  4. This is just wonderful, thanks for posting. I think moms (especially new moms such as myself) can get so put on the defensive the moment they leave the hospital (or wherever) with their baby. Everyone has opinions and many people judge and it can be disheartening and so you just don’t want to hear any of it. You look to find safe people to ask questions too and get advice from – usually strangers or non-family in my case. Anyways, it is true we need to be able to just smile and walk away – I need to work on finding my identity in Christ and knowing that I am doing my best and not let other people judgement effect me. In my experience, it’s usually not advice but judgments, and that’s what gets me personally.

    Blessings,
    Nicole @ WKH

  5. Preach it, Connie. This goes for blog posts, too. Why do people get so offended when a blogger writes about how she does something only to get loads of comments about how offended the readers are?

    I know “drive-by” unsolicited advice in the grocery store makes me tired and sometimes angry (Yes. My hands are full. Could you help a momma out and load this huge tub of detergent in her cart then?), but I try to remember that most of the time, people are trying to make conversation and conversation is just awkward sometimes.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I hear “you certainly have your hands full” a lot. My right to nurse my child-he doesn’t like to be covered but I have a system so “usually” don’t flash anyone-is often questioned. Now I make it a point to nurse where I know it will annoy someone. My kids aren’t in preschool. Why do you waste time making baby food? I’m wasting my life because I put my nursing career on hold for my family. My sister in law thinks I don’t spend enough money on myself and that my family should travel more (to visit them in Florida-not going to happen). Most of my unsolicited advice comes from the women in my family so things other people say to me just bounce off. I actually get a kick out of debating these points with mothers at the park, strangers in the parking lot and such. Make them work to defend their point. You have your reasons for doing what you do. Make them justify their reasoning. Feel empowered for your choices. Your children are thriving and you should be proud of that and maybe educate people along the way. That’s my thinking

  7. I always remind my kids of the “burning coals” verse.
    What? Your brother stuck his tongue out at you?? Smile and do him a favor.
    Your sister shoved you as she walked by? Take her dishes to the sink after supper.

    I want them focusing on doing what Jesus said to do rather than on what they FEEL like doing. Just like I don’t say to the person who says, “HAHAHAHAHAHA You should get a TV” exactly what I’m thinking. Cause if I DID, my hubby better have LOTS of bail money.

  8. I came home from the grocery store in tears so often as a new mom…

    As mothers, we carry our *un-finished art* with us wherever we go and many feel free to point that out. I’m constantly learning to keep my eyes on the Lord, my work is for Him alone – He knows we’re all in process ;)

  9. Thank you for the timely reminder! The kids and I are going to be visiting my MIL, without my husband along, this evening. I’m going to start praying now to keep a civil tongue in my head.

  10. Good perspective – I needed it.

  11. I love what you tell your children when they complain about another one staring at them, and I’m going to start using it. Thanks!

  12. According to my husband and kids I talk to strangers ALL the time, especially while shopping. Recently an older man commenting on my kids with a small, something about how cute they are how they seem to be enjoying themselves, but I was exhausted, so I said, yeah, but I wish I had half their energy, he replied back “we have the same amount of energy, theirs is just in a smaller package” that odd comment stuck with me, and strangely added some bounce back to my step after all what does happen when you put lots of energy into a small package, it finds ways to move of course!
    Anyways I had to agree with you and share my stranger’s advice to more strangers, maybe all put some spring back into someone else’s step, or a smile on a face:D

  13. My mother received advice from her mother-in-law that she takes almost every day and has passed on to us kids. “When someone gives you advice, say, ‘Thank you’ and then you do whatever you think is best.”

    Some advice really is helpful and you honestly may not have thought to try it before, but just recognizing that whatever you get may or may not be applicable to your situation is SO helpful in accepting it all graciously.

  14. I hear ya! I used to feel like that… (don’t give me your horrid advice!!) But have finally learned that often good advice comes from odd places or stuck in amidst trash. :) I love your advice to your kids. I tell mine to ignore them, but ‘smile and look away’ is ever so much better!

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