One of the biggest issues I have found that comes with being very admittedly a work in progress is that there’s this weird, unspoken assumption that you don’t know anything.
Me, I generally have a pretty good handle on my ego. I recognize that I’m a dumbass about many of the things I want to be much more adept at, and so, I read.
I screw up.
For instance, I killed all of my cilantro. All of it. I planted it out of love- Kurt adores it and I wanted to make just shitpiles of it all over for him.
Well, it started to get a bit out of hand in the container it was in, so I thought I’d transplant it, you know, give it room to really flourish.
It didn’t like the new planter. It died.
Shit happens, man, that’s how we learn. I am not sure what I was to learn from that, apart from next time plant it in the big one first- but I am reading on it, because this is what I do. (<- incidentally, this would in fact be an indicator that NO I do not know about this and YES, you are free to throw all the cilantro advice you want at me.)
Now, I understand that by and large, people have the best of intentions, but it seems like every time I turn around- whether I ask for it or not, someone’s telling me something that sometimes, well, I know. Like the back of my hand. I am always particularly, ah, Who the fuck you think you’re talking to?! about a few key subjects. For instance, I did in fact major in nutrition and I did in fact receive a diploma. I did not cheat or buy my papers, I just have this BIG HUGE LOVE of nutrition and therefor, yeah. I might know my shit.
Just a bit. I also might be so passionate about it that I do in fact keep up with the latest news, trends and other things on the subject. <- And see, this right here, this is my freakishly huge ego talking. But, well, it’s bolstered by the fact that my brain actually knows this stuff. This holds true of pretty much anything I am deeply passionate about, actually. I don’t mind being corrected when I am wrong. That has never in a million years bothered me- matter of fact, that’s awesome. Because sometimes, I am a total dumbass and I have no idea I am. I like it when people tell me so- I’d prefer it if they were nice about it, but hell, I’ll take a “Holy moly, girl, you sellin’ fish tacos?” over someone letting me run around with my fly down, embarrassing myself any day of the week. Sure, a discreet, “Pssst, hey, your fly’s down.” is much better, but, still: either of those things is a lot nicer than letting me run around like an idiot. That is not what I am talking about. And I am definitely not talking about awesome discussions wherein ideas are exchanged. That’s awesome. Love it. What I am talking about is patronizing, it’s annoying, and more often than not: it doesn’t even actually help or apply.
But the truth is no matter how often I rant and I rave about how unblinkingly rude unsolicited advice is to me, no matter how much I do openly ask for help and advice when I do actually need it, no matter how often I mock the person doing it as they do it, no matter how I disprove the very advice they give: they still do it. Not much of shit you can do about it. Trust me, I’ve tried everything short of kicking people in the shin for it, and I’m tempted.I’m going to say this and risk pissing off some guys- but the truth is, when it comes to the “typically male” activities: you guys are the fucking worst at this EVER. I am sure you’ve probably had some women that gave you rude unsolicited advice about shit that’s typically female- sit down, I’m not saying that doesn’t happen (Because believe me, I KNOW. I am probably guilty of it.), I am saying I get a crapload more of the rude stuff from that population. I dunno if it’s just assumed I do not know things because I am a girl, or because I am in fact kind of a consummate screw up, or if it’s my age.
I don’t know, but it sucks. For instance, one of my big things was, in the past- I would mention my bad sleep. Instantly, I had about nine million really stupid suggestions. Were they truly stupid? No, not really. Valarian’s great for sleep, that’s true. So’s tryptophan. So’s a dark room and all those other first five pages of google suggestions I got. And the yoga one really cracked me up because…..I’ve been doing yoga for oh, about oh sweet baby jesus- 16 years, now. (The sweet baby jesus was the sudden realization that…wow, yeah, it’s really been sixteen years. Crap.) I frequently post shots of myself in extremely “OW!” inducing complex looking inversion poses. I get this all the time when I try to quit smoking- and so, I have decided, well, screw it, I’m never going to quit. Because I’m tired of getting people all excited, then I try like hell using various tools at my disposal and about nine bajillion types of advice: and I fail anyway, but in the meantime, I get treated to some of the stupidest, most entitled bullshit imaginable PLUS all the unsolicited advice I never wanted? Pass. Seriously, pass. More than that, the questions I always want to ask is this:
Did I say that this was a sudden onset thing? Do I look like I cannot use Google, just like you did? DID I ASK? Because quite frankly, with the smoking thing- I often did. With the sleep thing, I’d just crack a joke about shit sleep and get so many responses- most of which I’d already tried, you know, owing to the fact that I am 34 and nope, it wasn’t sudden onset and I know, I mean, I know in my heart that it’s my BIG FREAKING EGO that is getting all pissy pants call a whambulance about this stuff: but it’s still annoying.
I am going to posit this question- because really, I am looking at this going, “I sound like a bratty teenager.” but, the truth is- I can differentiate between helpful advice and unsolicited advice. I think. I have read back something I have written- unsolicited advice which I did apologize for, and thought, “My god, I sound like I’ve got a massive stick up my butt. Why did I do that? I sound like a know it all! God, I don’t know it all. Why did I DO THAT?!” And I’m just wondering- do you ever read back to yourself something you posted and think, “Wow, I look like a jerk.”?
Or do you carry on your merry way, and not think about it at all?
When you get unsolicited advice, how do you take it? Because I am starting to think that’s where I have the stick up my ass. You know, like maybe no matter how crappy or patronizing it actually was: I should perhaps take it in the spirit in which it was intended, or at least assume it was intended to be a helpful thing?