And you want to give me some advice?

The best advice is this:  Don’t take advice and don’t give advice. 

~Author Unknown



“I don’t understand why the doctors can’t find something that works are you doing everything they tell you to do?”  Don’t you just love it when everyone around you knows more about your illness than you do? Unwanted/unsolicited advice is human nature but how do you deal with this when you have a disease that just won’t go away?

I love my mother dearly, but every time I talk to her, she knows when I’m not feeling well. I learned a long time ago not to say anything because she would go into all of the things she had read recently that I needed to “try”. “My friend had ___ and she started taking ____ and she is doing great!” or “have you tried____ I’m sure it will help you!”

My husband refers to his mother, who had RA, when giving me advice. He begins with “Well my mom did ___ and you never knew she was in any pain.” or “If you just go to the ER they can give you something for the pain and you will be fine. My mom was always fine after she went to the ER.”

Trying to explain to family that what you have is not curable, is like beating a punching bag that keeps hitting you back in the face. You tell them some fact about your disease and then they come back with some off the wall remark that leaves you wondering, “Where the hell did you get that!” They just don’t get it, they never will, and they will keep giving me advice. There is nothing that I can say or do which will prevent them from plaguing me with their advice so why bother trying right?

I get so frustrated at times trying to explain that their thinking is not logical. “No I can’t take Kefir because fermented foods upsets my UC”; “No getting up and going for a ride doesn’t ease my pain”; “I tried that but it didn’t work!” Then there is the little matter called their “memory”. I love it when they give me the same advice twice, not recalling that they did this, and making it sound like it’s all “new” information. “If I didn’t take your advice last time, what makes you think I will do it this time?”

My co-workers are much more advice free, if that makes any sense. Maybe because we work in the medical field and have learned not to give advice!

So how do I deal with people who give advice? I nod my head and give a little “hm” and say “I will look into that.” While silently shaking my head and responding internally “you’ll never get it!”


7 replies »

  1. I agree! This is why a fundraiser has been so helpful for my group of friends and family. It puts a tangible edge on their willingness to help.
    Thank you

  2. Same experiences here!
    ‘I’ve had a friend who took these special herbs and she was cured from her disease’
    ‘you should get out more often’
    Or doubting that I do the necessary steps to have good medical follow up: ‘I hear doctor X at clinic Y is a very good one. maybe you should see him.’

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