How to Handle Annoying Advice

Not all advice is good advice

We all have to deal with annoying advice – it seems that everyone has an opinion about how you should parent, what you should wear, how you should work, what you should eat… the list is endless.

So what can you do to save your sanity when you are given yet another piece of unwanted advice?

Channel your inner Saint

Assume that the advice giver is genuinely trying to be helpful…they are just sucking at it.

Let the annoying advice roll right off your back. Let it go in one ear and right out the other while you take several deep breaths and count to 10 (or 100 depending on just how annoying the advice is). Paste a calm expression on your face and repeat the serenity prayer over and over in your mind…

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
–Reinhold Niebuhr

Channel your inner Southern belle

Smile and nod and say “well bless your heart” and then change the subject to safer topics like the weather or how much you’d love a cup of tea.

If you need help bringing the smile to your face you can imagine yourself kicking the person in the shins and running away or throwing yourself on the ground and throwing a tantrum.

Remember that you don’t need to defend yourself. Don’t let annoying advice make you question yourself- trust your gut!

Channel your inner journalist

Use the experience as fodder for your next blog post, facebook status or twitter update. You could make a list of the top 10 worst pieces of advice you had to listen to this week.

Evaluate the advice from a safe, detached, unemotional distance remembering that you don’t actually have to DO any of it.

Respond with comments like “isn’t it interesting how many different ways there are to do things?!” Refuse to argue or get into a debate and walk away if the situation becomes overwhelming.

Annoying advice happens to everyone – refuse to let it steal your joy!

Written by guest contributor Tara Robertson, author of Tara’s View of the World.

Tara is a Canadian work at home mom with 3 kiddos. She works as a virtual assistant and social media manager. Her oldest son has been diagnosed with high-functioning Autism & ODD/ADHD. You can find Tara on twitter @tarasview and on Facebook.


  1. says

    How fun to use the Southern Belle technique or use it for a great blog story!!! Much better that stewing about somebody having the nerve and/or lack of intelligence to say what they just said.

  2. says

    Hello. I am The Gang’s Momma. And I am (most likely) an annoying, unsolicited advice giver.

    Sigh. I try. I try so hard not to. But sometimes, I am just so full of STUFF in my brain about my life experiences or what I’ve recently learned that it JUST.SPILLS.OUT. I drive myself crazy, with the “Oh. Shoot. I did it again” recriminations. Or “Dang. She didn’t really ASK me. But I told her anyway. And I told her way too much.” regrets.

    Hello. I am The Gang’s Momma. And I am (most likely) an annoying, unsolicited advice giver. I’ve been clean one hour. So far.

  3. says

    Thanks for this! I get advice all the time that fails to fall into the category of good advice. I try to listen and consider how the advice and the person’s perspective that is giving it may help enrich me in someway. Sometimes this helps, sometimes I just give it the old southern belle and delete it at my leisure…

  4. says

    The best piece of advice here comes at the end: “refuse to let it steal your joy!” We hear from so parents about the advice they are given concerning getting their baby to sleep and sometimes it’s so sad how much it makes the parents second guess themselves and go against what they truly think is right for their child just because someone told them what they “should” be doing. There is definitely no shortage of advice out there so these are good tips for how to handle some of it.

  5. says

    I try to listen and not to show that I am not interested. It is very hard sometimes especially when it comes from your mother or mother in law. I like your inner journalist advice: It’s a great way to have ideas to blog or tweet about!!

  6. says

    I like what I my sister told me to say… something like. Oh, that’s a great idea. I’ll have to think about that!

    Not a lie… the person giving the advice thinks it’s a great idea and I’ll think about it later and put it in the trash file of my brain or possibly get a good laugh about it… like how my dad tried to tell me how to properly load a dishwasher once. AHAHAHA I love him so much and he IS full of great advice but he’s super critical and hearing from a man that the majority of his married life only did 10-20% of the housework seemed sooo silly that he would be an expert. the best part… he really thinks he is.

  7. Erika says

    Great ideas. Has anyone notice though if its advice on child rearing or anything to do with kids the ones who offer the most unwanted advice are those that have never had a child themselves.

  8. Lynette says

    Love it! Was there a specific reason you wrote this Tara?!?


    Reading through the post,,, I think there was. Feels good doesn’t it?

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