Unwanted Advice | Center for Growth Therapy

Unwanted Advice

Alex , CAS, MSW, ACSW, LCSW — Founder & executive director

Pregnancy and Postpartum Therapy in Philadelphia , Ocean City, Santa Fe, Mechanicsville: Ways to Handle Unwanted Advice

During pregnancy, you might have noticed that random strangers started smiling more at you. The majority of people treat pregnant women a little bit better than average person. They know your secret, you are carrying a child!

During pregnancy, you might have noticed that random strangers started sharing with you their pregnancy/birthing stories. This is an opportunity for people to not only remember their own past, but to connect with someone else who might understand what they have been through.

During pregnancy you might have noticed that random strangers started telling you what to do. Everyone has an opinion about the best way to ‘raise a child.’ In fact, people feel entitled ‘for the sake of the child’ to intruded upon your privacy to tell you what to do.

Depending upon you mood, and the way that people share their tidbits of information with you, you may experience different reactions to people’s opinions. You may feel thankful, grateful, judged, frustrated, or anger.

There are many ways to handle these moments. Like parenthood there are no right and wrong ways, only different options with different repercussions.

  • You can ignore the comment(s), thus not engaging. Sometimes responding to a comment in poor taste is more effort than to ignore it, particularly when the comment is well intentioned.
  • You can say thank you and neither agree or disagree with the person’s opinion. Most of the time people simply share their thoughts because they want to “help” you “help” the child.
  • You can respond by asking more questions about their parenting advice. Specifically, trying to learn more about how they developed their theory. Often by understanding a persons perspective you will understand what the person really meant to be sharing as opposed to what they literally said.
  • You can say, when I was childless like you, that is exactly what I used to think, but now that I have a child I have a whole new perspective on pregnancy and parenting. What sounds good on paper simply isn’t reality.
  • You can ask them to explain their comment further. Sometimes you can learn some valuable skills from people even if they are sloppy in how they are sharing the information with you
  • You can tell someone that you are feeling judged by them, and that if they want you to listen, they need to rephrase their thoughts.
  • You can switch topics.

Remember, regardless of whom is giving you the advice, you are the expert. You know your child better than anyone else. Trust yourself. Use your gut to make decisions. Only you know yourself and your needs. When you feel stuck, ask for help. When help is given and it is unsolicited take what is useful and leave the rest behind. Unwanted advice is simply unwanted advice.


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